I-Empire review by Angels & Airwaves

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  • Released: Nov 6, 2007
  • Sound: 5
  • Lyrics: 2
  • Overall Impression: 3
  • Reviewer's score: 3.3 Poor
  • Users' score: 8.3 (224 votes)
Angels & Airwaves: I-Empire

Sound — 5
This is the second album offering from DeLonge and co strangely entitled "I-Empire" with the first being "We don't Need To Whisper". First criticism is of course the album title "I-Empire," another product of the so called 'I Generation'? nowadays it seems as if an 'I' is placed in front of something it's deemed cool but hey it's just an album title! This is a rock album, twelve tracks in length but you can't help but feel cheated due to the fact that one song in particular, 'Star Of Bethlehem' that was originally realeased last Christmas for a KROQ compliation is divided stupidly into two songs for "I-Empire" titled 'Star Of Bethlehem' and 'True Love' and also another track entitled 'Jumping Rooftops' is a time wasting 45 seconds instrumental track that my nine year old brother could put together using GarageBand. The overall sound and structure is quite similar to "We Don't Need To Whisper" however the band do stray of track with songs 'Everythings Magic' and 'Rite Of Spring' the formers main riff sounding identical to 'Anthem Part 2' by Blink 182 and the ladder song a dismal potrayal of Delonge's teenage years. Maybe I'm being too harsh but when I listen to this album it's seems as if the band struggled to make up the twleve tracks, as if they ran out of ideas because a lot is regurgitated over and over, the same effects, the long intros, the stadium-like sounds but overall it is very polished and does sound great when turned up loud!

Lyrics — 2
A song writer in general will and should progress and get better with time and practice, this cannot be said for Tom Delonge and I'm talking words and lyrics here not music! Lyrically Angels and Airwaves are very different to Blink 182 and Boxcar Racer. Where he used to write and sing about angst, relationships, break ups, depression, teenage fun etc he now writes and sings about, that's the thing, what does he sing about? you certainly cannot relate to any Angels and Airwaves song! How many of us can actually say we've experienced "I held my head as it left the ground, the belts grew tight as the blast grew loud, a loving wish whispered in my ear" whereas millions of fans worldwide could relate to Blink 182 and the darker Boxcar Racer. In my opinion Tom Delonge is trying to hard, he's desperately trying to be something he's not! He comes across as an arrogant rock star (not just on record but live as well, the struts, the moon stomps, the speeches etc) craving for attention! Anyway back to the lyrics actually, no thanks! If you want to hear Delonge at his best listen to Blink 182's self titled or Boxcar Racer.

Overall Impression — 3
If you're a fan of U2 then you'll love this space age/stadium rock/U2-esque band. To be honest I'm not quite sure if Delonge has yet to win over the many Blink 182 fans he betrayed but I can honestly say Plus 44 (former Blink 182 memebers Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker) are much better. Best song on the album would have to be 'Sirens' as it's a departure from the rest of the album, with the Blink 182 like bass riff and catchy pre-choruses. Overall a very pretentious and predictable second and hopefully final album from Angel and Airwaves. I dread to think what the forthcoming Angels and Airwaves motion picture is like!

53 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I really like this album!! I think it's a lot better than 'We dont need to whisper' rite of spring is a great track
    seriously people, stop trying to compare AVA to blink-182. it's like comparing a dolphin to a watermelon: they're completely different in every way possible. anyways, great album. much better than the first. the band is really taking a big step into a new direction of music, and i definitely applaud them for that.
    Sooo much better than the first album... a few songs on there will please Blink 182 fans, and they still like a bit of the "epic" arena rock on some of these. I wouldn't call the album dance-orientated... although one of the songs builds like European trance... to a ****ing big crescendo.
    blink-182 should just reunite it would be ten times better than anything AVA or +44 will come out with
    i dont see how going from such an awsome band as blink that tom can come out with this sucky music blink needs to reunite theyre music is 10 times better than anything AVA or +44 will ever make
    i think that avas new album is ****en retarted! and they do sound like blink in the song everythings magic the intro sounds just like the anthem part 2 and thats why its their best song... i think that the rest of their songs are shit. and i think that blink have to get back together coz they were way better then what angels and airwaves will ever be!
    it sucks that all these blink fans have not let go of blink. I loved blink 182 and i love +44 and AVA. AVA is different because its deeper than powerchords and rockshows. Oh and angels and airwaves will be around because of their vision and their backgrounds. don't besurprised if one day your views change on them.
    This cd is alright, Not really my style, but it had some fun songs. Kinda Depressing.
    I love this album...I loved We Dont need to Whisper, but for me this one is sooo much better, the lyrics are more meaningful and there is less repetition in this cd. I really don't think this is like 80's synth pop and it is ot dance oriented. I have no idea where that came from, this is just AvA
    Angels and Airwaves would be so much better if it weren't for the ridiculous arrogance and self-hyping Tom does. Some of the songs have really good potential, but just seem to go nowhere. I saw them in concert with Taking Back Sunday. They were unquestionably the most boring live act I've ever seen.
    AVA is ok....not the best band. I like +44 better. The new album is.....repetitive. And the song names are gayness
    Joey JoJo
    HaKattack wrote: The album cover looks like some lame 80's movie.
    It's done by the same fella who did the posters for the original Star Wars Trilogy.
    Ok, so I have both albums from AVA and I have the ONLY album from +44. Yet, people seem to think that +44 is better. Sure, if you're into Blink, then +44 is more your style, but AVA has still accomplished way more than +44. It's funny cuz in an interview with Mark Hoppus, he said part of the reason they broke up was because him and Travis wanted to keep working on music. Why do they only have one album? Plus, they only released one single from that album. AVA has done so well with their music. Tom is gifted lyrically. Sure, he does repeat himself in a few songs, but it's only to get his point across. The way I see it, if you don't like it, then why do you talk bad about it? Tom has accomplished a lot. Oh and as far as Blink getting back together...keep dreaming. You can see from both bands that that's never gonna happen.
    The problem with AVA is that Tom doesn't work well with those musicians. He had worked with Mark for soo long that they just had a way of making music. Their ideas tossed around and bounced off each other as well as singing. I think a lot of what people probably miss between +44 and AVA is the fact that there is only one singer. One thing I got used to was that Mark and Tom traded vocals, and in self-titled, they mingled them together much better for a grandoise album. Self-titled is the epitomy of Blink-182, and that's great. End on your best album, the apex of your perfection in a specific band with specific memembers (not musical style!) As for the new album... man, it's really not worth much. Tone back the electronics which hide your horrible rehashed guitar chords... the "spacey" feel is quite cliche and only really popular with DJ's and other bands... Tom went into an area that he's not fit for. Mixing "spacy" + "punk roots" is really... not anything interesting. I don't want to get into a fast-paced, heavy-chord song and have it whimper down into a flat spacey wave... that's really sad. Although they "buildup" to something.... it's... something. I wouldn't say much buildup to much. The lyrics for this album are atrocious. Tom seemed to completely forget himself when he left Blink-182, and left behind his writing skills. Although he's on a completely new style of writing, he just was not cut out for it. He did not "slide" into position with ease. His new writing doesn't fit at all. He took a que from Red Hot Chili Peppers and writes a whole bunch of strange lyrics, but at least RHCP's eventually mesh and make some sense when you hear the chorus and bridge, but I can't feel that with AVA... you're still left lost as new unrelated lyrics float into every line of his singing. I feel bad because I don't doubt that this band can produce something good, but I'm just not feeling it and I think too many people are just backing AVA because it's Tom and not because the band has any credibility. So far, there credibility with me is shot and I'll wait till they either break up or produce an album that can be actually listended over and over again, but until then... just shelf their album and nod your head if you hear the song on the radio, but don't go blarring it like it's the greatest thing you've ever heard... just some space-esque catchy pop-rock. Sorry, Tom. Get better. Find your place outside of punk, then reinvent your sound. Start there and end well.
    This is a mixed bag. On the one hand, Tom has returned to his roots of producing catchy, melodic tunes which you can tap your foot to. And on the other, Mr Delonge feels that his average-at-best voice (which was perfectly at home on a pop punk record) has somehow magically become amazing. It hasn't, Tom's attempts at creating melodic sounds and not words to fill in the gaps in his lyrics are laughable, akin to a performance of classic opera by a throat cancer victim. The vocals are largely unimaginative, which is also something that is at home on pop punk records, and leave the listener wondering if there was really any need for them. The highlight of Delonge's lyrical foray comes in the form of 'Rite of Spring' which is the closest that he has ever come to writing something truly beautiful. Unfortunately, he ruins it in the bridge towards the end of the song but singing oh-oh's and ah-ah's which highlight the inadequacy of his voice. The inclusion of 'Star of Bethlehem' is perhaps the greatest insult that Delonge has delivered his fans, and is as though he had run out of creativity and clutched at the closest thing he could find to being an original track. Whilst the album is bristling with potential, as was 'Whisper', Delonge & co fail to deliver once more. Due to Tom's big mouth, this failure is once again spectacular, and largely unnoticed. Listen to this album a few times and it becomes background music, perhaps more suited to an elevator, not your home stereo. Tom, you are not a rock god. Not any more.
    I liked the first album, but whenever i hear an album being described as "dance-oriented", that always sends a chill up my spine.
    "Taking a cue from '80s synth rock, Angels & Airwaves deliver rock with a dance-oriented twist on I-Empire." thats where i stopped
    +44's better than Angels and Airwaves. The only song I liked by AVA is 'The Adventure', and Box Car Racer had only one good song as well. That's 'There Is'. Just get Blink back and the world will be complete again.
    I must say this is one of the best albums I have ever heard. It's ten times better than the first one, and I love that one, too. I don't see what people don't like about it. All the songs are so catchy and just amazing. This is Tom DeLonge at his best.
    guitarkid2113 wrote: I like this album. I think it's pretty good. I don't know why you guys just "stop reading" because it says "dance oriented." Your just ignorant to other kinds of music.
    Im not ignorant to other types of music, its just Ive heard dance-oriented rock and its not my taste. So I can totally understand why people would get to "dance-oriented" and be like...THATS IT IM GOOD.
    Reduced_Fat wrote: "Taking a cue from '80s synth rock, Angels & Airwaves deliver rock with a dance-oriented twist on I-Empire." thats where i stopped
    Me too, Im to scared to go on
    i like this album, altho yeh rooftops is pointless imo. AVA is a good band but i have a feeling that they aint gonna last long. if they realease a 3rd album, how different is it gnna be to the 1st two??? my gut feeling is that it will just be repetative, and this is a type of band whos ideas may disintegrate after a while becuase of their style of music. i can lsn to blink frequently but i dunno about AVA.
    ive only heard one song from this album so far 'Everythings Magic' and i really like it, it sounds similar tot he stuff off there 1st album
    azza6 wrote: I really like this album!! I think it's a lot better than 'We dont need to whisper' rite of spring is a great track
    why would you buy this album it sucks old album was better but way better when he was in blink
    "Taking a cue from '80s synth rock, Angels & Airwaves deliver rock with a dance-oriented twist on I-Empire." wow, all my least favourite things in the same sentence. '80s synth rock angels and airwaves 'dance orientated' ive got the album, am yet to listen to it. dont really expect much, but i could be surprised. .....maybe.
    i for one am very proud of tom. today i listened to some blink and the changes he's made from being a young immature boy specializing in toilet humor to this grown up man with angels and airwaves is actually an amazing turnaround. ...as for the music... well im still getting used to enjoying it while sober...haha
    Love it!!! Took me a few listens but hell it is awesome. But i'm the kind of person that loves the overall feel of songs and AVA does extremely well at creating well crafted songs that can really be felt. So if your not in it for the overall sound of the music then you will probably not be as impressed as i am.
    This album is great! When I first heard AvA I didn't even know it was a former Blink member! After a while though I grew nostalgic for all the old Blink riffs. But after I-Empire, I was restored, for this album kicks ass! Tom, your my idol! Email me at fockewolfe110@aim.com!
    i liked blink 182 when i was in 6th grade. then i grew outta them. i heard AVA frist album sometime in highschool. i didnt know it was tom but i thought something sounded familiar. all the synth pop is past its time. time to come out of the 80s
    i think this is an ok-record, but then again, im still a blink-person... but in these days, when an artist have to be able to perform live, i dont think his voice quite cut it. therefor, i am of the oppinion that he should go back to blink-music, since his voice actually works with that...
    we all love or loved Tom... well, this is life... Tom matured a lot, Ive always loved him as guitarist and singer! Before Tom was very good on live concerts when specially entertaining the fans on the break time. But the truth is that he wasnt sooo good singing live. Now his voice has been more mature too and he really rocks on concerts but isnt drunk all the time as he was in blink.... PEACE AND LOVE!! GO TOM!! UR NEW ALBUM IS REALLY GREAT! You just got to listen to them a few times and your stuck on the songs! and his songs are more sentimental, has more feeling. The lyrics, they actaully mean a lot! and the lyrics means somthing for the album! its gets together!!
    new cd disappointed imo sounded too different (in a bad way) from their older material, which was great
    this one is much better but is still a bit disappoitning. Maybe their next one will be just right.
    joyous_pain1221 wrote: This album is great! When I first heard AvA I didn't even know it was a former Blink member! After a while though I grew nostalgic for all the old Blink riffs. But after I-Empire, I was restored, for this album kicks ass! Tom, your my idol! Email me at fockewolfe110@aim.com!
    Could! you! possibly! use! any! more! exclaimation! marks!? Please might take your comment more seriously if you didn't... /just sayin'
    if tom delonge wasn't at blink 182, would AvA be famous? would anyone know about just the existence of this band? think about it. by the way, not the worst album i've ever heard, but it could be more aggressive and dinamyc, like boxcar racer... i hope +44 will do some really punk-rock thing in their forthcoming new album...
    Captain Cool
    AVA will never have an album that is as good a rock album as Dude Ranch was a punk album, or an album that is as brilliant in general as blinks self titled. I just wish Tom felt the same way.
    i dont kno, i liked we dont need to wisper, but i heard everythings magic on youtube.. im not intersted in getting iempire. i think its a waste of money
    It's better than the last album...but then again so is everything. They're nothing compared to blink-182 and never will be.