Review Summary: The holy grail of pop-punk explains a lot about an increasingly disappointing genre.
Pop punk is a genre that has continually annoyed people for over a decade now. Starting off, as the ethos goes, with Green Day's Dookie
, the genre quickly became stale, with only a few tricks and no real opportunity for advancement or creativity as a genre. But whatever standing Dookie
may have as the first real pop punk album, there's no doubt that the genre's holy grail is blink-182's Enema of the State
, a juvenile, repetitive album that expresses mostly nothing.
It's all fun and games. Maybe I'm just too serious of a guy. For whatever reason, I don't find the refrain "I need a girl that I can train" ("Dumpweed") funny. Nor do I find the jokes about humping dogs and making prank calls from payphones particularly funny, either. It's not because these things are offensive; after all, blink is only letting out the inner adolescent boy. It's because they just aren't funny, and especially in the context of an album featuring some of the most obnoxious vocals (from co-lead vocalist Tom Delonge) you'll ever hear and constant misfired attempts at catchy songwriting.
Take the song's most popular single, "All The Small Things." It features a simplistic pop hook that comes close to working, a simple "na na na na na na na na na na." The problem is that it doesn't function as a pop hook, because there's nothing there to be hooked in for. The verse for the most part features four different notes sung in vocalist Delonge's ear piercing nasal whine. The chorus is essentially non-existent, a five second buildup to another "na na na na". By the time the song is done, you really don't care anymore about whatever it is Delonge is incoherently trying to say. You just want the na's to end already.
Other songs ("Don't Leave Me," "Mutt," "Anthem") don't even feature a pop hook, which sort of takes out the "pop" in pop punk. Factor in the fact that that this isn't punk either, and you start to wonder what exactly this is
, anyway. And all the faceless, nameless scene bean pop-punk bands sprouting up all over God's green earth? This is where they got it from in case you were wondering. Also, minus points for featuring a random attempt at writing a real bummer of a song ("Adam's Song") in the middle of what is supposedly a party album.