21st Century Breakdown by Green Day
Green Day’s long anticipated follow-up to American Idiot was released on May 15th, 2009. The album is based upon a couple, Christian and Gloria, who struggle through the challenges that we face today. Billy Joe Armstrong shows a metaphor throughout the album, the static you hear in many of the songs. This is a metaphor on how America is depending more and more on technology and the media. When I first listened to the album, I didn’t think much of it. I listened to many of the songs over again, and they had meaning. I see the world through the eyes of Christian and Gloria. I could see their struggle in the world we live in today. The songs also showed that no matter what, their love together would prevail, and they would get through everything together. The album has many great songs but a few of the songs really brought to my attention.
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“East Jesus Nowhere” is one of them. This song was definitely my favorite off the album, the outstanding guitar riff, and the solo. “A fire burns today, of blasphemy and genocide” is a line from the chorus, that most likely directed towards the media, and how everybody turns to the media. “Viva La Gloria (Little Girl)” a perhaps unusual song. It really caught my attention though because of the somewhat harsh lyrics. It made me see some of the problems that Gloria faced. “Little girl, little girl you dirty liar, your just a junky preaching to the choir”. An odd song, but if you really listen, you can see some of the problems that she is facing. “Life Before The Lobotomy” is a first person song, most likely drawn for Armstrong’s abandonment earlier in his life. “Last Night on Earth” really touched me more than any other song on the album. In my opinion, this is a love song shown to Gloria by Christian, the two characters often mentioned on this album. It shows that Christian is fully pledged to Gloria, and is willing to give his life for her because he loves her. This album may not be the hardcore rock older Green Day. However, I believe this is the best Green Day album lyric wise. The lyrics of this album touched me in ways that almost no other album could do.
The music on this album made me feel good though. The love shown between Christian and Gloria really raised my spirits, and then I got to songs like “Horseshows and Hand grenades”, “Know Your Enemy”, “East Jesus Nowhere”, and “American Eulogy” and I get rowdy. These songs are more like the old Green Day that I so much love. The transition from the song Christian’s Inferno into Last Night on Earth is also fantastic, it really fits. I give this album 15 stars out of ten. It is excellent, but you have to really listen to it closely to understand the story of the two lovers, Christian and Gloria