Angels and Airwaves
We Don't Need to Whisper



by John weathered old reviewer Hanson EMERITUS
September 23rd, 2006 | 121 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

I’m am a huge fan of blink 182’s last album. People said it was more mature, it wasn’t more mature, it was boring, it was exhilarating, whatever; I just loved the album. Thus, when blink broke up rather soon afterward, I was kind of sad. Tom announced his next project first, and it was supposedly going to be a continuation of the new direction blink had been taking. I was, needless to say, excited. Then, he began ranting about how it was going to be the best album ever. The world immediately said in unison “Oh no, Tom DeLonge has become the Tom Cruise of music.” Coincidentally, We Don’t Need to Whisper was released around the time Tom Cruise’s first major picture after his scientology drama was released. However, where as Mission Impossible 3 was a fun action movie, We Don’t Need to Whisper is a dreary and terribly frustrating arena pop punk album that’s want to be arena rock.

The most noticeable thing is how “epic” the production for the album is. Everything has an echo effect on it seemingly; occasionally a single guitar part is double-layered to give it even more of an added effect. There are sprawling musical interludes and intro’s scattered throughout the album, and Tom often puts on heavy reverb or any other number of vocal effects onto his takes. What does this make the album sound like? Well, it does give it a tint of newer U2 material. However, Tom and his fellow bandmates (who come from a variety of punk sub-genres, all the way from ska too…oh, well, um, pop-punk…) all put up extremely uninspired performances that make the mass of effects feel wasted.

To put it simply, every riff, chord progression, and “solo” the boys put out feels extremely similar. And to put it into perspective, here goes a little tidbit I discovered about their song-crafting abilities. I was listening to one of the songs here (honestly, I can’t remember which one, and you probably wont be able to either), and as I was rocking back and forth in my recliner, I noticed it had a creak. Me, being OCD, had to make that creak align as closely to the melody of the music as possible. Much to my surprise (and short-term delight), I discovered I could perfectly replicate it with the creaking of my recliner. Now obviously, a chair is a highly musical instrument (is there not a game entitled “musical chairs”?), but I personally found this to be a highly interesting and poor facet to the music.

I really haven’t been slamming this as much as I should be, considering my rating. Well, brace your gopher chucks people, because it’s all downhill from here. Tom, while never very good in Blink, never really detracted from it either, since nearly everything he sung about was tongue-in-cheek in nature and he pulled it all off with a kind of self-knowing suck. Here, however, he thinks he’s some kind of breath-taking singer, and constantly tries to be not just a vocalist, but an integral part of the musical structure itself, often lightly layering his voice over a cheesy instrumental bridge. While he isn’t immediately an annoyance, he constantly drones on and on for the duration of the album, and by its end you really wish he would just shut the hell up.

Then again, its not like Tom is getting any major backup from his band. This “super-group”, with members from the Distillers, Rockets From the Crypt and Offspring, would not be a super-group you’d really wish to form. None of the musicians here really do anything besides lightly variate their riffs, cake on effects and use the same melody for ten songs. Truthfully, its incredibly easy to lose track of where you are on the album; the same guitar part is played on “Start the Machine” as on “Do it For Me Now”, along with the same incredibly cheesy synth lines. It truly sounds like new-age U2, albeit with a more forced sense of experimentation.

So, then what would U2 do to “experiment? Well, if AVA is any indication, it would be 30 to 60 second intro’s of shifting gears, dance-y piano lines, and two minute exercises in sampled drums and guitar notes. Yes, it’s huge and has a very arena rock aesthetic; it all certainly sounds booming and grand. However, in practice it ends up turning into the same intermission, song, and soaring bridge ten times. AVA have a generally solid idea here, if completely unoriginal and not outstanding on its own right. However, when they take 5-10 minutes of real substance and material and try to spread it out through a 50 minute album, you’re going to encounter problems. It’s like having a smidgen of peanut butter to try and spread out through two pieces of bread; you’re not going to be satisfied in any manner at all. Add in the fact there’s also a bug squirming around in said peanut butter crying for attention, and you come back to the dinner table with one of the least appealing (but not quite un-salvageable) albums you or I have heard in years.

Just buy U2’s newest album instead. It may be crap as well, but at least you don’t have to hear Tom prattle on about war and best friends and relationships like a boy trapped in a…well, boy’s body.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
September 23rd 2006


Very nice review, while I have only heard about half the album, it seems you have been to kind to this pile.

September 23rd 2006


great review i only heard one single and i dont hate it but i dont love it.

September 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 2.0

Nice Review, this is a huge step below Blink-182, and his voice doesn't seem to fit the music.

September 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 1.5

this album makes the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus sound progressive. Ugh, good review though.

September 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

The song I've heard from Plus+44 was really good, so hopefully they continue on like that. It would be much better than this.

And nothing is as bad as The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

September 23rd 2006


Didn't you have a concept review of this?

September 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Yes, I had it deleted and did this one instead. I still have that one saved on my computer and its pretty "wtf was I smoking" to be honest.

September 23rd 2006


Meh, I prefer it to this one. Although, this one is still pretty good.

September 23rd 2006


Whenever I hear this band on the radio I think about Tom's days with Blink and how they used to rip on the ultra-serious boy band image. Now he's out to save the world, and it's totally not working.

Good for Tom for wanting to grow as an artist, but maybe he needs to learn about context. His voice just doesn't fit with this particular project.

September 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 1.0

I don't like these guys much at all. I like reviews where people rip on bands I don't like *votes*

The Jungler
September 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 1.5

I hate you for deleting your old one.

November 11th 2006


I hate this band. I had to sit through them for the Taking Back Sunday concert. They try to make a song about having a bad day sound epic. It just bothers me altogether.

November 21st 2006


awesome review, i used to have respect for Tom DeLonge but now I thinks hes a f*g.

December 10th 2006


This review was really good (one of your best I reckon), especially the bit about your chair. It was easy to read, informative and humorous.

I heard one song from this, and didn't like it. It seemed catchy but too forced.

May 29th 2007


It’s like having a smidgen of peanut butter to try and spread out through two pieces of bread; you’re not going to be satisfied in any manner at all. Add in the fact there’s also a bug squirming around in said peanut butter crying for attention, and you come back to the dinner table with one of the least appealing (but not quite un-salvageable) albums you or I have heard in years.

Nice analogy. I'll be sure not to waste my money. One of my friends who rides my bus kept telling me how "amazing" it was. haha. ha.

dub sean
June 11th 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

many thanks. This album leaked on the net and I downloaded it. It was gone the next day.

August 4th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

I think this is a pretty good album, but I really have to be in the mood to listen to it. Nothing to compare to Blink 182, but this does hook my interest every now and then.

October 25th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

I like how you wrote the review but i feel your reasons to dislike the album are weak.

You could match the rythm with the chair? All i could find is that you found that the performances were weak (not going into any more detail of course) and it was unoriginal.

Nice written though.

October 25th 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

I liked it a lot for awhile, and then it waned on my patience. The album gets too much heat for Delonge being a douchebag.

Slightly above average tunes with really good production.

Hell, i'll be nice

November 17th 2007


haha Tom Cruise. nice. Yeah ^, but I'm liking Miss You, Down, and Always all over again now.

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