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!