The lean towards unnecessary indulgence does not work in Green Day’s favor. Whereas American Idiot was somewhat trim and focused and seemed to have an overall goal, 21st Century Breakdown is just a fat stoner wandering through an empty mall on an otherwise unremarkable Tuesday morning encountering all sorts of tired crap like faux terrestrial radio static, Elton John-style piano plinking, gentle acoustic guitar arpeggios, and half-assed tributes to Wings. Indeed, this album has everything every chart-topping record of your parents’ / grandparents’ era had, topped off with lazy lyrics that often seem like deliberate callbacks to earlier Green Day successes. I wish Congress would consider passing legislation that would ban this band from using the terms ‘Jesus,’ ‘cigarettes,’ ‘Working Class Hero,’ and any kind of street name variation ever again.”
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