Sound — 8
"Neighborhoods" is not like anything Blink have ever done; they have all matured (off the stage anyway) and created a masterpiece in which the music is genuinely great. The album also perfectly reflects where blink are with their career. The darker lyrics that were explored in their self-titled album have returned, but this time they are in the context of what has happened since the breakup of the band back in 2005. Although the lyrics are somewhat darker, the music is as lively as it's ever been.
Lyrics — 9
The opening track "Ghost On The Dancefloor" highlights just that. With lyrics such as "It's like the universe has left me, without a place to go, without a hint of light, to watch the movement glow" it's still an energetic song, with an essence of synth and a memorable chorus sang by Tom DeLonge. Straight after "Ghost On The Dancefloor", "Natives" is sprung into action. It starts with an infectious guitar riff reminiscent of "M&Ms" and Angels & Airwaves' "Young London". It's also the first song on the album which has Tom and Mark singing, and it works as well as it has in the past. There's the first single from the album "Up All Night", with a heavy riff and alternating singing in the verses. It's a great first single, and the song fits perfectly on the album. "After Midnight" is next, followed by "Snake Charmer", which is a sonic driven anthem that really showcases the different elements from each member coming into place. After a mellow "Hearts All Gone Interlude", "Hearts All Gone" is unleashed, which is a fast paced punk song that really shines a light on Travis Barker's expert drumming. "Wishing Well" is a dangerously catchy song, with Tom's signature "da, da, da"s' in the chorus. "Kaleidoscope" follows which lyrically stands out. Lyrics such as "Stop banging away on my kaleidoscope, stop draining the colour out of my scene, just play me something I can dance to, I can dance to anything you wanna sing" which Mark Hoppus stated that "It was kind of about people in their late teens, early to mid twenties, trying to find their way in the world." "This Is Home" is an animated song with, in my opinion, Tom's best vocals on the album. Another fast paced, Mark fronted song is next: "MH.4.18.2011", followed by "Love Is Dangerous". "Love Is Dangerous" has a very Angels And Airwaves feel to it, but that isn't a bad thing here. There's great synth involved, with Tom singing his heart out. It's a great song. "Fighting The Gravity" is probably my least favourite track on the album, but it's still a good song. It's the most experimental, with heavy sonic elements to it. The album closes with "Even If She Falls" which is a song with lighter lyrics than most of the songs on "Neighborhoods".
Overall Impression — 9
Blink-182 could have returned from their hiatus and put out an album full of 3 minute long pop-punk songs, with a few dick jokes here and there. Instead of doing that, they challenged themselves to write a meaningful, mature album, what with Travis' plane crash, and long term producer Jerry Finns's death. They have pulled it off; it's an amazing album, with elements from Mark, Tom and Travis, and lyrics influenced from everything that's happened since their messy breakup. Blink-182 will be recording a new album soon, and if "Neighborhoods" is anything to go by, it'll be a cracker.