21st Century Idiot: Statistical Album Reviews
September 9, 2010, 5:10 am
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Using IPod statistics from shuffle listens to discern – objectively – which Green Day album I like better (21st Century Breakdown or American Idiot).  After all, they are both pretty great, and I wasn’t sure offhand, so I decided to just let the numbers do the talking:

Green Day Songs From Last Two Albums – Number Of Listens On Ipod
Song Album # Plays
Peacemaker 21st Century Breakdown 15
Know Your Enemy 21st Century Breakdown 13
¡Viva la Gloria! 21st Century Breakdown 13
Give Me Novacaine / She’s a Rebel American Idiot 12
21st Century Breakdown 21st Century Breakdown 12
American Eulogy: Mass Hysteria / Modern World 21st Century Breakdown 12
Murder City 21st Century Breakdown 9
Are We the Waiting / St. Jimmy American Idiot 8
Before the Lobotomy 21st Century Breakdown 8
Last of the American Girls 21st Century Breakdown 8
¿Viva la Gloria? (Little Girl) 21st Century Breakdown 7
Holiday / Boulevard of Broken Dreams American Idiot 6
Homecoming American Idiot 6
Christian’s Inferno 21st Century Breakdown 6
Restless Heart Syndrome 21st Century Breakdown 6
21 Guns 21st Century Breakdown 6
American Idiot American Idiot 5
Jesus of Suburbia American Idiot 5
Song of the Century 21st Century Breakdown 5
East Jesus Nowhere 21st Century Breakdown 5
The Static Age 21st Century Breakdown 5
See the Light 21st Century Breakdown 5
Extraordinary Girl / Letterbomb American Idiot 4
Whatsername American Idiot 4
Last Night On Earth 21st Century Breakdown 4
Horseshoes and Handgrenades 21st Century Breakdown 4
Wake Me Up When September Ends American Idiot 3

Hmm.  Generally pretty dispersed, but 6 of my top 7-played songs are from 21st Century Breakdown, which seems to point to the answer. Though in partial defense of Idiot, Breakdown enjoys the clear advantage of having more songs.  What about, when all else fails, a pivot table:

Album Average of # Plays
21st Century Breakdown 7.94
American Idiot 5.89
Grand Total 7.26

So I’ve listened to the average song on Breakdown almost 8 times, vs 6 for Idiot.

Conclusion:  21st Century Breakdown kicks 33% more ass than American Idiot.  Nice job Billie Joe & co.  Leaving aside the fact that they’re both essentially about how much Green Day hated George W. Bush (a subject I assume a certain sort of rocker will essentially never get tired of), I really do think these are both among the best albums released the past few years (that I’ve heard anyway).

Even if (especially because?) the best songs basically sound like resurrected Cheap-Trick-pretending-to-be-British-punks-playing-Who-songs.

USEFUL: Larry Livermore’s original reaction to 21st Century Breakdown

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My ten year old, who has never lived in the US, can’t get enough of these guys. I was hard pressed to explain what the “redneck agenda” is, however.

Comment by robert61

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