Angels & Airwaves/I-Empire

The second chapter in the career of ‘pop-punk’ super group Angels & Airwaves. The album, released in Nov. of 2007, th band includes members of or former members of Blink-182/Box-Car Racer/Hazen Street/The Offspring & 30 Seconds To Mars. The release continues much in the vein of the first release…grand and huge….produced and masterful. Despite the reformation of Blink-182, the bands 3rd release, Love, is set for release in February 2010.

Call To Arms—-I will be the first to admit that I have an unhealthy zeal for this band…they are very high on my adoration list. The intro to this song only solidifies why….the sound is HUGE…80’s inspired with Tom’s vocals even more masterful than ever. The layers of music are almost orgasmic to me…the chorus is a tender sentiment that will make you melt with the whine that it is delivered in. This is really big rock….to me personally, it was everything Delonge said it would be. Wonderful!!!! The U2overtones are incredible.

Everything’s Magic—-Beginning with an irresistable pop-punk inspired beat, the vocal is unforgettable. the handclaps…which seem simple…make the song what it is….it adds a dimension that would not be there otherwise. Delonge whines his way through a remarkable vocal performance that is unforgettable. The song has every pop sensibility that is necessary for smash stardom…I adore this band…perhaps I am biased?

Breathe—-From the onset, the song is sedate and serious. The lyrical images are is hard to think of Delonge back singing about his penis and bodily functions in Blink. This is an exquisite and beautiful song, the musical landscapes are layered and filled with a sadness that is hard to shake. A modern love song…every word will tear your eye. Wonderful!!

Love Like Rockets—-Full of soundbites and effects, this seems as if it belonged on the first release. Make no doubt, the pop sensibilities are very intact. There is really nothing punk about this track…so perhaps I put it in the wrong category. This song is d heavily layered piece of sentimental songwriting genius, with a damn magical musical canvass. This is wonderful…fresh and shiny new a year after it’s release.

Sirens—-With a nice bass intro, the song is still filled with epic 80’s sounds. The vocal is so DeLonge, you could never mistake whom you were listening to. The chorus is a grand affair that is overlayed in production. The overlays make the song huge and layered with emotion. This is damn well produced…every sound is crisp and clear and the vocal as real and raw as you need it to be. I can’t say enough good about this band.

Secret Crowds—-Again, from the onset, very 80’s inspired rock. The song explodes into a really nice Alt-rock anthem that has a huge sound and makes me want to turn it louder and louder, The whine is in full effect and works to an incredible effect. The chorus to this song is HUGE!!!! The sound just wraps your brain in the irresistable edge of the song…you will think about this song for days…it will wake you from your dreams…it will inspire you…it will piss you off….it will move you. Exactly what music is all about.

Star Of Bethlehem—-With more spacial, Pink Floydinspired sounds, the song open up like a filmation flower bloom. The birth is slow and tedious, but each new push introduces something new. As the whole sound emerges to completion, it in itself is like a life cycle as it slows and ebbs, adds and subtracts. The song is a grand affair…atmospheric and moving ……and moves into

True Love—-The song slowly unfolds and explodes with a better jangle guitar than U2 could ever hope for. I hate to beat an expression to death, but this song is HUGE!!! There are layers and layers of sound and the emotion is everywhere…the vocal is whiny and needy, the guitar is driving yet plantive…the drums are crashing in a modest sense. This is pure beauty.

Lifeline—-Borrowing still from the synth sounds of the 80’s, the song begins like a throwback to that magical time in musical history. The vocal emerges and you are surprised by the ultra serious nature of it. The chorus is a fantastic whiny, masterful vocal that surprises you and makes the hair stand on your neck. This is simply beautiful…the emotions are heavily layered in instrumentation and vocal delivery. There is NOTHING bad about this song.

Jumping Rooftops—-With a heavy synth inspired intro, the guitars are slow to emerge, but can be heard trying to break through. The synth slows and welcomes the full throttle of the guitar and drums. The song has a faster pace and is more driving. The vocal is still sedate and serious, but he instruments seem even more in your face. I can hear the constant brush of the cymbal as the song relies on that sound for the tempo. This is wonderful…when the song opens up to the chorus it is pure masterful 80’s inspired new wave. This is beautiful.

Heaven–Beginning with an organ intro, the guitars appear and break through the mood. The organ, for a time is still very present in the mix until the synths and drums enter into the fray and you lose that hum of the backdrop. The guitars and pace of the song are more aggressive but still inspired by classic big sounds of the 80’s. This is pure pop masterful music that makes you think, question and further ponder.

***** out of 5


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