21st Century Breakdown Of American Idiots

962 words - 4 pages

I was first introduced to the band Green Day when I listened to their song “Good Riddance” on their album Warning when it was released in 1997. I continued to listen to Green Day’s music throughout my teenage years after they released their next two albums, American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. When I was young I enjoyed Green Day’s music because it was fun to listen and sing along with, but as I grew older and actually started interpreting the lyrics of their songs I realized that there was a deeper message to their music. Many of my friends also commented on the motive behind Green Day’s music, and this led us to long-winded discussions about government and politics. We didn’t fully comprehend what we were talking about, but it was obvious that their music had provoked interesting emotions in us. Green Day’s often controversial punk-rock was so influential that it sent a media-influenced generation looking for answers to the meaning behind their politically-charged lyrics in their albums American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown even years later.
Billie Joe Armstrong has been quoted in recent years saying that their hit album American Idiot was written partly in response the “the worst political times of my lifetime that I can remember.” (92Y, 2010) As a teenager listening to the song “American Idiot”, I didn’t fully appreciate the message the band was trying to deliver. I understood the general message of the song, which talks about how their fans should be more original and try not to follow what the general media preaches. It wasn’t until I was older that I started understanding how much influence the media has in our everyday lives. After that epiphany, I drastically cut down on the amount of television and radio that I exposed myself to. As much as I identify with the lyrics in the song and on the album as a whole, I did realize there was a lot of irony in the album American Idiot due to the fact that the album was released under Reprise Records, which is owned by the Warner Music Group, one of the largest music companies in the world. The same song that was telling me not to be influenced by the media was written by a band signed to a company owned by the largest music conglomerate in the world. While many who reviewed the album focused on the political overtones of the album, the lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong has been quoted saying “It's [also] about people becoming lost and just trying to find their way, and I think that's a theme that's been going through our songs since 1988.” He continues to say that “[The music] is about trying to find your identity and individualism in the midst of... getting bombarded with useless information. (MTV, 2010)
Green Day’s album American Idiot resonated with fans...

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