The big news this week is of course Green Day's much-anticipated punk-opera 21st Century Breakdown. Green Day's album is one which is sure to be carefully watched by industry bean-counters.
Their last album, American Idiot, was an all too rare modern-day multi-platinum selling physical CD in the MP3 era. But decades from now it may well also be remembered as symbolizing the Bush era in the same way that people like Bob Dylan are considered synonymous with the sixties.
Our own Jordan "J-Rich" Richardson will be along shortly to provide his own 21st century breakdown of sorts on whether or not Green Day have once again delivered the goods.
As uncompromising in his personal life as he is in his music, Steve Earle is one of the few guys left from the original era of outlaw country who has managed to survive despite his excesses with his artistic integrity intact.
But then again, you couldn't ask for a better role model in that regard than Earle's personal idol Townes Van Zandt (well with the possible exception of those excesses anyway). On his new album, Townes, Earle pays homage to his inspiration by covering some of the late songwriting great's best tunes from "Pancho & Lefty" to "To Live Is To Fly."
Paul Wall rises from the mean streets of the dirty south once again with his latest rap opus, Fast Life, where he gets ample support from the likes of Too Short, Yung Joc, and Blink 182's Travis Barker. Australia's The Church are also back with what BC's Greg Barbrick calls their best since the band's eighties heyday.
We'll be back next week with the new one from Eminem, but in the meantime here's Jordan Richardson with the breakdown on the new Green Day.
With blistering anger, Green Day assesses the post-American Idiot era with maturity. A little older and a little wiser, Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool, and Mike Dirnt slay 'em with a trilogy of sorts on 21st Century Breakdown. With Butch Vig production, this concept album compartmentalizes the unbridled epic-ness of Idiot with shorter quick hitters and maximizes impact with clear arrangements and punchy lyrics.
It is now clear that Green Day is set on challenging the throne as one of the most relevant, exciting, entertaining bands of our modern age. How did this happen? How did these mud-slinging pop punk jackasses come this far? At this point, it doesn't matter. Green Day has become shockingly relevant, amazingly necessary, and staggeringly good.
Here are all of this week's new album releases courtesy of All Music Guide:
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Americana, Alternative Country-Rock