Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Green Day's New Album: 21-st Century Breakdown
It takes courage to be an authentic artist in modernity. In an age when a lot of the celebrated images belong to not-even-mediocre acts who have just exited prepubescence whose art is merely a product of sound engineering and pseudo-rebellious textile/aesthetic choices, truly good musicians have to work twice as hard to gain the kind of visibility they deserve to have.
Enter Green Day.
They have the courage to be excellent. And that they are.
Remember their 2004 album American Idiot?
Brilliant album. The gods of creativity were good to them then.
They must have worshipped them right because they are great to them now.
Their new album 21-st Century Breakdown elevates Green Day to a new level of brilliant achievement. When listening to tracks like "Before the Lobotomy," "Christian Inferno," "21 Guns," and "Restless Heart Syndrome," I remember thinking to myself how much anxiety they have had to sort through while engaged in the creative process.
A track like "Last of the American Girls" is what sold the album to me. The bass provides the kind of support that you don't hear all that often. It reminded me of the kind of support you feel when your tall, loved one keeps you safe from the jumping members of a mosh pit.
And the lyrics. Well, the lyrics ooze a kind of anxiety- and uncertainty-informed meaning you sort of get by virtue of being a modern being but which you sort of wish you didn't.
It's this dual experience one gets when listening to this album that adds to the overall relevance of the band. I would submit that 21-st Century Breakdown is one of the top albums of 2009. You should definitely listen to it. Furthermore, it was produced by produced by Butch Vig of the band Garbage whose credits include Nirvana's Nevermind.
Green Day is good because it knows how to translate the cultural realities of the times we live in into their music. And lyrics.
This album is full of energy. And intellect. And hope. But the kind that is anxiety-laced.
21-st Century Breakdown captures our modern anxieties and uncertainties dexterously and the only prerequisite course one needs to appreciate it is some experiential knowledge of modern life.
Ergo, I give this album my tip of the hat. And the album is so gripping that I will be reviewing it further on the next videocast for Gendering the Media with Brikena Ribaj.
graph per wiki