Blink-182 have just completed their European Tour and so the question is was their comeback album ‘Neighborhoods’ worth the wait?
First of all I would just like to say that I think the band are one brilliant live and put on a fantastic show, not only with their music but with their jokes and the way they interact with each other. Yes it can be immature listening to them talk about each other’s mothers but you can’t help but laugh and this is basically what made them so successful. Now, they are older this album has put a stop to all the jokes about having sex with dogs and getting dumped by girlfriends but they also haven’t experimented too much so they haven’t alienated their loyal fans and have given them a chance of getting new followers. They know what everyone loved about them but they knew it would sound weird, as they are now middle age singing about teenage problems so they have continued what they were doing but they have cleverly developed it.
There are a number of examples where their songs from this album could fit into their old ones. ‘Natives’ has an upbeat tempo and is definitely a classic ‘blink-182’ song and would not look out of place on ‘Enema of the State’. ‘After Midnight’ was a last minute addition to the album after they cancelled their original European Tour and in my opinion is one of their better songs so I am glad they included it, this is another instant classic and could be on the ‘Take off Your Pants and Jacket’ album. The most remarkable song on the album though, is the very impressive ‘Heart’s All Gone’ as it is instantly accessible as it perfectly blends elements from one of their very first studio albums, ‘Dude Ranch’ and their previous ‘Blink-182’. It is a high energy pop-punk song and just makes you want to jump around by listening to it. Plus, it also proves to me that Travis Barker is the best drummer in the world right now and his near death experience hasn’t stopped his speed and accuracy with the drumsticks.
All three members of the band brought together different ideas and it is clear to see that Tom DeLonge brought more of a stadium rock back with him from Angels & Airwaves, while Barker brought back with him more of a hip-hop feel and it is difficult to judge what Mark Hoppus brought back but I suppose you could describe it as an unconventional indie rock. All these different sounds create something new but they do manage to stay catchy, the song ‘Kaleidoscope’ is about the band’s transformation as it is new but recognisable. I think this song will be a lot of people’s favourites especially if you prefer Hoppus to DeLonge.
The album covers many different themes but a recurrent one is definitely death. It opens with ‘Ghost on the Dancefloor’ and is about hearing a song you shared with someone that has passed away. The band got back together after two deaths and Barker was terribly affected by this song as it reminded him of DJ AM.
Not everything they try is a success such as ‘Fighting the Gravity’ which just tries too much to be different and at times you want Hoppus to do more as at times it does feel like DeLonge is the lead and at times he can be a little too whiny and it can get too much. DeLonge was always at his best when he was making jokes in his songs but when he is trying to be serious all the time it can get a little irritating. Blink-182 are back and it was worth the wait but hopefully next time they will give Hoppus more tracks to himself.