UPDATE: Unfortunately we’ve been caught in an internal battle between departments within Blink-182’s record label, and have been asked to suspend our Neighborhoods full album stream.
The internet was hit with a leaked copy of Blink-182‘s new forthcoming album, Neighborhoods, which is due out September 27th. As we all know, when something big like this gets leaked, it spreads like wildfire – and that wildfire happened to spread all the way to our desks here at KROQ.com, where a copy of the new album found it’s way into our stereo and has been blasting non-stop.
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The band has definitely matured, which is evident in not only their music, but their lyrics as well. No more singing about farts and BJ’s, but mainly the frustrations of love and life that can transcend any generation of Blink-182 fans. They’ve dealt with adversity and overcame their own internal problems to produce one of their best albums to date. If their performance at Epicenter Twenty-Ten wasn’t indication that these guys are back and better than ever, then check them out while they’re out on the Honda Civic Tour – which hits LA and OC in the beginning of October.
After the jump, listen to each song and see our track-by-track review of the the new album Neighborhoods.
TRACK-BY-TRACK STREAM & REVIEW
1. “Ghost On The Dance Floor”
The track opens up with the familiar sounds of Travis Barker’s drums, followed by some synthesizers mixed with a catchy riff courtesy of DeLonge. The opening line has a familiar ring to it (reminded me of Boxcar Racer’s “There Is”) but quickly ditches any Boxcar affiliation as Mark Hoppus’ harmonies infiltrate the track – even though that’s all the singing Hoppus does in this song.
Compared to the rest of the album, this track is pretty musically tame. Barker doesn’t unleash like he does on some of the following tracks, and the guitar riff stays the same pretty much all the way through. The breakdown towards the end of the song is the only exception, but even that is fairly short-lived. Overall a decent track and good selection as an opening song.
The intro to this song immediately reminds me of old school Blink, similar to their old hit “M&M’s,” returning to their classic pop-punk sound. DeLonge sings the first verse, with Hoppus coming in for the chorus. The lyrics in the chorus are pretty sad, with lines like “…we’ll have the time of our lives, although we’re dying inside” and “…just let me go, go, I’m never coming home.”
Barker let’s loose a little in this song too, changing up the style and patterns frequently. It’s a good song and the lyrical repetition will keep this one stuck in your head all day.
3. “Up All Night”
The first single from the track, “Up All Night” shows Blink’s maturity and is the first song on the album where Hoppus and DeLonge alternate singing. This song really grew on me the more I listened to it, as I’m sure it did for many people. Barker does a great job bringing the sound together with his drums, with a crazy part in the beginning where the cymbals rule and continuing that trend throughout the song.
I really like the diversity in this song. The breakdown at the end is my favorite part of the song because I feel like when you see it performed live, this is the part where everyone will just be going nuts.
4. “After Midnight”
The way Travis uses his high-hats in this song is ridiculous. Tom’s lyrics again sound sad, with heartache as an apparent underlying theme. The chorus is once again sang by Hoppus, with DeLonge handling the verses. The syncopation throughout the song definitely leaves an impression in your memory.
The songs ends with a feeling of hope, as the music brightens up a bit as Hoppus gets into the final chorus of the song. They did a good job of conveying their emotions through their sound on this song.
5. “Snake Charmer”
You’re immediately greeted with a Hoppus bass line in the beginning of this song, and the build-up to the first verse is great. The guitar parts sound pretty space-like, and that extends all the way into the beginning of the first verse where it’s simply Tom singing and Travis on the drums (and some keys). This is another song, like “Ghost On The Dancefloor,” where it’s only Tom singing with a few harmonies and “ahhh’s” provided by Hoppus.
The music in this song has a very full and complete sound, and the one line you’ll surely remember from this track is “good girls they like to sin.” It gets super vibe-y towards the end as some of the elements get cut out from the song, and it turns in to basically Travis rockin’ out alongside some keys.
6. “Heart’s All Gone Interlude”
A quick 2 minute track, building up to the following song “Hearts All Gone.” It stays pretty mellow, and I was actually hoping for something a little more cool like their “Fallen Interlude” from their self-titled album. The only thing missing from this is Travis’ drum skills.
7. “Heart’s All Gone”
The lack of drums in the interlude are quickly erased from your mind as Barker comes crashing into the beginning of this song. This song is much more fast-paced than anything previous on this album. It’s the first track where you’re greeted by Hoppus’ voice, and it stays all the way through as DeLonge’s vocals are nowhere to be found on this song.
This is one of my favorite songs from the album. The tempo, the grittiness in Hoppus’ bass, Travis crashing down on his set like a mad-man, and DeLonge’s focus on guitar really sets this one apart from the rest.
8. “Wishing Well”
Finally, a song that sounds happy. DeLonge returns to vocals on this track, and sings a song of hope. “I reach for a shooting star, burned a hole through my hand, it made its way to my heart, had fun in the promised land.” The overall tone of the song is much brighter than some of the previous tracks, including another catchy chorus.
Another song that incorporates the use of keys, another infectious Travis Barker beat. Tom and Mark switch off vocals again. I could easily see this becoming one of the next singles. Another semi-depressing song once you give the lyrics a good listen.
10. “This Is Home”
Synthesizers rule the intro of this song, and are present throughout. Tom DeLonge singing on the verses, with some backing vocals from Hoppus. One of the more forgettable tracks of the record in my opinion. Nothing was there to hook me in and remember this song.
11. “MH 4.18.2011”
Hoppus kicks this song off and is the main vocalist in this one. Very upbeat and uptempo song, lots of parts to sing along to. “Stop living in the shadow of a helicopter.”
12. “Love Is Dangerous”
Strange intro, interrupted by the guitar of DeLonge. Tom and Mark sing the first verse in harmony, with DeLonge handling the chorus himself. Another song with some pretty deep lyrics, which seems to be a common theme throughout this album. As with most of the songs on this album, the song features a section where it slows down and progressively builds into a huge outro. Barker ends the song of with some marching band-inspired snare drum rolls as it faded out.
13. “Fighting The Gravity”
Soft intro, builds into a heavy drop. Slow, steady beats from Barker and some crazy echoing vocals until Hoppus comes in on the first verse. “Something’s swimming in my blood, something’s rotting in my brain,” are the type of lyrics found in this song.
This song is the black sheep of the album, sitting far apart from the sound and feel from the rest of it. It has a much darker feel to it, and the music portrays the mood perfectly. It’s a good song and shows a different side of Blink than what the rest of Neighborhoods has to offer.
14. “Even If She Falls”
Another happy-sounding song, something that was severely missed from this album. Whether or not the lyrics tell a sad or happy tale, the music creates a feeling that everything will be OK. Another great job by Barker, keeping the beats mixed up. DeLonge and Hoppus do a good job of not overdoing their instruments, keeping it pretty simple and creating a very dynamic sound for the trio.
Although the new album doesn’t have the fun sound of albums past, the talent and quality of the music is far beyond any of their other previous records. The time spent on side projects while the band was split definitely opened them up to a new level of sound, and allowed their creativity to expand beyond the usual guitar, bass and drum combination we’re used to hearing from them.
You can hear pieces from each of the member’s side projects – some songs have an [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Angels & Airwaves[/lastfm] sound, some a [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Boxcar Racer[/lastfm] or [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]+44[/lastfm] sound. But in the end, the fusion of all of those pieces is what makes it Blink-182, and this album is far from disappointing. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Sure the lyrics and music may have a darker feel to them, but the themes of the songs can still relate to both new and old Blink-182 fans alike.
Make sure to pick up a copy of Neighborhoods when it hits shelves September 27th. You can also pre-order the album and custom bundle here. Each bundle that is purchased will come with a surprise Gift With Purchase. Signed guitar, life time passes to blink-182 shows, old laminates, Tom’s smelly shoes and much more.
Blink-182 have a pair of shows coming to So Cal in the beginning of October as part of the Honda Civic Tour with [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]My Chemical Romance[/lastfm]. Buy tickets to their show at the Honda Center on October 1st here or their show at the Hollywood Bowl on October 8th here.