Album Review: Blink-182 – Neighbourhoods
The kings of pop-punk, Blink-182, have returned with their follow up from 2003’s self-titled album, Neighborhoods. This is possibly one of rock’s biggest comebacks because of the sheer impact Blink have made on their ever growing fan-base. The band are well-known for their catchy songs and hilarious lyrics. Neighborhoods is far from being an album that revolves around the aspects of teenage life. The album exposes the darker side to Blink where some songs are based around their break-up, transformation of the band and the lengthy process in which Neighborhoods was produced. So does the album deliver and fulfil expectations for die-hard Blink-182 fans after the six year break-up? Yes and no.
Neighborhoods is an incredible comeback because it shows all members of the band combining all their different side-projects into one with the sprinkle of Blink-182 producing a very unique style. The album consists of guitarist Thomas Delonge bearing hints of stadium rock, drummer Travis Barker infusing hip hop effortlessly and bassist Mark Hoppus’ catchy and thumping bass-lines. But Neighborhoods can be very bland in places where some songs just seem very repetitive in terms of song structure. In my opinion Blink-182’s 2003 self-titled album has the edge over Neighborhoods because it is a lot more appealing in the quality of songs. Neighborhoods begins with Ghost on the Dancefloor which is where we first encounter and hear Delonge’s iconic sound from side-project Angels & Airwaves fused with Barker’s sensational drumming. The track Natives is a complete contrast to Ghost. Natives encompasses Barker’s sheer brute force drumming which reflects lyrics “I’m like a cat in a cage, locked up and battered and bruised” so perfectly. Hoppus’ haunting chorus, rife with the imagery of Jekyll and Hyde shows the band’s clever lyrics.
Up All Night is the band’s lead single for Neighborhoods. Delonge’s lyrics “And all these demons they keep me up all night” shows that with the irreconcilable differences behind them, there is a part of the split that still haunts him. “You seemed so sweet at the start but the start’s all wrong. You say you speak from your heart but your heart’s all gone” which Hoppus belts out in Heart’s All Gone. The track is one of the highlights of the album because not only does it define Blink so well but it also blends the best elements of their younger years with the weathered vision of their late 30’s.
Overall this is one of rock’s finest comebacks where Blink-182 have done something very risque which would leave fans appalled or jumping all over the place in excitement. The deluxe edition has some additional songs on it such as Even If She Falls, Snake Charmer, Heart’s All Gone Interlude and Fighting The Gravity which adds some lovely finishing touches to the album. If anything die-hard Blink fans should be impressed with Neighborhoods as the band have pulled out all stops for this album. Blink-182 are definitely back and ready to achieve global domination once again.