Review Summary: As a well-crafted and logical progression from 2014's Dreamwalker, Chasing Shadows gives listeners a good idea of whats to come.
In what is my first review ever, I've decided to give a quick-handed look at Chasing Shadows, a new EP from Angels and Airwaves, aka Tom DeLonge and Ilan Rubin. Tom DeLonge and his original band blink-182 has been an extremely important part of my music life since I first starting listening to them at the end of my senior year in high school. I've loved everything in their catalogue, from Cheshire Cat to Dogs Eating Dogs, as each era of Blink has been able to satisfy the many emotions I've felt as a teenager and young adult.
Although AVA is only 1/3rd the blink-182 lineup, the genius of the music in its ability to captivate my often hard to describe feelings has more or less carried over, no matter what album Tom has put out with this band. Since AVA's Dreamwalker release in late 2014 however, the band has strayed from its stadium space rock of previous records in favor of a more eighties-esque alternative rock with modern influences. In many ways it was a vast departure from their original sound and while it was a welcome change, it was the sort of album that needed to grow on a listener. With every repeat, the songs got catchier and the beautifully fine details of the songs with its synths and interwoven guitars all the more crisp.
Since then, every release has had that groovy feel to it. However, with this EP it seems that Angels and Airwaves has finally settled into their new sound while still retaining the best elements of their past releases. The beauty of Tom's craft is his ability to write a really catchy but simple guitar riff, sometimes even a rehash of his previous works, but in such a way that it feels fresh. This EP has no lack of Tom's signature riffs, deliciously written in the same vein as songs like The Last Flight of Apollo from Love Pt. 1 or even Golden Showers in the Golden State from his solo album back in April of last year.
This release is lyrically reminiscent of Dreamwalker, the zeitgeist of a once boy-for-a-living turned man who now at 40 has had to make a few very important decisions about the direction he wants his life to go in. But just as listeners heard in We Don't Need to Whisper and I-Empire, Tom believes in where he is going. So in that case, in Chasing Shadows Tom sends the message once again "I am on my way, unstoppable/Pure at heart, a king infallible/Great big ***in' time, so powerful, I".