Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Neighborhoods - Blink-182 (Review)
I am not a huge Blink-182 fan in the first place, but I always enjoyed a good selection of their music. Although the dick and fart jokes can get a little old, their music has always been fun. That changed on the previous album, Self titled. That album took more of an emo, more serious approach to their music. After that album, they went on a hiatus, and each did side projects. Tom Delonge did Angels and Airwaves, and Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker did +44. Neighborhoods sounds like it could be another Angels and Airwaves album. Considering this is Blink-182's come back album, everyone is habitually going to love it, But for me, it is all of the little things added to this album that drag it down. And they drag it down a tad to far to enjoy the record.
It opens with "Ghost on the Dance Floor". This a reasonable choice for the opener, besides one embarrasing flaw. The verse melody is identical to the melody of Blink side project, Boxcar Racer's "There is". I think someone probably should've reminded Tom that he is already written this song a few years back, but anyways. It is nothing more or less than a catchy pop song. I guess it is what you would expect from them. Another big thing about this song that I hate (which is one of my biggest problems throughout the whole album) is all the spacey sci-fi sounds in the backround.
Next is "Natives". At first this song sounds just like any other Blink-182 track. The guitar riff is pretty cool. But then when the song actually kicks in, those background effects come in and screw everything up. The chorus gets rid of them though, and carries on a more traditional blink-sounding production. The chorus is one of the strongpoints on the album, but the verses drag it down to much to listen to often.
"Up All Night" was the first single to be released from the album. It is probably the worst track on the standard album. The spacey noises are most noticable in this song. The melody is totally blink-esqu, but it is so over powered by shitty production methods and sci-fi sounds. When this single was released, although hearing Mark and Tom dueting was refreshing, I was still dissapointed. I know for a fact that there is better choices for singles on this record. When people say, "you are obviously wrong because it is number one on the charts" and all that, Yea. Obviously. It is Blink-182's first track in five years. No matter what the quality of the song is, it will be number one. I promise you this.
"After Midnight" is the second single released, I believe. This is a better choice than "Up All Night" in my opinion. Although this continues throughout the whole album, the autotune on Tom's voice is most relevant here. It is embarrasingly hidden. The vocal effects on this song are way to noticable in this song. That is pretty much all I can notice when I hear this song.
After that comes "Heart's All Gone". All of those effects and noises are pretty much gone in this song. This is definitly the song that is most similar to their older albums. It is probably the fastest song on the album, and it is just a straigh-forward pop/punk song. That is exactly what I want from a band like Blink. I don't want any pretentious bullshit like "Snake Charmer" or Angels and Airwaves. The lyrics are handled pretty well in this song also.
"Wishing Well" is another highlight. The drum fills before each pre-chorus is tremendously awful, but that doesn't drag it down too far. This is another straight-forward three minute pop song. This is exactly what I hoped the whole album would sound like (besides that shit excuse for a drum fill). Although those noises are still here, the youthful poppy-ness of this song over powers the flaws in this song.
"Kaleidoscope" is easily the least memorable song on the album. Every time the song ends, I forget how it went (I am not exaggerating). That is not saying it is the worst on the album though, I am just saying that it has nothing worth remembering. Tom's autotune is also painful in this song. It may be as noticible as "After Midnight". The structure to this song also seems like it has no rhyme or reason. I really don't understand it yet.
Next is "This Is Home". This is another song that would sound like Take Off Your Pants and Jacket if it weren't for the synth. The melodies and guitar riffs are extremely similar to their older music. The lead guitar riff in the intro and verses reminds me a lot of their other music. In some places in the song, there is some weird things going on with Tom's voice. I'm not sure if it is an editing problem or it is intentional. If it is intentional, than that is a dumb move by them. Either way, this song is okay.
"MH 4.18.2011" is an okay track. It seems extremely misplaced though. It does not fit on this album what so ever. It takes more of a rock vibe, rather than a pop vibe like the rest of the album. Regardless, it is a pretty cool song. It is pretty distracting though, how this breaks the flow of this album. This really doesn't even seem like a Blink-182 track, let alone a Neighborhoods track.
The closure is "Love Is Dangerous". This, again, is saturated with awful production. The synths are present throughout the whole song. The vocals are pretty bad in this song too. I really hate it how Tom over pronounces certain random syllables in words. Every time he says "dangerous", he over pronounces the last syllable. Not the worst song on the album, but certainly not the best.
Maybe if the album wasn't compressed to all hell, and maybe if the album had more to offer than just synthy sci-fi noises, than I would like it. The songs themselves are not bad, just how they went about handeling them is terrible. Also, maybe if "Even If She Falls" was included on the album I would like it. It is the best song by far and it is left for the deluxe version. The autotune is pretty embarrasing on this album. And Travis's drumming isn't really anything special on the album either. Regardless of quality, people will over listen to this song for the next year just because it is Blink's comeback album, but in all honesty....It isn't good.
Highlights : Heart's All Gone, This is Home, (Even If She Falls)
Music : 4 (Only a few songs actually sound like the band)
Lyrics : 5 (Blink is not a "lyrics band" anyways)
Artwork : 1 (That front cover is a joke)
Overall : 3.5
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