Sunday, January 13, 2008

If Loves A Word That You Say. Say It, I Will Listen

During Blink 182's 2005 hiatus, Tom Delonge hid himself away to write and record "We Don't Need To Whisper" with his fellow Angels And Airwaves band mates in his home studio. At this point Blink 182 was done, the rest of the band just didn't know that at the time.

During my research while writing these reviews on Blink and such, I've concluded that Tom Delonge quite possibly may just be a self-absorbed prick. That, or perhaps a musician who has outgrew his current band, but didn't want to leave. However, he was overflowing with melodies that just didn't fit with said current group.

I don't know. Perhaps Box Car Racer was an attempt to satisfy those creative urges without alienating Blink fans, but back-fired. And perhaps the last Blink 182 album was an attempt to compromise, but created an inconsistent body of work. Who knows except those involved and honestly I don't care (though it is a hot debate over the Internet). What I do know is that Blink is ca put leaving fans with a delicious catalogue of pop/punk gems and those members have split into completely different directions.

I'll start today with Angels And Airwaves since they hit the stores first. So what did Tom accomplish while locked away from the medias attention during 2005. Putting together one of the best albums I've ever heard. I remember hearing a song on a work radio and thinking, oooh Blink 182 has a new album out! (This was before I heard any of the hiatus controversy).

After discovering it wasn't Blink, I went to the record store to check it out Tom's new band. What I heard was a post punk/emo sound that was instantly hooky and memorable. Angels And Airwaves sound blends Box Car Racer with early U2 and space-influenced electronics and effects. What this created was a huge rock sound packed full of emotion and performed with conviction.

"We Don't Need To Whisper" begins its odyssey with "Valkryie Missile" whose ambient space themed intro opens into a U2 inspired rock anthem that's rousing and moving. The first single "The Adventure" continues the U2 inspired guitar work with an upbeat and uplifting song that's catchy and anthemic. "The Gift" which is one of my favourites is similar, yet more moving and passionate and resonates through your soul.

The Box Car Racer influence can heard on "Do It For Me Now" which is rhythmic with airy keyboards and a slower melody. "The War" is probably the rockiest song here with a biting riff that leads into an acoustic march-infused anthem with stellar drums and Tom's Soaring vocals. A truly inspiring song full of conviction. "Start The Machine" continues the Box Car sound with the clinking toy keyboards reminiscent of Box Car's "Instrumental". It's a powerful song that builds into a passionate crescendo blending all their influences into the album closer.

"It Hurts" is an upbeat tune that hammers home an emotional punch about relationships with Tom's signature poetic narrative lyrics. "Good Day" is a slow build with some nice keyboards into a thunderous passionate anthem.

Though I'd say that "Start The Machine" is probably the best song here, the one that I turn to on a regular basis is "Distraction". It's super simple and catchy keyboards and powerful drums create a moving melody both emotionally resonant and sing a long-like. It reeks of relevance as it jumps into a hypnotically crushing chorus. A delightful tune that I can't shake from my head.

Angels And Airwaves to me, is the very definition of post punk emo. Their sound is original and thematic without sacrificing melody or commercial appeal. They blend styles faithfully creating a unique listening experience. One of the complaints I've read is that the songs all sound the same (which I disagree with) However, there is a conceptual theme both musically and lyrically that was fully intentional.

If you ask me, this is something special (perhaps not world changing as Tom would have us think) but certainly a damned good rock album. Despite whatever opinion people have of Tom Delonge (D**khead or Misunderstood) he can write some great music and I plan on continuing to following his career closely.

Up next I'll take a look at the other 2/3 of Blink 182 and their new project +44.


Blogger Louisiana said...

Hello there friend,
How were your holidays? How has the new year being treating you? You know i'm hoping the responces are along the line of great, sweet, perfect, awesome.

I'm so sorry that i didn't get to come and leave you a personal Merry Christmas. I thank you so very much for leaving me one. Those days were a bit crazy busy and with going to Canmore to celebrate early Christmas and then leaving on the 25th, i didn't seem to have any time. But i can assure you that the sentiments were there and my wishes for a great many days, months, years, lifetime for you and yours is always present.


3:40 PM  

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