21st Century Breakdown
It may be a quaint notion in the download era, but I still think of the Album as a distinct artistic statement. Green Day obviously agrees, because 2004s American Idiot was a rock opera and their new one, 21st Century Breakdown, out today, is a 70-minute, three-part song cycle.
And therein lies the problem. 21st Century Breakdown, as an artistic statement, is ultimately too much of a good thing. Listening to all 18 songs becomes, at some point, burdensome an exercise in pop-punk overload.
That the disc is essentially a big slab of agitprop set to catchy hooks and big guitars only compounds the problem. As if the title Know Your Enemy wasnt evidence enough, heres a sample lyric: Bringing on the fury/ The choir infantry/ Revolt against the honor to obey.
Angry, alienated sick-and-tired Green Day rail against religion, conformism, complacency, consumerism, media overload, all the usual tropes. Americans are little more than zombies. Did you know, for instance, that according to Green Day, Youre the victim of the system/ You are your own worst enemy?
Maybe Im cranky, maybe Ive heard it all, but Im not of a mind to be preached to and berated by Billie Joe Armstrong and his wingmen.