Blink 182's self titled album was met with strange comments. From the way that the album was described on it's release, people would have thought that Blink 182 had changed their style so much that the band's sound would be indistinguishable from earlier releases. The music press' comments were full of talk about how much the band had matured and changed their sound. While Blink 182 hadn't really changed their sound very much at all, there was definitely something different about this album. Their sound is different, but don't expect to hear some stramge avant-garde synthesiser music. This is the same 3 chord stuff, with added sounds. The band's lyrics are more mature as hinted in earlier songs such as "Adam's Song" and "Stay Together For The Kids". Blink 182's serious side has so often been overlooked in favour of their lyrics, full of fart jokes and songs about girls. No chance of that happening this time around.
Mark Hoppus - Bass and Vocals
Tom Delonge - Guitar and Vocals
Travis Barker - Drums
The added sounds is one of the best things about the album. In the album's booklet, the group reveal many of their influences, ranging from The Cure to Frank Sinatra to Slayer to Failure to Run DMC to Pink Floyd. The influences of these artists are all on the album, though some are more prominent than others. Throughout the album booklet, there is information about each song, most of them written by two of the three band members. It is interesting to hear about all of the different gear they used on the album to create different sounds. Bassist Mark Hoppus used a Fender VI (a six string bass tuned the same as a guitar an octaver lower) on many of the tracks. Guitarist Tom Delonge uses his new signature Gibson hollowbody on the album. Drummer Travis Barker has lots of different percussion instruments throughout the album and used and old 1950s microphone to record the drums for the start of the song "Down". The best new addition, however are the many different keyboard sounds.
The band's newfound maturity has been somewhat exaggerated by the music press, yet theres no denying that Blink 182 have grown up. Gone are the fart jokes. Gone are the snotty and dirty lyrics. The album's lyrics are of a much higher standard than the earlier releases. At the end of the song "Violence" (track 4), the listener hears the introduction for the next track, "Stockholm Syndrome". This introdution is the reading of a letter Mark's grandfather wrote to his grandmother during World War 2. It has a simple piano melody behind it. This is where the listener will start to realise the Blink have grown up. After the song "Down" (track 6), there is a track called "The Fallen Interlude" (track 7). This is a track with a trip-hop feel, based around a keyboard sample with drums, bass and guitar leads playing around it. This song sounds like bands such as Massive Attack and it's sound was described by one guitar magazine as being "similar to Thom Yorke's winter barbecue". Then "All of This" (track 12) comes. This song has a guest apperance, Robert Smith from The Cure. The album's first track, "Feeling This" serves as a link between the old Blink 182 and the new Blink 182. This is not the same Blink 182.
Ok, so Blink 182 have changed their sound to include more adventurous sounds and new lyrics. But are the songs any good? Certainly. This is one of the most consistent Blink 182 albums yet, there is really only one or two songs that aren't very good and even those are worth listening to. While some fans of the old sound will not like this new direction, many fans will and this album is sure to add more new fans to Blink 182's fanbase. The band's songwriting has massively improved, being able to write the same 3 chord songs (many of the album's songs have exactly the same chord progression, in the same key), while making them all different songs. There is really nothing on this album that sounds the same as another song and there are no songs that aren't worth hearing.
Blink 182 aren't the type of band that release classic albums that get perfect scores and get bowed down to by music critics. For everyone who loves Blink 182, there is another person who hates them. While many people may think they have made up their mind against Blink 182, this album contains some new thing that will change people's minds about Blink 182. After hearing this album, many listeners will decide that there is much more to Blink 182 than they originally thought. Whatever you think you know about Blink 182, throw it away until you have heard this album.
- Interesting sounds
- Well written lyrics
- The same 3 chord songs made fresh
- Great guest appearance from Robert Smith
- Some hardcore fans of "the old stuff" will be unimpressed
- Will they be able to sound this good live?
I Miss You
All of This
FINAL RATING: 4.5/5