Once Again, Green Day Go Epic


Green Day blew out their ceiling with 2004’s American Idiot, and they do not intend to go back to the basement in 2009. As the leaked title track attests, May’s 21st Century Breakdown will be another epic social-critique concept album. In just over five minutes, the trio packs in a slow-burn piano intro, a catchy mid-tempo riff, a catchier up-tempo riff, a “Bohemian Rhapsody”–style mellow outro, and enough vaguely declarative phrases to make Sam’s Town–era Brandon Flowers blush: Billie Joe Armstrong rages forth about a generation of zeros, a lost son born on the Fourth of July, and all kinds of questions resulting in lies. The track apparently leads off Breakdown’s first act, “Heroes and Cons” (“Charlatans and Saints” and “Horseshoes and Handgrenades” follow), and is not the album’s first single: That’d be “Know Your Enemy,” coming officially in April.