Monday, May 18, 2009

21st Century Breakdown

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!


BeachBum said...

Well done, indeed, Colleen. What a wife! I've found you can never go wrong with Green Day. Even their lesser albums are much better than anything currently out there.

Btw, you've just reminded me of my Green Day concert story. I'll post it soon.

Hammen said...

Green Day is the shit, enjoy the concert.

Rambling Canuck said...

Cool. Checking out immediately.

Rob said...

BB: can't wait to read your Green Day concert story. I'm going to guess it is about their riot-inducing performance at the Hatch Shell a couple of decades ago.

H: Thanks, I'll post a review of the concert. Have you been to a show? In a review of their tour schedule, it looks like they're skipping Kansas, but will be in Fargo on July 10.

Canuck: What'd you think? As my favorite music aficianado, I'm interested in your opinion.

Rambling Canuck said...

It's pretty darn good. They didn't change the formula too much - but why should they? Some of it verges Cheap Trick territory (I mean that in a good way). I think Peacemaker is my favorite, as it's a little more dynamic and plays with minor keys. And I like the vocal delivery on it. Overall, I dig it - but not a classic. Did you get the deluxe edition? It has two bonus tracks at the end - two covers of the Who and Social Distortion.

Rob said...

Yes, I got the deluxe edition. They are real chameleons on those cover songs. From the first chord of the Who song, it's clear who the song was from.

Do you like how they covered Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone?

Peacemaker is a great tune. I favor Viva La Gloria and Christian's Inferno. And, how about the opening chords of 21st Century Breakdown (the song)? And anticipation it builds is palpable.