Angels and Airwaves
Love - Part II


2.0
poor

Review

by KrazyKris USER (14 Reviews)
October 18th, 2014 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Just as one could start to believe in them...

Should I really begin with the damn obvious" No, I can't. Everyone just heard it again and again, the DeLonge quote announcing the "best rock record in decades". But it almost seems like an obligation to start off an Angels & Airwaves review like that. Simply because it isn't as laughable as it was back in 2006, it is even more nowadays. Five years in the product of Tom DeLonge's more than a bit narcissistic space-rock playing field, he started after blowing up blink-182, was not one ground-breaking masterpiece. Instead people got three LPs that swayed somewhere in between pompous, self-staging crap and bombastic U2-esque boredom. Au contraire, one might say, 2010's "Love" doesn't fit into those categories, being entertaining, balanced, focused and a damn fun listen at times. But just as one could start to believe in the qualities of A&A, all they do is demonstrating us all their flaws in just one record.

Why that happens isn't that much of a mystery, if you take a few minutes to compare their work on "Love: Part Two" with their earlier material. Because Tom obviously got to a point were he doesn't really know what to do anymore, so he just reuses half a dozen songs he's written before and tries to conceal that with an even more accessible, pop-based sound. Let's just take a look at opener Saturday Love. After an intro that somehow manages to be reminiscent of both, Eurythmics and the X-Files opening song, you get the same jangly guitars that defined "I-Empire" and the same pseudo-personal lyrics that made Tom look like a fool years before. Yet, hating it seems hard, seeing that the feeling for catchy pop hooks and a chorus that draws you into the songs instantly - no matter if you like it or not - is still there.

That very quality defines many up-beat tunes here. Lead single Anxiety features a heavy riff that harkens back to The War or Hallucinations, is reminiscent of a dozen U2 songs. With its kind of hymnic chorus and the straight-forward approach it is one of the few saviors of this record. The other one has to be the infectious jam One Last Thing. Maybe I'm the only one, who thinks that it starts off in the vein of an 80's adventure game soundtrack. No matter if so, cause the jangly guitars and the vintage synths paired with Atom Willard's great drums make for one of their most relaxed and joyful tunes and definitely for one of their most memorable too.

So far, so good. What drags down many other tunes however is the obvious recycling of some of the band's earlier songs. The fast-paced Surrender takes its melody and especially it's chorus directly from Sirens, ruins it with some of the crappiest lines in rock history though:

"When God falls fast asleep
The kids still move to a steady beat
Even if its bombs landing at their feet
Or all around I'm just saying that this time I feel it now"

Dry Your Eyes on the other hand is a sped up version of "Love"'s Shove, lacking the atmosphere of the latter, instead aiming for another catchy tune, only this time it ends in mediocrity hardly worth mentioning.

Listening to the slower tracks another problem pops up. It's no mystery that DeLonge's lyrics, floating around somewhere in the waters of ultimate cheesiness and the longing for them to sound meaningful, are at times cringeworthy, sometimes even worse. That's all the more obvious in the balladesque songs with the music just setting the stage for his voice and his message. Problematic both because of the highly unspectacular instrumentation, helplessly trying to build up some atmosphere, and because of the almost comical lines you find in there.
So neither Moon As My Witness nor the slightly Cure-inspired The Revelator and especially not the embarrassing closer All That We Are - think Green Day's Are We The Waiting only way further down on the road to infinite pathos - have too much to offer. Even more so as Moon As My Witness only expands the instrumental that was the Shove-outro a year earlier, The Revelator is rhythmically in the same territory as Hallucinations and all that gets "supported" by the boring slow piano-remake of Anxiety, My Heroine.

Somewhere in that lifeless mess you find a lone wolf, a diverting piece called Behold A Pale Horse. Building on the formula of One Last Thing, the distinctive pairing of cheap sounding keys and memorable drums, it marks the last attempt to save what can't be saved anymore.

Usually I hate to refer to so many different songs just to describe an album. But it seemed inevitable this time. Cos the main reason why entertaining doesn't exactly fit as a description for "Love: Part Two" is its overuse of old ideas, of long heard melodies. Now I'm not the guy that screams rip-off whenever two songs sound alike, but the reproduction of the band's very own material is everything but a blessing for fans, mostly due to the rather lacklustre way the it is done here. Hardly ever this album comes off as vital, energetic or even well-balanced. Too much is outdated, too much sounds stale and too often it seems like the big guy on the mic doesn't really know what to do with his backing band. A setback, a letdown, an inglorious ending to the promising "Love" project. And still it isn't their worst album…


Recommended tracks:

Saturday Love
Anxiety
One Last Thing



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user ratings (295)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
SowingSeason STAFF (3)
The complete realization of Tom DeLonge’s ambition…take that for what you will....

sharkmsc (4)
The likely peaking of Angels and Airwaves' chemistry and relevance as a band....



Comments:Add a Comment 
KrazyKris
October 18th 2014


2749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Damn, this review really isn't well-written.

Snake.
October 18th 2014


21389 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i still have a really soft side for these guys





all that we are rules

KrazyKris
October 18th 2014


2749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Probably their worst track for me, though they had a few pretty awful ones. Never liked them

anyway, however "Love" was decent work

Froot
October 18th 2014


1910 Comments


Oh god I remember when "Surrender" was used as one of the theme songs to WrestleMania 29, and those vocals were the cringiest shit I'd ever heard.

KrazyKris
October 18th 2014


2749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Have you ever heard Tom as A&A singer live? He's

horrible



And why the hell did they use an A&A song for

Wrestlemania?

Snake.
October 18th 2014


21389 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Post-2004 Tom DeLonge takes some time to get used to.

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 19th 2014


29583 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Tom DeLonge has always been a terrible vocalist



The only reason anyone tolerates him is for nostalgia

Digging: Copeland - Blushing

KriegdemKriege
October 19th 2014


1544 Comments


"Damn, this review really isn't well-written."

Alright, you just earned yourself a neg.

I didn't read the review.

Don't submit material you know isn't good.

scottpilgrim10
October 19th 2014


4750 Comments


maybe he's jokng? I can't tell.

KriegdemKriege
October 19th 2014


1544 Comments


Pretty funny joke!

Haha I don't think he's joking, but if he is I'll rescind my neg.

scottpilgrim10
October 19th 2014


4750 Comments


ikr

KrazyKris
October 19th 2014


2749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Not really joking. It isn't exactly terrible, everything but

that. It's just I'm hardly ever really satisfied with my

reviews. Probably shouldn't have written the comment.



But it definitely isn't so bad that it'd be wrong to submit

it.



ChoccyPhilly
October 19th 2014


11794 Comments


umm right, so you asked for feedback:

The problems i can see are kind of embedded within the entire review. Your grammar really fails you here and it turns it into a very choppy review by constantly startin sentences with "because" and "but" in the first paragraph for example.

the approach is a little odd too. At times, you're treating this like a discussion by saying "so far, so good" but then you become more formal when describing what songs sound like. The worlds don't blend well in this instance and lines like "crappiest lines" or "catchy tunes" seemed out of place and again, makes the review feel disnjointed.

That being said, you back up your points well and we get that you take this album as a joke, but it feels like you take this review as a joke too.

I get english isn't your first language and it's actually not a bad review, it just has its flaws. Hope this helps

Digging: Bliss Signal - Bliss Signal

KrazyKris
October 19th 2014


2749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks, appreciate it. I just recognized there's a sentence whose meaning even I don't get at first glance.



Probably wasn't a good choice for a review. I mean, I had an idea what it should sound like and what I wanted to get across, but it somehow wasn't as easy to write as the last two unfortunately. I just hate to "refine" my reviews apart from grammar and spelling mistakes though, because they always seem to turn out worse than in the original version.

Crawl
October 19th 2014


2557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A thing many people would call a guilty pleasure

Snake.
October 19th 2014


21389 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeh

MUNGOLOID
October 19th 2014


4496 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The ultimate guilty pleasure band rly.



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