Eight years: that’s how long it’s been since Blink-182 last released an album. During their break-up, diehard Blink-182 fans scrambled for news and leads on any projects that involved Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge or Travis Barker. Bands like +44, Angels & Airwaves, Motion City Soundtrack, Boxcar Racer and the Transplants all benefitted from the former Blink members. So it’s with this type of anticipation that fans have been waiting for a new album, especially since the band announced at the 2008 Grammy’s that they’d begin writing music together again. Here’s the finished product almost three years later, Neighborhoods.
It’s almost as though these guys have not missed a beat in the studio and picked up right where they left off. Neighborhoods took the band three times longer to write than any other Blink-182 and it’s clearly visible why: it’s no longer about quantity for these guys (releasing four albums in five years) but rather about putting out a quality product that they are proud to call theirs.
Songs like “After Midnight” are exactly the type of songs that need to be produced, a showcase of Barker’s ability to shred the skins and relatable lyrics produced by both DeLonge and Hoppus. The main concern with Neighborhoods is its somber tone talking about death and other depressing issues. It’s understandable that Blink wants to be taken as a more serious band, as they can’t keep up a “What’s My Age Again” routine forever.
However it is nice to see the guys come back to their roots for a minute. “Even if She Kills Me” doesn’t have the same humorous lyrics found on their first album, however it utilizes the same kind of instrumentals. By returning to their roots in melody and putting a more mature topic in the harmony it tells listeners “We’re still the same band you fell in love with, we’ve just matured,” and everyone can respect that.
“Kaleidoscope” retraces the steps of the band and the anxiety about becoming who they once were. Lyrics like “It’s the first time/ that I worry/of a bad dream/ of a journey/ on the highway/ through the valley/it’s a long road/ through the night” speak to living up to expectations from the Punk Rock world and former fans.
Aside from songs such as “Ghost on the Dance Floor,” “Love is Dangerous,” and “Heart’s All Gone,” the album is exactly what the listeners would expect from Blink-182. The album feels like they never left. They fulfill fans’ anxious anticipation and supporters can finally rejoice that the wait is over. Now, all there’s left to do is to just sit and listen.