Album Review: Blink 182 – Neighbourhoods
The kings of pop punk return. Is it the same as it was 8 years ago? Short answer. No. Blink 182 have grown up for better or worse.
Blink 182 went on “indefinite hiatus” back in 2004 after guitarist/co-vocalist Tom Delogne wanted to take a break to spend time with family. A public spat opened within the band with Delogne on one side and bassist/co-vocalist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker on the other. Delogne went on to form hugely successful indie rock band Angels & Airwaves whilst Hoppus and Barker went on to form Blink 182 copycat and all round flop +44. The band decided to reform after Barker survived a plane crash that claimed the lives of everyone else on board. The band reunited over the tragedy which led to their brand new album “Neighbourhoods”
Those of you who have listened to Blink 182 circa 1994-2004 will remember them as a fun loving band, who wrote catchy hits, with hilariously inappropriate lyrics and videos. Songs like First Date and Rock Show are all staples of the trio’s career. They also have serious songs under their belt such as Adam’s Song (a song about suicide); Stay Together for the Kids (a song about divorce) and I Miss You (says it in the title). I, like all the other Blink fans out there, had our fingers crossed for the new album. A nice mix of serious and fun was what we wanted, especially the UK fans who had a tour pushed back by a year just so this album could be completed to its best standard. Was it worth the wait though? Not really.
The album is made up of ten songs all together. The first song “Ghost on the Dance Floor” is about hearing music that reminds you of a time in your life, a reference to the band re-listening to their old albums after they reformed. “Kaleidoscope” is about the length of time they spent recording the album and how much they grew up whilst in the studio. For those who don’t know DeLogne and Hoppus share equal amounts of vocals and lyric writing as well as writing their own instrumental parts. DeLonge wrote lyrics about breakdowns in communication and trust as well as isolation. Hoppus stated he found it harder to write funny lyrics due to the “heavy events” that took place before their reunion. This leads to them sounding like Angels & Airwaves mark II featuring Travis Barker who’s drumming would fit into Hip Hop.
That’s the album’s problem. Rather than coming together as a united pop punk band they come together as three different people with three different musical tastes, leaving the album’s instrumentals in a mess. Travis Barker’s hip hop style drumming is not only out of place but boring. I expected a lot from Barker who is considered one of the world’s best drummers but he lets himself down, Tom DeLogne’s stadium rock style guitars might work well with his gag inducing side project but they don’t blend well with Blink’s image and Mark Hoppus’ “weird indie pop” bass lines are lost in-between the other instruments. Vocally the band is still sound with the lyrics as catchy as ever however it’s a shame that Hoppus’ role has been cut down so considerably, especially since DeLonge has opted for his irritating nasally voice from Angels and Airwaves on this album.
I give this album 6/10 as all in all this is a disappointing album. The band hyped it up to the point where it was worth rescheduling a tour to finish it and in the end the hype doesn’t live up to expectations especially for the British fans. That’s not to say there aren’t a few decent songs such as Up all Night and MH 4.18.2011. Hopefully they’ll make up for it when I see them in June but until then Blink have definitely lost their mojo.
For fans of: Pop Punk. Green Day, New Found Glory
Listen to: MH 4.18.2011, Up All Night, Wishing Well.