Sunday, May 03, 2009

Breakdown Dead Ahead

Green Day is preparing to release their new album 21st Century Breakdown and since I liked American Idiot a lot, I'm looking forward to this one. The new single "Know Your Enemy" is making the rounds and it ain't bad. It's an insistent song with that marching beat they like to do. I am a little concerned about the overblown nature of the video though, with the fenced barb wire and flame explosions and snow it seemed a little overdone for Punk, even if it is Pop Punk. They just feel a little more safe and comfortable this time out (and given how American Idiot sold why wouldn't they?), which for an "edgy" band can be deadly career wise.

Looking back at Green Day you can't count them out because they've managed to succeed in spite of expectations on a regular basis. When they hit the big time with Dookie I was a fan and really liked "Basket Case". At that time everything was Grunge and no one expected a Pop Punk band to catch on. That whole album had a hyperactive silliness matched with good hooks and rampaging guitars which was awesome. After that, I lost interest and didn't really follow them except of course for the ubiquitous "Good Riddance (Time Of You Life)" which was played everywhere. Nearly killed a good song with over exposure even showing up in a Seinfeld montage without irony. Even then I didn't run out and get their music, just enjoyed it when it was on. And though "Warning" had one of the funniest videos I had seen in a while, I still didn't buy their stuff.

American Idiot turned it around as the Day managed to take a really bad idea (Punk concept album? Talk about a conflict in terms) and make it a classic. Now they're upping the ante by going for a bigger approach on the concept album format, I'm staying optimistic they can pull it off again.

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