Blink-182
Blink-182


5.0
classic

Review

by Channing Freeman STAFF
October 21st, 2006 | 995 replies | 67,703 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


There comes a time in every person’s life when they have to grow up. At one point, we must all put aside the ways and mannerisms of a child, and become an adult. Growing up isn’t easy though. The early years of one’s life produce some of the best and most cherished memories. It’s no small surprise, then, that children never seem to want to grow up. The concept of Never Never Land, a place where one can go and live as a child forever, appeals to each and every one of us. But in real life, there is no Never Never Land; no place where we can live out our days forever young. To make up for this, humankind, in a way, has resorted to staying young through media. The aforementioned Never Never Land, an essential part of the Peter Pan mythos, along with many other references and allusions in media, has cemented the appeal of youth in our minds. But every now and then one of our media icons of youth, a pinnacle of childlikeness, a symbol of all that is immature...grows up. What are we to do then? Do we mourn the loss of the childlike and protest the mature, or do we realize that even though youth is beautiful, there is still much beauty to be found in growing up as well?

The icons I am speaking of are Blink-182, a pop-punk trio from California. Despite their mildly humble beginnings, they soon formed a reputation as one of the most popular pop-punk bands ever. Their music was fueled by immaturity, catchiness, and youthful exuberance. After six full length albums and one live album, the majority of which were very well received, the band realized that it was time for a change. The formula that had worked so well for them for years just wouldn’t cut it anymore. In 2003, Blink-182 went into the studio to record their new album, intent on doing something new and crafting a new sound. Although it would alienate some fans, most realized that the change was a good thing. The result of the change was Blink-182, the band’s best album and one of the most solidly brilliant pop-punk albums ever.

One thing that is noticed right off the bat is that this album is unlike anything the band has ever done before. It’s darker and mildly experimental, at least by pop-punk’s standards. Blink-182 decided to try some new things on this album, including the use of other instruments, like pianos and six string basses. This was the record where the band decided to let their influences shine through, something that they failed to do with previous albums. Tom Delonge hasn’t been secretive about the fact that Fugazi is one of his favorite bands, and in some tracks, most notably Stockholm Syndrome and Easy Target, you can definitely recognize a post-hardcore influence. Mark, Tom, and Travis also cited bands like The Police and Pink Floyd as an influence for this record, which is certainly apparent in songs like Asthenia, All of This, and Always.

Although the band definitely moved in a new direction, they certainly didn’t completely abandon their old sound. Most of the songs on here are very reminiscent of their previous material, yet with a prominent tinge of maturity. It’s interesting that for all the talk of maturity, the subject matter of this album rarely travels beyond love and relationships. On previous records, the band had been known to delve into such topics as suicide and parental hardships, yet on this album there is really only one song that crosses the definitive pop-punk borders into a quote-unquote grown-up subject. Even so, there is still an undeniably mature writing style present on every track, particularly with the use of metaphor and rhyme (or lack of, in some cases).

In addition to the improved lyrics, the songwriting is also excellent. For a band that previously wrote albums that consisted almost exclusively of fast pop-punk songs, it’s really quite the accomplishment to write songs that concentrate on the slower, more melodic side of the music. The band technically still follows the standard verse-chorus-bridge formula, but they focus more on buildups and climaxes; elements that were rarely, if ever, explored in previous albums. My one complaint about this whole album is that the spotlight is on Tom for most of the album. There is only one song where Mark does all the lead singing, which is Here’s Your Letter, one of the best songs on the album. I would complain more if Tom didn’t do such a great job with the vocals. His voice is more impassioned than ever, exemplified best in what is quite possibly Blink-182’s best song ever, Asthenia.

Catchiness has always been a staple of Blink-182’s music, and that doesn’t change on this album. Basically, this record take everything that made Blink-182 so great in the first place, and meshes it with something new and invigorating, resulting in quite a refreshing sound. It’s apparent that the same old formula that they had used for previous albums just wouldn’t fit with what was happening in the band member’s lives. With each member over thirty and married, I’m sure that fart jokes didn’t appeal to the band that much anymore. One great thing about this album is that all the songs are different from their other material, yet just as catchy. From the light hearted Feeling This to the dark Easy Target, Blink-182 shows a phenomenal ability to be catchy yet mature.

With all this talk of maturity, it is somewhat ironic that the band decided to open up this album with Feeling This. The subject of the song is sex, which is nothing we haven’t heard from the band before. More than anything, the song serves as a goodbye to Blink-182’s former sound; one last example of what they were leaving behind, and what lay ahead. The album really starts with Obvious, which is one of the darkest, heaviest pop-punk songs I’ve ever heard. The experimental side of the band really starts to show here, as Tom recorded some of the vocals while standing 15 feet away from the microphone. And from there, the band takes us on a wild ride. Songs range from the acoustic I Miss You to the mellow Down to the experimental The Fallen Interlude. This album really does have it all.

I suppose that my only justification for the classic rating is that I love every song on this record, and I believe that it is the pinnacle of not only Blink-182’s career, but the pop-punk genre as a whole. This album showed the most musical and lyrical growth that I have ever seen from a band. Everything that the band had done well in the past was matured, refined, improved upon, and put into this album. All of the previous albums had all been building up to this masterpiece. It took ten years for the band to mature and refine their sound, but it was certainly worth the wait. Personally, I don’t think that the band should reunite, as it would be nearly impossible to top what they have done with this self-titled record. Perhaps it was better for the band to go out on top, in a blaze of glory, than to follow up with sub par material. So here’s to you, Blink-182. It was certainly a wild and exciting ride. Thanks for growing up with us.

…I hope I won’t forget you…




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user ratings (2495)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 21st 2006



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Intro is shaky, to say the least, but otherwise, I'm pretty happy with this one.

Hatshepsut
October 21st 2006



1997 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

OMG HE'S BACK

Edit: Man, you got me to wanna listen to this again. Triumphant return This Message Edited On 10.21.06

The Jungler
October 21st 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is my second favorite Pop-Punk album of time (...Is a Real Boy being number one), so I agree with you a great deal.
Brilliant review as well.

iarescientists
October 21st 2006



5863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, that was a hell of a review.

I give you a week before you're banned again, no offense.

The Jungler
October 21st 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ugh its distgusting how this is lower than almost all of Blink's catalog.

pulseczar
October 21st 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ur rockin the world again custis m/

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 21st 2006



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The irony. I just referenced this in my Phantom Planet review. Good review, the album sucks.

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

AnyColour74
October 21st 2006



1054 Comments


good review chan, dont have this blink album though

Acey
October 21st 2006



2578 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

good chan, got a pos for you. i have never really liked blink, but i will pop this in once in while

Otisbum
October 21st 2006



1912 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review Chan, and a pretty good CD, although I have only really listened to Feeling This, Down, and I Miss You.

tom79
October 21st 2006



3364 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This and Dude Ranche are probably their best albums, though they are very different. This review makes me want to listen to this again...This Message Edited On 10.21.06

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

francesfarmer
October 21st 2006



1477 Comments


The review was good, the album was not.

TojesDolan
October 21st 2006



271 Comments


I liked the album. It's not exactly the "lyrical-musical-experience" of your lifetime, but they achieved the purpose they looked for. Good review.

metallicaman8
October 21st 2006



4677 Comments


Nice review, Jackass.

Pyramidman
October 21st 2006



1340 Comments


^^be nice now


i didnt like this album as much at first
but the review makes me want to go relisten to it
and this is, what, chans third alt account?

Hatshepsut
October 21st 2006



1997 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is his first account.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 21st 2006



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

and this is, what, chans third alt account?

wtf



Angmar
October 21st 2006



2689 Comments


great job man i can tolerate this but wouldnt listen to it much but welcome back (Again) ill vote :D

Mister Mop
October 22nd 2006



266 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

good review

crap album

This Message Edited On 10.22.06

Mister Mop
October 22nd 2006



266 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

chan > everything else in this world

im such a 'chanboy' ....(however wrong that sounds)This Message Edited On 11.02.06



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