9. 21st Century Breakdown - Green Day
There are only a handful of bands that can claim to have a second act in the limelight. The music business can be extremely unkind to some of the best musicians, and it's hard to be asked to write an era defining masterpiece a second time around. Green Day did move past their Dookie brat origins on American Idiot, but where would they go once they reimagined the rock opera?
Looking to pick up right where American Idiot left off, 21st Century Breakdown feels like Green Day tapping into the more classic rock stylings of their heroes like the Who and The Beatles, with a greater attention to detail. It's not like they were in shaky hands or anything either, with Butch Vig of Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins fame coming into produce the record and finetune every power chord to be a smack in the face.
While this is nowhere near the kind of punk rock album that Green Day were used to making in their prime, this also makes for some of the most adventurous songs of their career as well, from the gypsy punk stylings of the second version of Viva La Gloria to the dark look in the mirror of the monster you've become on Restless Heart Syndrome. American Idiot may have been the first shot at the people in power, but we had now reached the 2nd phase of the Bush regime, and we needed music like this as some form of resistance.