Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown (“Album / 320 Version”) + Sneak Peak Into Album

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A couple of days ago, we let you listen to a mid-quality rip of Green Day’s “21st Century Breakdown,” the presumed 1st single and title track of Billy Joe & Co.’s upcoming album. Last night, someone sent me what they claim is the “album version” and “320kbps” version of “21st Century Breakdown.” I won’t make these claims perse, but whatever, here we go…

I was a big fan of American Idiot (I know it’s some sort of taboo to mention that “big fan” and “American Idiot” in the same sentence), but I am not big on bands imitating their last album. I would like to see some transition between one album to the next. It’s totally fine to go back to your roots a couple of albums later though. Actually, going back to basics is what I expected from Green Day.

Worse of all, I’m not a big fan of lame first singles. I’ll admit that I was a bit harsh with this song at first, I completely hated it upon first listen, but even after giving Green Day the credit they deserve for “21st Century Breakdown,” it’s still a crummy single. The worst song on American Idiot, “American Idiot” (and coincidentally the first single) is already so much better than this. It doesn’t really say much about the new album., sadly. Lucky for us, 5 of the biggest rock music critics around have nothing but kind words for the 6-song preview they all heard:

From RollingStone.com:

The songs are defiant, but also defiantly hopeful, referencing the unsettled political climate as well as more personal and generational turmoils.

From EW.com:

If you loved American Idiot, you will probably like this one, too.

“March of the Dogs”: My favorite of the songs we heard, this one pairs pull-no-punches lyrics about organized religion with a propulsive backbeat. The hook reminded me of American Idiot’s “Holiday,” always a good thing.

From MTV.com:

…the songs packed a wallop — both sonically and lyrically — which is proof that, rather than hide from the prospect of trying to match Idiot’s success, Green Day intend to face it head on.

Green Day cover a lot of ground, and they do it with a style and swagger that’s admirable, especially given all the expectations weighing on them this time around. Taking cues from classic rock, going for the massive once again, they’re not backing down from the fight.

From Billboard.com:

While not as overtly political as “American Idiot,” the material sampled by Billboard is chock full of social commentary about religion, war and love.

“March of the Dogs” finds Green Day at its most structurally complex, weaving numerous short different ideas into a grand final product.

From Spin.com:

Our verdict? We love it.

“Know Your Enemy”
The song’s fast pace and feverish guitar make this track sound like an outtake from the Dookie sessions.

“Before the Lobotomy”
Armstrong sings like you’ve never heard him before. Strumming an acoustic guitar, he hits all the high notes, as his lyrics lament a character in such pain his “misery [is] drenched in gasoline.”

Great news right?! But I guess we have to keep in mind that these publications are the same publications that labeled U2’s new album a 21st Century “classic.” I won’t front guys, I’m still pretty stoked to listen to a new Green Day album.

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