Blink is Back

By Ashley Berger

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After eight long years, pop-punk rockers Blink-182 released their sixth studio record last Tuesday, Sept. 27. “Neighborhoods” features a mature sound, yet is still infused with the classic upbeat humor that Blink fans know and love.

The first single, “Up All Night,” which was released during the summer, proved to be slightly disappointing. The song features futuristic sounds and a battle of voices between the band’s two front men, Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus. While it may have been radio-friendly, it is certainly not the best work on the album. Fortunately, the rest of the album is a fun blend of the same fast-paced drum and guitar hooks mixed with deeper, slightly darker lyrics.

“After Midnight” proves to be one of the better picks from the album. A song that is unlike virtually any other Blink-182 song to date, it takes on a slow, more relaxed feel than their usual thumping, crazy drumbeats and guitar solos. “After Midnight” has a dreamlike quality to it, and since it also features an interesting cohesion between all three members in their respective parts, this song is easy to listen to over and over.

Signature Blink-182 sounds emerge in a few different songs, though “Heart’s All Gone,” namely, sounds like it could have come from any one of their earlier albums. With drummer Travis Barker’s driving drumbeats and the notorious vocals of DeLonge and Hoppus, the song is the fastest one on the record. The sound is a typical Blink-182 mish-mash of instruments and voices, yet the lyrics, which focus on being deceived by a lover, reveal a deeper meaning than their previous works. “Heart’s All Gone” was released on a digital stream as the album’s second single on Sept. 6.

“Snake Charmer” features extremely powerful, somewhat condescending lyrics about how essentially girls are evil succubae who play with boys’ minds. “That’s how it was all to begin/ Cause good girls who like to sin/ Way back at the starting line/ Where Eve was on Adam’s mind,” sings DeLonge. The biblical reference is a noticeable shift from previous Blink-182 songs, which usually feature lyrics such as “acting stupid and getting drunk with my best friends” from 2001’s hit song “The Rock Show.” “Snake Charmer” also features a haunting melodic sound and loud crescendos in the choruses. A brutally honest and at times angry tune, “Snake Charmer” ranks among the best songs of the album.

Another song that goes back to the band’s roots is called “This Is Home.” The lyrics describe being young at a punk show. While short, the song is obviously one into which the band put a lot of effort to ensure that it came out perfect. A listener can almost hear the sense of nostalgia in DeLonge’s voice.

“Neighborhoods” is a solid, more mature sounding work from the band, with lyrics containing meanings that are harder to decipher. While it is not their best work, the revamped sound is refreshing to hear. “Neighborhoods” is an album that shows the growth and development of each band member individually and of the band as a whole. It leaves fans satisfied after the eight years wait for a new sound.

Ashley Berger can be reached at [email protected]