Review Summary: Well there you have it. Blink 182 have created an album capable of standing on its own two feet without the help of jokes proving their versatility and growth as musicians.
Setting the Stage, Blink 182 was born into a world where punk rock was distinguishing itself as a reputable genre, with bands such as The Clash, The Descendents, and Bad Religion. After punk began to lose its flair, a sub-genre of punk known as pop punk began to surface, bringing the energy and noise of punk and combining it with Pop elements of catchyness. The first [big act] of many to distinguish itself as an underdog-turned-Cinderella story was Green Day. Green Day born a punk band, "sold out" signing to a major label, only to release the 193 greatest album of all time, "Dookie", according to Rolling Stone magazine. Blink 182, next in line, became a sensation amongst teens and young adults everywhere, beginning with the release of their second album "Dude Ranch"'s single "Dammit". From then on, it was a tumbleweed of success for Blink 182, selling millions of records worldwide, and gaining staggering amounts of credit from both critics and bands to follow in their footsteps.
What Seperates Blink 182 from Green Day:
- First and foremost, Blink 182's albums, debatably, became better by each release, whereas Green Day have never been able to outsell or create an album better or nearly as successful as Dookie. *Not to say that is a fair accusation, judging from the amount of success Dookie received.
- Each member of the band, in Blink 182, is equally necessary for the band to work, and could not do so without one another.
Now onto the untitled album -
Blink 182, released this album in the fall of 2003. Instead of creating a similar blend of punk and pop influence as seen in their previous records, Blink 182 used a wider palette of sound to paint their masterpiece. First of all, to note, Tom has taken over a majority of the singing in this album, carrying the reigns of 3/4 of this album. Second, the band used many different guitars and experimented with piano and drum sounds [and Captain America references] for songs most evident on the tracks "obvious" "i miss you" and "down". Last to note, Blink 182 have completely avoided joke songs and joke lyrics. Though they stayed the same as individuals, their music became much more serious and much better lyrically than previous records.
Feeling this - 5/5
My favorite song from blink 182 to date, and the first single from the record. Feeling this is filled with the angst and passion that drives teenagers to be the young, irresponsible, and naive creatures that we are. The song really climaxes at the end of the song with the over-layered vocals shared between Mark and Tom. Track 1 serves as a goodbye to the old blink and a hello to the future blink.
Obvious - 3.5/5
Quite possibly my least favorite track from the album follows my favorite of all time. The guitar work is very good and the sound is epic, but the song as a whole does not flow and really does not provoke any emotion of happy or sad.
I miss you - 5/5
Without a doubt Blink 182's most commercially successful song alongside All the Small Things, and there is no surprise how so. The bassline is short, sweet, and haunting. The cool drum beat that Travis loops throughout the entire track, flows perfectly with the tempo of the song. This song is sung by both Mark and Tom, with Mark's deep voice singing the first verse and the second [background] part of the chorus. Lyrically, this song shows the growth that both singers have developed from the time of their premise, the lyrics deliver much emotion, without sounding corny. Well done.
Violence - 4.7/5
This track is almost entirely different from anything Blink 182 has ever done aside from the bridge comparing to that of Adam's Song. This song begins with a guitar riff from Tom that then cuts with a static noise, leaving only poetry and a drum beat. The chorus explodes, and returns to its latter self. The song goes back into the chorus once more leading into the bridge. The bridge really makes the song. *also audible is Mark's grandmother's letter to her husband being read by a woman. This song follows the predicatable yet great opening riff, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge pattern, but manages to distinguish itself as a standout track.
Stockholm Syndrome - 4.5/5
A very experimental song, with alot of emotion from the guys. Tom wails while Mark calmly sings over a monstrous riff. The bass work in this song is excellent, proving that Mark is a triple threat as a singer, entertainer, and actually a decent bass player. Travis plays very well as usual.
Down - 5/5
Please be aware that those who do not enjoy Tom's voice, probably wont make it through this song. This song is both excellently produced and delivered. Travis plays a cool drum beat underneath Tom's guitar work. Lyrically, this is blink's best work. The lyrics are true and meaningful. Also, for those who enjoy Tom's voice, this may be one of your favorite songs on the album. Tom sings with immense passion throughout most of the song, with Mark so elegantly singing a simple, tormented chorus. Also for production fans, the bridge is overlaid with piano keys, and the drumming was recorded through a 1950's microphone to distinguish the sound of the snare.
The Fallen Interlude - 3.5/5
Not much to note, except it is a filler track, that does indeed show off the bands musical talents.
Go - 4.5/5
Go is driven by emotion. Emotion, emotion, and more emotion, make the song so powerful. It is also the shortest track, just under 2 minutes long. Mark screams " I don't wanna know" 4x without any background instrumentation, and the audience cannot help but feel some sense of giddy. The song was written about the serious topic of domestic abuse. So for a first time listener, who has not read the lyrics or looked up the song facts, your getting the best of an energy level that presides in their previous records, most evident in Dude Ranch, and the public service announcement you didnt listen to when Bob Saget told you about it.
Asthenia - 5/5
Written about outer space astronaunts feeling hopeless about return, Asthenia features great instrumentation from all three band members. Like Feeling this, this song climaxes, at the end of the bridge, so listening to the entire track should be very easygoing and enjoyable. The song is has an extremely catchy chorus, that will have listeners humming for days.
Always - 4.5/5
Always has a very 80's vibe to it, with a retro piano background playing through the entire song. Once again a good bass line from Mark. Always was one of the 4 singles of the album (not including not now). Though it recieved little recognition on the charts, the song is both catchy and well written. The drumming on this track is exceptional, with Travis banging several paradiddles on the rim of the snare. Also with drum work similar to Anthem part 2 in the bridge near the end of the song. I recommend this track for those who really enjoy the more mature side of Blink.
Easy Target - 4.5/5
This is an excellent song, and gets even better as the song progresses. This song was written about a kid who was tormented by a girl he had a crush on. The ending of the song deserves a 5/5. With Mark advising "better run, run, run"
with Tom ordering "Holly, let me out!" leading into the best riff on the entire album. Kudos to Tom for the riff. The riff leads into an acoustic version of itself in the next track.
All of This - 3.5/5
What saves this song from becoming utterly boring is Tom's exceptional acoustic version of Easy Target, and his chorus. Maybe I am just not a big fan of Robert Smith or The Cure, but I do not feel that Robert Smith did any justice to this Blink song. Tom saved the song.
Here's Your Letter - 4/5
This song is the only song on the album sung entirely by Mark Hoppus. It is in a way Mark Hoppus's Obvious, though better executed. The song's highlights are its bass work and chorus. I would suggest this song to anybody who is mad at Tom Delonge for breaking up Blink 182.
I'm Lost Without You - 4/5
This is the closing song off the 50 minute record. This is the album's longest track, and features some of the best lyrical work off the entire album. The song is solely delivered by Tom. The song is very somber, and emo, though the song, near the end opens with a riff that ends the song with some daylight. Ultimately, a good way to end the album.
The only songs I would not recommend listening to FIRST are:
I'm Lost Without You
All of This