Monday, May 11, 2009

"21st Century Breakdown" A First Listen

My close friend and sometime contributor to this site, Bill Reese, has given Green Day's much anticipated new record 21st Century Breakdown a first listen before it hits stores next week. Check out what Bill, a lifelong Green Day fan had to say...

Not as good as American Idiot, but at the same time, they (or anyone) will never be able to top this production. It is so fucking epic. It's so big. This is like new Yankee Stadium. They didn't have to build it this big, this expensive. They did it because they could. They did it to say, "look at what we can do, and we fucking DARE YOU to try this." And like New Yankee Stadium, it's not as pretty as Camden Yards, not as historic as Wrigley, but you can't help but stand in awe of it. You can never top history. You can't top American Idiot, especially because they were not trying to be historic. History just happens. What you can do is just be so outrageously bold and audacious that people years from now will say "Man, those guys WENT there."

I don't even know if this is a punk album. The first two acts sure aren't. By Act III they're Green Day again, and by far, the third act is the best. You know I never like anything first time around. I didn't like American Idiot first time around. It's on Rhapsody for free and, (which is censored, so don't do it.)

Whether Green Day are a punk band in the aesthetic sense of the word has been debated since "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)," but one of the core beliefs of punk is the idea that the rules don't apply when those making the rules are hypocrites. We're in an age where of a thousand different genres and sub-genres, and so often bands get pigeon-holed into a genre and can never escape. This album is the most "punk" thing they've ever done because it proudly states, "there are no genres. there are no lines. there are no rules. there is no box." Being punk is being free, and real freedom is the ability to think whatever you choose and be whoever you choose. This is a free man's album, that's what makes it so powerful.