21st Century Breakdown Music Poster Image

21st Century Breakdown

(i)

 

Pointed lyrics, gritty language infuse political rock opera.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Several religious references may be offensive to some.

Violence

Much of the theme of the album is war, its effects, and its aftermath, so there are numerous references to bombs, guns (including one song called “21 Guns”) and death as well as mentions of a Molotov cocktail, St. Valentine’s massacre, suicide, and genocide. Terms that could be construed as violent in tone, however, are actually literate, metaphorical references that work within the context of the album’s theme.

Sex

No overt content, just one reference to orgasm.

Language

This album is labeled "explicit" primarily for the language on a handful of songs. Specifically, “f--k,” “s—t,” “hell” and “goddamned.”

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Several references to substances including: “I’m not stoned/I’m just f--ked up” and “I got so high I can’t stand up.” A couple of references to cigarettes, pills, alcohol and being “wasted.”

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.

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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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?

Music details

Artist:Green Day
Release date:April 15, 2009
Label:Reprise
Genre:Alternative Rock
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:No

This review of 21st Century Breakdown was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 July 7, 2012

21st century breakdown

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?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byMovieboy321 April 26, 2015

Green day at its political level

This green day album is explicit and might be offensive to some but magnificently good at the same time. This album experiences with modern day violence and political l violence and war. This album has some frequent strong language and heavy themes to some songs. Some of the songs use are the f word and s**t. And some heavy themes of death world reality of hiding from people and love. But this album has a great message of love and second chances in the real world
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written bybaesean August 23, 2012

Not Bad.

Songs. Violence is not an issue, ladies and gentleman. It's words. It's not like they're talking about stalking a man, getting angry at him for not mailing back, then killing himself. You know who you are. COUGH EMINEM COUGH.
What other families should know
Too much swearing