Review Summary: It may not be Blink's best, but it's a damn good start to rebuilding what they once had.0 of 1 thought this review was well written
When Blink-182 broke up in 2005, it was following the success of a masterpiece self-titled album and a huge tour. They left the world as they hit their true creative prime. Years passed and the members formed various side projects, but none recaptured what was once so unique. If anything, all side-projects(+44, Angels&Airwaves) just felt like fragments. In 2009, the band reunited, and in 2011, we finally got a new Blink album. Too call it a long road is a bit of an understatement, and along the way fan's expectations sky-rocketed. The honest truth is that some fans wouldn't have been happy with it regardless of it's sound.
Is this new record Blink at their best? No, it is not. But there was never a snowball's chance in hell that it would be, this is a comeback record, this a band getting their chemistry back, and it's absolutely amazing that it came out as great as it did. With a few standout tracks and a few complete duds, the album is overall a fantastic new record from a legendary band.
It all kicks off with "Ghosts on the Dancefloor", a fantastic album opener that begins as every album should, with Travis-***in-Barker going animal-style on the drums. Synths and signature Blink guitars join in the crescendo, and we're off. "Ghosts" is an absolutely great track and an honestly beautiful song with a very deep message. The moment that Hoppus' vocals chime in with Delonge's right before the chorus is a little bit of a realization: Blink-182 is back.
The album continues on with the great throwback punk track "Natives", which features some real standout guitar work from Delonge and a darkly catchy chorus. Then comes "Up All Night", a track that opens with spacey synth effects and contains verses where Delonge and Hoppus trade lines back and forth about how they perceive life and death. The song is one of the darkest on the album, and marks a very distinct change for Blink. A decade earlier, a track called 'Up all night' would probably have been about partying late or having sex with a dog, but here it is a hefty, emotional track about the anxieties and perils of life.
"After Midnight" is up next, and is an immediately classic Blink song. Delonge takes the verses here as Hoppus holds down the catchy-as-hell chorus. Also, Travis has some unbelievably catchy drum work on this track. Travis actually is just pretty outstanding for this entire record, and really showcases just how talented he is. "Snake Charmer" follows, and this is Blink wearing their "Cure"-influences on their sleeve. It's an odd track, but one that pays off, with the biggest chorus of the entire album.
The two-parter of "Heart All Gone" is split right down the middle. The first is a bloated, pointless intro, and the first true dud of the album. The intro goes on for too long and is completely unexciting and the album loses it's momentum. Luckily, the actual track "Hearts All Gone" saves the day with it's throwback punk-style and it's pure awesomeness. Following is "Wishing Well", a track that is clearly all Tom Delonge. It's as poppy as the album gets, but includes some pretty catchy guitar work.
Then comes the track, called "Kaleidoscope". This is a song about the making of the record and is upon first listen, not all too impressive. However, upon re-listenings, this has become one of my favorite tracks. It's dark and just flat out a great song. Next is, unfortunately, another true dud. "This is Home" is a complete throwaway track. It's Tom singing about how much he loves playing for punk audiences and girls trying to make him hard, and it just doesn't work. It's all filler and pretty worthless.
However, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. "MH 4.18.2011" is what follows, and this is classic Blink-182. It's an ***ing awesome track with great lyrics by Hoppus that revives the album following the dull "This is Home". Finally, "Love is Dangerous" rounds out the album. This is a track that's gotten lots of flack for sounding like AVA, but i disagree. The track starts off all electronically, but gets rocking real fast. And while Delonge's vocals in the chorus are a bit clunky, Hoppus' that come in during the second chorus are great and include the best lyric off of the album: "We act cool so we all pretend to find love."
The album draws to a close as Barker plays a snare etude that slowly fades, and what you are left with is a damn good album that manages to, despite it's flaws, is pretty great. This may not be Blink's best, but for a band that is in the process of re-constructing themselves, this is a damn good start.