Blink 182's 2001 release Take Off Your Pants and Jacket was awful. It had a funny title and its share of radio singles, and it propelled the band farther down the road of super-mega-we-three-dudes-sell-out-stadiums-stardom. We all grew a little dumber listening to it.
It was like listening to men in their early 30s singing about being in high school (wait ... that's exactly what it was). With all the mindless, childish lyrics, you couldn't help but cringe at songs like "First Date" and completely ignore songs like "Rock Show."
Either way, something good has come from it. With the bazillions of dollars Take Off Your ... made, the Blink boys were able to sit in a home (one they rented to be their studio) for eleven months and work on their next release: the self-titled Blink 182.
Blink-182 was supposed to signify a change in the band, a movement toward a more mature Blink. And, after listening, it's pretty clear (no matter how much I hate saying it): Every promise was kept. As hard as I looked, there is not one pee-pee or pooh-pooh joke on the album.
Musically, Blink moves forward with all sorts of new instrumentation and song progressions. Tom Delonge opting for a Gibson over fender for that crunchier guitar sound, songs are packed with instruments, and the band even includes one completely acoustic songs. Blink runs the musical spectrum, mixing hardcore breakdowns and punk-rock speed with poppy melodies and sensibilities. And they made some of the catchiest music they have ever put forth.
Blink keeps its classic guitar leads and dual vocals pretty similar, so you won't doubt it's them behind the instruments even if you might doubt they can pull it off live. The outcome is a pop-punk album that's heavily influenced by the Cure (if they had grown up listening to the Descendents) that will surely have you singing along (secretly, so your friends don't make fun of you).
Still, it is Blink 182 and taking them seriously is an early hurtle. Whispered parts like "This can't be the end," and cheesy choruses like "Down down down down down down down down" still scream lame. But after a few listens, those flaws are more often than not drowned out by your own singing along.
Blink-182 is surprisingly good. Hopefully the band catch a nasty backlash from its crap-music devoted fans for leaving behind the grammar-school humor and chord progressions for a more musically appealing release. And hopefully Blink will have enough integrity not to retreat to their earlier styles to appease these masses. In the end, I guess you could say -- and I'm going to regret this -- "I'm feeling this ..."
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