Blink-182 / Neighborhoods


Blink-182 is an American rock band consisting of vocalist and bass guitarist Mark Hoppus, vocalist and guitarist Tom DeLonge, and drummer Travis Barker. They have sold over 27 million albums worldwide since forming in Poway, California in 1992. With original drummer Scott Raynor they released their debut album Cheshire Cat in 1994 and achieved moderate success with its follow-up, 1997’s Dude Ranch, which went on to sell over one million copies. Raynor was replaced by Barker midway through a 1998 tour.

The band achieved greater success with 1999’s multi-platinum selling Enema of the State, which reached number 9 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the singles “What’s My Age Again” and “All the Small Things“, the latter of which became the highest-charting song of their career by reaching number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Blink-182 gained popularity for their irreverent sense of humor, and the follow-up album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001) reached number 1 in the United States, Canada, and Germany. The eponymously-titled Blink-182 followed in 2003 and was a stylistic shift for the group, infusing experimental elements into their usual pop punk formula which resulted in a more mature sound.

DeLonge left Blink-182 in early 2005, sending the band into indefinite hiatus. He went on to form Angels & Airwaves while Hoppus and Barker formed +44. Hoppus also pursued a career as a television host while Barker continued working in music as a producer and solo artist. Blink-182 reunited in February 2009 and their sixth studio album, Neighborhoods, was released on September 27, 2011.

The Analysis:

Ghosts On The Dance Floor—-With an intro that reminds you of early Blink, the tide turns suddenly and becomes a much more AWA flavored romp through post-punk fun. The sound of the band has changed…but to my delight, but much to the disdain of die-hard fans. This reminds me so much of AWA but the added backdrop vocals and the frantic drums from Barker keep it all legit. The chorus on this track is huge and addictive…this is just magical for me.

Natives—-With a much more upbeat tempo that hearkens back to the mid 90’s, this is really nice. Trading vocal duties, it is amazing how much different the band sounds and the energy it produces when Hoppus in charge of the vocal. The drums are incredible….as always and the noise generated by the band is sublime, all the while still holding on to the direction Hoppus took when he left the band.

Up All Night—-Churning out incredible energy from the very first chord, the song suddenly takes a more mellow turn, but manages to keep a focus on energy and mayhem also. This is perhaps a favorite of mine….I love when you get that huge overblown AWA sound with Barker pounding the hell out of the drums in the backdrop. The sound has huge effects and the atmosphere is thick as hell….I fucking love this CD…many will hate it!!!

After Midnight—-This is another of those tracks that magically and successfully mixes the old with the new. The saving grace for this entire release as far as old fans go is Travis. If you love Angels the way I do, this will be in your ear for many months to come…iof you are looking for old school Blink…you will be sad and confused.

Snake Charmer—-From the onset, this is flooded with great atmosphere and a Cure inspired bass line that lets me know this is right where I want it to be. the static and energy is fully intact….all the while, Barker is lost in his own groove. The vocal enters and this is straight AWA…but the energy is all Blink….the best of both worlds come together to put a smile on my face that will last for an eternity. This is remarkable!!!!

Hearts All Gone Interlude—-This 2 minute interlude is moody and circumspect. A nice piece of music, it makes you wonder where the whole thing is going as it slowly merges into…..

Hearts All Gone—-Full of high throttle energetic music, this is what all of the die hards have been waiting for. This is so high-powered and energetic, you wonder how the hell these people have come back together to form this very different record. This is frantic and hight powered old school energy. I love this…the magical thing is how well it all works against and with each other.

Wishing Well—-This is another of those songs that reminds you of the early days but later in the band’s career. this would have fit perfectly on the last proper release from this band before the split. This is very much in the same vein….and can I ever say enough about the wonders of Barker and his pummeling….no, probably not!!!

Kaleidoscope—-OMG…..this is fantastic……Imagine AWA with Hoppus as the lead singer and in comes DeLonge to add his whine…..this is almost brilliant. the lyrics are poignant and meaningful and the tempo is led by the cymbal crashes and cow bells from Barker. Jeez……I am so in love with this CD!!!!

This Is Home—-This is another of those phenomenal tracks that seems to meld the best of the two separate bands into one huge sound. This track has a nice energy, but the vocal is pure AWA. All the while Barker reminds anyone listening who is in charge…despite the added keyboards and atmosphere. This is just incredible…as my dude Sean says….jizztastic!!!!

MH 4.18.2011—-Plain out-and-out high energy post-punk rock!!! This is a lot of fun and nice to hear….this is remarkably placed…breaking up the record rather nicely. This is energetic and full of that almost surf sound…how nice to know the old grown up boys can still find a common place to play together and produce a rather eclectic record. Fantastic!!!!

Love Is Dangerous—-Delivering a bit of a deeper sound, this is still classic. The amazing double vocals and harmonies makes this almost addictive from the very first listen. i could not ask more for a return release. this is def in the AWA vein, but still manages to hold on to a bit of cred at the same time…I love this CD….now one of my favorite Blink releases!!!!

Fighting The Gravity—-Probably one of the most surprising tracks on this release, the entire band seems to try to fall into the AWA vibe and it ends up rather than stellar. If there is a least favorite track on this CD, this would be it. The bass is incredible, but the muted sound and the quasi-pychedelia is really odd for me…..not really a winner…but I’m not ruling out that it will grow on me…..

Even If She Falls—-Ending this release in high energy mode, the song seems to level off just to allow for the AWA vocal……thanks you!!!! I love this CD….this is an amazing adventure that i will have the privilege of re-living a million times more for the next forever!!!! Thanks boys…even if there is nothing else…this is just incredible!!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]


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