Sound — 8
Going in to this album, I was expecting something similar to their old albums, but I'm glad they have tried something new. Blink-182 have grown a lot since their last studio effort together, after the first run through of the album, I immediately picked out favorites, with "Wishing Well" being one of them. They know what the fans want but they also know where they want to go as a group, you can tell they've all agreed to take their music one step further and push themselves on in to new territory. There is great guitar work from Tom DeLonge, catchy bass lines from Mark Hoppus & soaring drums/percussion from Travis Barker. They have all incorporated their own musical influences here and it really shows, Tom does show off his other side, the musical project Angels & Airwaves comes through in some of the songs on here but luckily it fits, Travis shows off a lot of his drumming styles in here which wouldn't be out of place on a hip-hop or rock record. His style is very diverse which adds to the overall effect of the album, where Mark is probably the only member without a drastic change here. His bass lines still remain fairly simple and catchy with the odd tricky one, but his song-writing like Tom's has changed drastically and we hear a much more mature Blink-182 this time around. They've gone from traditional pop-punk and become a rock band that have left a firm footprint in the ground and have made their status as legends of modern rock.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrical content of this album differs greatly from previous releases which contained a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor. Back in the 90's and early 00's Blink-182 were famous for their humorous songs & only occasional serious songs, but this time, they're back with an album which contains adult/mature themes like: Life, Death & Love. The lyrical content in this album is really impressive, songs like "Ghost On The Dance Floor" really show off how much they've grown as lyricists not just as instrumentalists. Songs like "After Midnight" & "Even If She Falls" deal with loved ones & what goes on, they speak about the emotional bond & romance between couples as opposed to the sexual side of things. Songs like "MH 4.18.2011" are about living with fear & living under "lock and key" so to speak. The lyrical content differs with every song, there are love songs, party songs & mixture of both. Both Mark Hoppus & Tom DeLonge sing very well in each song, their vocals fit perfectly with the music as well. However, unlike previous albums where there was a balance of both, Tom DeLonge "steals the spotlight" with this album in terms of vocals but none the less will keep fans interested.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, "Neighborhoods" is a great effort considering the band had been away doing other projects for the four years they were apart. It keeps the bands core elements found in previous albums but made things fresh with a complete revamp, very few tracks sound like they could have been placed in older albums. In a way it follows the bands 2003 self-titled effort in terms of the bands ability to grow as not only people but as song-writers, it's a very mature album. Songs like "Fighting The Gravity" & "Love Is Dangerous" show off Blink-182's song writing talent, going from a pop-punk band into a band that shows they can pull off multiple genre's instead of sticking to just one that they know they are good at. If people have an open mind, they should have a good time listening, however if you're looking for another "Enema Of the State" type record you probably won't like this record as much or give it as much credit as it truly deserves. It took nearly two years to record this album and it can easily be seen. Band members all clearly knew what they were doing and what direction they wanted to go in with this album (with the best songs being "Wishing Well" & "MH 4.18.2011" (both being sung by Tom DeLonge & Mark Hoppus respectively). As for future releases, it can be debated whether or not they'll continue in this terrain of song-writing but either way, they deserve all of the credit they get. Definitely an album worth buying again if ever stolen, lost or corrupted / broken.