California review by Blink-182

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  • Released: May 19, 2017
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 7 (101 votes)
Blink-182: California
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Sound — 8
Blink-182's first musical effort in 5 years (and also their first effort since dropping singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge) seems like a very natural progression for pop punk. From the excellent and powerful vocal deliveries from singer/bassist: Mark Hoppus and Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba, to the loud and energetic guitar riffs performed by Skiba as well, they've truly made one of the better albums of their career. "California" is filled with a sense of refreshed creativity that shows that even on their tracks that aren't as interesting, they've poured their heart and soul into every single song on this record.

Lyrics — 6
While some songs on the album are lackluster ("Home Is Such a Lonely Place," and "No Future," in my opinion, are fairly formulaic and uninteresting) the vocal deliveries are stellar, emotional, and reminiscent of a lot of that nostalgic early 2000s pop punk we all know and love. The lyrical content can at times be incoherent in favor of being catchy, which, might I add, isn't necessarily the worst thing. Skiba occasionally can sound like his voice is being pushed to the limits, which can clash with the well-polished sound this record delivers.

Overall Impression — 8
This is one of my favorite Blink-182 albums yet and tracks like "San Diego," "Cynical," "Sober," and "Kings of the Weekend" really struck an emotional, nostalgic, treble-y power chord with me. While some songs can be easily brushed over, this is definitely a worthy addition to Blink's discography. "California" shouldn't be missed by any of their fans, or even people who liked the last Trio project "My Shame Is True" as well as Skiba's latest solo album "KUTS." Even if you don't like it or agree with me, give it a listen and decide for yourself. Thanks!

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    smaleroux
    One word : John Feldman. Ok, actually that's two. I hate his production. Not only here, but with every band ha has worked with. The exception being the first Used record. But everything else, damn. He's a good guy, his band has classic tunes but god, he's a pop producer. And I was fearing this album would sound like a rock-based version of a Katy Perry album when I first heard it was Feldman producing the trio. I know I know, he's not the only one to blame. The boys should have stood up a little for themselves. I love blink, they're the first band to get me really into music. I took my first guitar because of this band. And god, I know they can do better as songwriters. Both Hoppus & Skibba. Too much nana's, too muck ohohs's. The voices are mixed like a pop artist. But Barker is awesome. And Mark's playing is quite good too. Skibba fits in great. But I'm 32 now, and no songs speaks to me like they used to speak to me. I'm not saying they can no longer write teenage anthems. I'm saying those songs here don't do nothing to me. And I'm sad. And on the other hand, god, I find the songs bad but they're stuck in my head...
    Guitar Skater
    Great review but Cynical is about blink being back and doing what they want despite critics, San Diego is about the relationship with Tom.
    Renegade24
    Blink is my favorite band. But in my opinion at times this felt too much like they were trying re-live the past. Time has passed and you're pretty much a new band. I most enjoyed the songs where Skiba (who I also love) got room to do his thing and this new group of guys gelled (Left Alone, San Diego, Kings of the Weekend, Sober). The album is too much of an incoherent mixed bag with the tunes being vastly different from other parts of the album. I like almost every song (No Future is garbage, so is California imo) but a lot feels unfinished or forced. And like I said, it feels disjointed like it doesn't go together with itself. I enjoy the music, but ultimately would give it a 6/10 The biggest problem was Jon Feldman. Awful job. Somehow this thing feels both over and under produced at the same time. I am excited to hear what happens when the iron out the kinks though. Hopefully without Feldman.
    james1210
    Listened to the couple songs up top....wow.... Wish I could get that time back.
    SwordNemesis
    I'm not gonna lie, listening through these songs just honestly makes me think only of +44. If there's no Tom, then it's not Blink 182. Just the way he plays guitar and his tones and the way in which he influences things, it just doesn't sound like Blink without him. Decent album but honestly they should of just went back to +44 since Tom is no longer here.
    JimBonJovi
    While I can appreciate the genre, this is yet another album that is devoid of any substance - production wise. It's like all the producers these days have lost their balls in favor of serving the industrial music complex.
    frowneyfox
    Personally I would have rated it a solid 8/10. Their definitely going for a great sound, and the new vocalist is just as great as Tom. My only beef with it is that it could be a tad too poppy at times, and that the songwriting wasn't as good as some of their older songs.
    aries0490
    So much nostalgia in this album, the songs are okay-ish. Good parts, bad parts. Now drop another self-titled effort
    Charvel1030
    after listening to it a few times thru I feel the production is a little weak, the lyrics are a little 13 year old and as good as Skiba is I really miss the very different sound of Mark vs Tom singing...Tom's influence is really missed on this album. I like his writing and playing style more than I like Mark and Matts, not that they are terrible, I just like Toms more. Having said all that its a good, not great Blink album.....maybe they should gave just carried on as +44 rather than calling it Blink. They are just begging for Tom vs post Tom comparisons
    Trifonas
    any blink 182 over a 0 Yeah right Tell me how UG isn't full of 14 year old again