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21st Century Breakdown
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there's no shortage of four-letter words and violent imagery on this highly anticipated new album by Green Day, but in context, they are used to articulate the band's highly political views of war, the media, and revolution. Sophisticated teens will appreciate the clever metaphors and complex themes.
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What's the story?
It's been nearly five years since Green Day's Grammy-winning political rock opera American Idiot took the music world by storm and demonstrated Green Day's musical maturity. Their new release 21st Century Breakdown picks up where that album left off, this time taking on the aftermath of the Bush administration and the state of the nation. Offered up in three "acts," the album features two recurring characters, Christian and Gloria, and is a politically impassioned rock-and-roll rage against war, apathy, and blindly following leadership.
Is it any good?
If you agree with Green Day's view of the world, this album will feel like a fist-pumping call to action. But even if you don't agree, it'll be hard to resist the urge to pump your fists. Musically, there's something for everyone here including saloon-style crooning, angry anthems, power ballads -- even violins. The album's backbone remains a solid mix of angry guitars, pounding drums, and the passionate vocals and lyrics (often laced with four-letter words) they've become known for.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what real-life issues the band is railing against. Is there a specific message or theme that is the focus of the album as a whole? Can music with a message be a force for change? Does the band’s message hold up as strongly as it did before even though they’ve had a lot of critical and financial success?