The blind, high-school arrogance that brought Blink-182 to fame in songs like “Dammit” and “What’s My Age Again?” is missing on the band’s new album.
“Neighborhoods,” the band’s first album in eight years, brings listeners the same Blink sound they’re used to, but without the youthful, high-spirited lyrics, the album falls short.
The opening track, “Ghost On The Dance Floor,” proves that drummer Travis Barker’s abilities remain intact after he survived a plane crash in 2008 and suffered third-degree burns on most of his lower body. The track’s intro features Barker pounding out a beat that will have drivers playing along on their steering wheel.
“Heart’s All Gone — Interlude” provides a welcome break from the fast tempo of every other song on the album, and sends listeners into a peaceful trance.
Sadly, that trance is broken when the intro concludes and “Heart’s All Gone” vocalist Tom DeLonge starts shouting out his slightly goth/emo message.
While DeLonge’s vocals are the same angsty-but-smooth quality they were in the old days and during his time with post-Blink band Angels and Airwaves, with lyrics like, “I kind of like the rush you get when you’re standing close to death” from the track “After Midnight,” it’s hard to get the same pumped-up feeling that Blink-182 used to produce.
The band spent six years on hiatus. During that time Barker suffered his injuries from the plane crash and DeLonge admitted he spent time addicted to painkillers. Bassist Mark Hoppus produced albums for bands such as Motion City Soundtrack and appeared in +44, a band he formed with Barker, but didn’t do anything remarkable.
The hard times experienced during their time apart shines through and makes “Neighborhoods” an anthem to the misunderstood, rebellious teens we all used to be. For Blink-182 fans, the album will provide the same fast-paced, drum-heavy songs Blink has always put out, but overall, the album is lyrically lacking.