Sound — 7
Angels And Airwaves have released their latest album, entitled "Neighbordhoods", and after - wait, this is Blink? Like, seriously? Well that's odd, because this honestly sounds more like AvA and +44 got together and decided to sing each other's songs. The album opens up with "Ghost On The Dancefloor" a song which instantly made me think of probably the only AvA song I don't loathe, "Epic Holiday". It's blaring synth and guitar work are ripped straight from AvA, and while the song isn't awful (though far from great) I'm not really a fan. This is a good indication of what half the album will sound like; synth, simple guitar work, and Tom DeLonge trying to sound like he's 10 years younger. The other half sounds like +44, with one guitar instead of 2, and, again, Tom DeLonge trying to sound 10 years younger. The point I'm trying to make here is that this is hardly Blink. They've become so tainted by their side projects that when it came time to do what they do best, they couldn't pull through, they were so far off the mark that Tom even does that AvA "yo-oh-oh" thing on "This Is Home". For those of you looking for some truly Blink-ish songs, you won't find many, but what you do find will impress you. "Heart's All Gone" sounds like it could be straight off of "Enema Of The State" musically, with lyrics that fall straight into what you'd find on the 2003 self-titled album, "MH 4/18/2011" (a song name that clearly represents a date of significance that I can't recall) has the fast power chords and fun beats that should fill the entire album, and "Up All Night" was actually pulled off the 2003 album (go look it up, it's crazy). The standout track of the album however, is definitely "Kaleidoscope", a song which sports an amazingly catchy guitar riff and fun lyrics that should please anyone who finds the rest of the album unenjoyable. While these songs are good though, listeners beware, your opinion may really change with the rest of the songs, depending on how much you liked or disliked their side projects.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics are... odd. It's like they've written songs for their own bands, then tried adding that Blink-182 immaturity. A good example of this is in "Snake Charmer" one of the more AvA-ish tracks on the album. Tom has a love song that seems like it would never be something used for Blink, it's got sympathetic, poetic lyrics, then our of nowhere he throws in "she wants you deep inside her". I caught that and was left dumbfounded, odd occurrences like this pop up randomly throughout the album, which is honestly full of mature lyrics. These guys have grown into pretty good songwriters, which is probably another reason this doesn't seem like Blink. They use big words with little meaning, adding up to a standard love song, while in the last album, they were able to keep it simple lyrically, but still managed to come out with truly meaningful songs like "Go" or "Down". I previously mentioned "MH 4.18.2011" as a good song, and musically it is, but lyrically, it falls a bit short. It's catchy, but the lyrics seem to be about killing people in the mafia? Something like that. It's just, where's the meaning? Where's the fun? It sounds like a song I wrote when I was 12, it really does. It seems like Blink just can't win lyrically, and when it comes to singer skills, it only gets slightly better. Tom DeLonge sounds horrible, he really does. He's been gradually losing the ability to sing over the years, and now he can't decide whether he's adapting to what he sounds like now, or if he's trying to recreate how he sounded 10 years ago, and because of that, what was once just a problem live has now become a problem for the record, to the point where I have trouble listening to certain songs, such as "Ghost On The Dancefloor", because I just hear that awful live voice of his every time the vocals kick in. Unfortunately, Tom sings on the majority of the album (all but 4 songs, one of which is an interlude). Mark on the other hand, sounds great. Honestly, ever since their first album, Mark seems to have maintained his vocal range and ability, both live and in the studio, and I give him props for that. His songs are easily the best on the album, unfortunately, he doesn't get as much of a chance to shine as Tom does, but I expected this from the beginning, because Tom is a diva.
Overall Impression — 6
Well I listened to every song at least 5 times before writing this review, and I'm convinced that this album in an inferior piece of work. The music is too influenced by the side projects, and not in a good way at all, taking a step backwards is one thing, but in "Neighborhoods" Blink-182 seems to have taken a step in completely different directions. The album can't decide what it wants to be, and it really suffers because of that. I'm all for variety, but I honestly feel like I'm listening to 3 different artists on one album, and that's something that Blink really needs to correct, should they last to see another album.