Jump to content

DookieLukie's Blog

  • entries
    20
  • comments
    405
  • views
    14,948

Blink-182's New Album "California" has an Energy Drought


DookieLukie

1,329 views

Blink-182 has never really been a "great" band, but their music has always been fun and relatable. They're one of those bands that sticks with you emotionally. I can remember exactly what my life was like during each Blink album release, and a few of their songs remind me vividly of people and places of my younger days. However, after losing their most talented member in Tom Delonge to CIA/alien investigations and overall insanity, the band is lacking in creativity.

Blink wasn't the same after their reunion. Neighborhoods was a good album that pushed the band creatively, but it wasn't their sound. Then it all fell apart when Delonge quit the band AGAIN and Matt Skiba was recruited to fill the void. This band just makes me long for what could have been. Their self-titled album was the most creative of their career, but they've never quite been the same since.

Their new album, made without Delonge, is just really really boring. The producer, John Feldmann, known for producing rushed, glossy, and robotic albums with the likes of 5SOS, Story of the Year, All Time Low, and Black Veil Brides (what a group, right?) should be all the proof you need to realize what's wrong with this record. The vocals are in the forefront for the first time ever on a Blink album, and on top of that they are unsettling in their pitch perfection. See, smart producers keep "vocal mistakes," such as throat clearing, coughs, swallowing, and some vocal errors in order to make the vocals seem more real and more alive. They're usually not even noticeable, but they are typically there. Feldmann took the often-bad singing of Mark Hoppus and vocally corrected it to almost perfection. He's never sounded worse. But if the goal was to make a pop pop poppy punk record like 5SOS or All Time Low, Feldmann nailed it.

The next issue is the lyrics or topical nature of the album. Old Blink songs stuck out for being weird, catchy, and for making you uncomfortable. These songs have no impact and are largely about nothing. They attempted to make some classic funny Blink songs in "Built This Pool" and "Brohemian Rhapsody," but these songs together last less than a minute and leave more to be desired. "Built This Pool" is probably the catchiest song on the record, and it is 16 seconds long. Why wasn't it developed into a full song? Which bring in Feldmann again. Interviews about this new album say that Feldmann "rushed" the band through the writing process to give the album a more gritty and spontaneous feel. Given that the album doesn't feel gritty or spontaneous, just very rushed, shows the questionable decision-making of this guy. Some good lyrics and classic Blink metaphors shine through at time, but they're surrounded by garbage like "dear head: shutup" from "Rabbit Hole" or the choral phrase "she's aaaaaantisocial" over and over again in "She's Out of Her Mind." The record is filled with "ooos" and "ahhhhs" and "woahhhhs," often at points were they just sound lazy. But Feldmann is known for rushing albums, and there's already another Blink album in the works, so this fits nicely into his production history. Overall, all the songs sound the same. "San Diego" and "Bored to Death" literally have the same opening baseline.

It's not all Feldmann's fault, though. Mark and Travis show that they really weren't the driving force behind Blink-182, and as much as they resent Tom, they can't make a good album without him. Tom wrote all the riffs, and his vocals are THE Blink vocals. Mark sings like a Mr. Potatohead toy singing through a pillow. His vocals used to work when he and Tom played off each other with constrasting deliveries, but now Mark's monotone delivery for 30+ minutes is like a club to the face. Matt Skiba doesn't take anything from the band, but he certainly doesn't add anything either, aside from some crossover fan support. Delonge may be coming off as a jealous, lonely, and psychotic individual recently, but he's a cornerstone of Blink and should probably be very happy with how poorly this album without him came out.

So the album feels rushed and glossy and lacks all emotion, but I will be buying. First, I like the artwork. Second, I'd rather a world with some form of Blink-182 than a world without it. I'll support this band and probably get a few good listens through the album driving around during the summer. The sad thing is that the new Sum 41 song and every new Good Charlotte song has been better than anything on California. Even weirder, the producer for the new Charlotte album? Feldmann, which makes me wonder why their album sounds so much better. This dude is monopolizing the market of aging pop punk band production and pumping out rushed ,uninspired albums. You could say that he's the Adam Sandler of pop punk album producers. Anyway, songs to check out are probably "Built This Pool," "Los Angeles" (which is sort of creative for Blink), "She's Out of Her Mind" (which sounds close to classic Blink), and "Bored to Death" because it's the lead single or whatever. 2/5 stars: one for being an easy-listening album, and the other for making a nice-looking coaster.

  • Like 1

7 Comments


Recommended Comments

Steven Seagull

Posted

They should bring Tom back and keep Skiba as rhythm guitarist and maybe a third singer. That could work.

Link to comment
Harry Potter.

Posted

I agree regarding Feldmann's production and lyrics, or lack thereof, but overall I would still give it a positive rating because at the end of the day these songs get stuck in my head and I keep wanting to come back to them. Plus Matt Skiba.

12 hours ago, Steven Seagull said:

They should bring Tom back and keep Skiba as rhythm guitarist and maybe a third singer. That could work.

Wouldn't three singers be a bit much?

Link to comment
Steven Seagull

Posted

21 minutes ago, Harry Potter. said:

I agree regarding Feldmann's production and lyrics, or lack thereof, but overall I would still give it a positive rating because at the end of the day these songs get stuck in my head and I keep wanting to come back to them. Plus Matt Skiba.

Wouldn't three singers be a bit much?

Well one could argue that two is already too much but it worked really good with Blink for years. I mean if Skiba would accept just the guitar role so Tom can focus more on singing like in those AVA days maybe it could work.

Link to comment
Harry Potter.

Posted

3 minutes ago, Steven Seagull said:

Well one could argue that two is already too much but it worked really good with Blink for years. I mean if Skiba would accept just the guitar role so Tom can focus more on singing like in those AVA days maybe it could work.

Having another guitarist live instead of the backup audio would not be a bad idea. The thing is I love Skiba's vocals too much. :lol:

Link to comment
Ryan

Posted

Tom's vocals may have been "THE Blink vocals," but his vocals are fucking terrible and are the reason that 90% of their music is unlistenable to me.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
AlissaGoesRAWR

Posted

I actually agree with this almost completely. Feels rushed and incomplete, but has sparks of "that could've been awesome." It reminds me of the trilogy, honestly... which isn't a good thing.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
That Dude

Posted

On 7/1/2016 at 2:23 PM, Harry Potter. said:

I agree regarding Feldmann's production and lyrics, or lack thereof, but overall I would still give it a positive rating because at the end of the day these songs get stuck in my head and I keep wanting to come back to them. Plus Matt Skiba.

Wouldn't three singers be a bit much?

Tom could just sing and Matt could play guitar.   Tom should not be allowed near guitars ever. 

I understand  what you're saying.  The production and whoah oooh's are just too freaking much.  Some of the lyrics are awful.  If it were up to me, I'd get rid of Teenage Satellites, Left Alone, The Only Thing That Matters and California to make a more concise album.    Bored to Death would be awesome if the lyrics didn't turn repetitive drivel.  When Mark is spitting about pretending to be the man of her dreams they are rocking out but then it quickly turns to drivel and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.    Same thing with Rabbit Hole.  Love the song but then suddenly the lyrics run out and we are back to whoah ooh ooh.   ooh ooh.   oh oh.   They literally ran out of lyrics and put it on record.    Nevertheless, this is sadly the best album we've got from one of our 90's bands in a very long time.   Not perfect at all but still pretty darn catchy.    Here's my version of the album:

Rabbit Hole:

Cynical 

Bored To Death

She's out of her Mind

Sober

Built This Pool

No Future

Rabbit Hole

San Diego 

Brohemian Rhapsody 

 

 

Link to comment
Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...