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Monday, January 09, 2012

blink-182 -- blink-182


A band "maturing" can be a good thing, or it can be a terrible thing. Branching out and trying to be more sophisticated can have the unintended consequence of revealing an absence of talent.  On their self-titled album, blink-182 reveal themselves to be a truly talented band.
From the get go, there's obvious growth. "Feeling This" is a sex song, but instead of distractedly turning on the TV "What's My Age Again" style, blink-182 actually want to have it.  For a band like blink-182, that's honestly a step up.  It means they can focus on one thing, and are over their ADD--and this album is certainly focused.
I think the secret to this album's success is that while blink experiments a lot, particularly in guitar sounds, they focus on things they know.  There aren't any salsa songs here.  Drummer, Travis Barker, is one of the most talented in the world, so obviously any work he does programming beats, which occur from to time, is coming from a percussively knowledgeable place.  Bassist and guitarist/co-vocalists, Mark Hoppus and Tom Delonge, were both obviously huge dorks/emos in high school, so adopting a bit of a Cure-like sound (to the point of actually having Robert Smith sing on a track!) on some songs makes perfect sense.  The best idea the band had, though, was not sapping the album of energy.  Sure, there are some slower, balladesque songs, but there is enough high energy, fast-paced material to offset them so the album never bogs down.  Most importantly, the emotions here don't seem false.  Over-emotive at times?  Sure.  But even at their most heart-on-the-sleeve moments, like "Always," blink-182 sound genuine.  It doesn't hurt that they still have a sense of humor, even if it isn't nearly as overt.

2003 Geffen
1. Feeling This 2:53
2. Obvious 2:43
3. I Miss You 3:47
4. Violence 5:20
5. Stockholm Syndrome 2:42
6. Down 3:03
7. The Fallen Interlude 2:13
8. Go 1:53
9. Asthenia 4:20
10. Always 4:12
11. Easy Target 2:20
12. All of This 4:40
13. Here's Your Letter 2:55
14. I'm Lost Without You 6:22

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