Blink-182 Reemerges with their Impressive Sixth Album “Neighborhoods”

Blink-182 Reemerges with their Impressive Sixth Album Neighborhoods

tylercreighton

When a band breaks up, it can often be a crushing blow to the fan base it worked so hard to build.  This was the case when the pop punk group Blink-182 split up in 2005.  The three members Tom Delonge, Mark Hoppus, and Travis Barker left the band with strong feelings of animosity for each other, as their friendships had disintegrated and their brotherly bond was no longer there.  Delonge went on to form the band Angels and Airwaves, while Hoppus and Barker stuck together to form +44.  The two bands had two completely different sounds, Angels and Airwaves embracing new technologies and computer based music editing techniques and +44 kept more of a conservative alternative rock feel.  The three maintained little contact over the years, however the two bands often sent obvious subliminal messages to each other through many of their lyrics and songs.  And after four years apart, it took a plane crash, in which Barker broke bones and was severely burned, to bring them back together.  This was when Blink-182 decided it was time to put past disputes behind them, and “play music together again”.

It’s been three years since Blink got on stage at the Grammys and announced their reformation, and since then they’ve been touring, writing, and promoting; all while trying rebuild a long lost friendship.  And just when fans began vocalizing their impatience for new music, the band members finally announced they would be releasing their sixth studio album, Neighborhoods, in late September.  As it turns out, it was very worth the wait.

When juxtaposed with albums like Enema of the State and Take off Your Pants and Jacket, it’s almost as if Neighborhoods were written by a different band.  It’s filled with dark lyrics, powerful guitar riffs, and even a couple synthesizers.  They’ve made it clear that they aren’t 23 year old high school drop outs anymore.  They are matured, 30-something fathers with structured lives and families.  As heard in their first single, “Up All Night”, they have new themes behind their music, new inner demons, and depressing new ideas like how “everyone lives to tell the tale of how we die alone someday”.   But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Their growing musical maturity level has come with increased talent, and most evident on the album, increased songwriting capabilities.  And Blink has proved they still have it by pulling off what all bands try to pull off but can never quite attain: writing an album in which simply every song is good.

Often, when a listener checks out a new album, they will switch songs frequently and skip back and forth to determine what they like or don’t.  That doesn’t happen with Neighborhoods.  Any remote fan will start with Track 1, the catchy and upbeat “Ghost on the Dance Floor”, sit there for 49.1 minutes (assuming they purchased the highly recommended deluxe version), and finish it off with “Even If She Falls”–a song that is especially reminiscent of an earlier Blink.  A specifically notable song is “After Midnight”, one of the better songs on the album and one of the better songs the band has ever written.  It is a perfect representation of everything the band is; a culmination of all the different sounds and styles each member picked up in his past and present side acts.  It’s slow, it’s heartfelt, and it’s about a girl.  Others that will most likely stand out include “Kaleidoscope”, “Snake Charmer”, and “Heart’s All Gone”, each of which requires Barker to buy a new drum set after he plays.  Once again, he has proven himself to be the backbone of the group as he adds something that every other generic alternative group doesn’t have: a drummer that tears it up.

Blink-182 has grown up with their fans, and has evolved into something totally different from their days of singing about bodily functions and cursing every other lyric.  The music is deep and has meaning now.  If you were never a fan of Blink-182 you might want to check out some of their new stuff, because it might appeal to you.  And if you’ve always loved and followed the band, then nothing should change.  As musicians, they have only improved, and will continue to improve as long as the the trend they’ve followed since the beginning of their careers continues.  One can only hope that they’ve had their fill of “indefinite hiatus’”.