Whoa! Green Day's new album, 21st Century Breakdown, is an instant classic. I don't say that lightly either, but I will admit that I borrowed it from Erik Henne, and his Hearsay blog, because back in 2004, he deemed Green Day's American Idiot an instant classic and that made me buy it. And, am I ever glad I did. It prompted me to take in their American Idiot tour in Portland, Oregon and it is my favorite concert experience.
21st Century Breakdown is an ambitious endeavour by Billy Joe, Tre Cool and Dirnst. It's not unlike American Idiot in that it weaves a story among the songs, but this new album is even more explicit in it's storyline. So much that there are 3 acts to 21st Century Breakdown, telling a story about Christian and Gloria. I'm still trying to suss out the meaning of it all, but while I do, I'm listening to classic Green Day licks that are interspersed with progressive sounds, sometimes almost poppy, but that always revert back to a stomping anthem-like crescendo.
The latest Rolling Stone has Green Day on its cover and the accompanying story tells of a music-obsessed Billy Joe Armstrong who tears it up on stage, but strives to live a mundane, family-centric life off stage. It's a nice retrospective story telling how Dirnst and Billy Joe met in junior high.
I pre-ordered 21st Century Breakdown on iTunes after seeing an earlier Rolling Stone rating of 4.5 stars and the publication saying the new album blew away an already well-regarded American Idiot. I have to agree. American Idiot will always have a place in my earbuds, but I'm happy to have new Green Day material that I'm even more jazzed about.
I played it for Colleen on Saturday and after the 2nd song, I asked if she would want to see them in concert if they came to Boston. She said she was past her rock show days and I told her that was pretty sad commentary. Cut to 24 hours later, and about 3 full listens to the new album...I'm downstairs playing with Grady and Liam and I hear, "Rob! Come upstairs! Quickly!" Usually that means she has seen a fox or some other cool wildlife, but she was at her computer with Ticketmaster open. Yup, we're headed to TD Banknorth Garden on July 20 to participate in a raucous good time. Well done, Colleen!