Mar 23, 2012

Blink - s/t (2003)

1. Feeling This 2:54
2. Obvious 2:44
3. I Miss You 3:47
4. Violence 3:49
5. Stockholm Syndrome 2:41
6. Down 3:03
7. The Fallen Interlude 2:12
8. Go 1:53
9. Asthenia 4:20
10. Always 4:12
11. Easy Target 2:21
12. All of This 4:40
13. Here's Your Letter 2:54
14. I'm Lost Without You 6:20

One of the more underrated pop punk albums I've heard- it doesn't get nostalgia points like Enema of the State, and it's simultaneously more and less far reaching than releases by other pop punk veterans such as AFI's Sing the Sorrow of the same year. Critics either said it's more of the same, or too different to appeal to old fans

It's almost understandable- on their self-titled album, they're undeniably the same band, but they've also grown up, had kids, and experimented with different styles and concerns in various side-projects since they made a mark with Enema of the State. All of this comes into their 2003 self-titled album which is grown up and musically diverse, particularly coming from a band which prided itself in dick jokes and some of the best hooks in punk. A lot of that's changed: the excellent hooks we want are there, but the lyrics and feeling of the album are completely unique for the band. For one thing, it's a concept album. They've always dealt with breakup on their albums, but only the instant guilt/anger/revenge which can be conveyed in songs like Anthem (Fuck this place, I lost the war/I hate you all, your mom's a whore/Where's my doll?/'Cause girls are such a drag). On their self-titled album, they've managed to express not only that, but the feeling of loss which follows. They've sequenced it well enough so that the album opens on Feeling This, capturing the lust and romantic feelings of new love. After that, of course, it's all down hill into desperation and loneliness. The fact that the band are trying to tell a story means they've consciously tried to tie the songs together, which would be easy enough if the songs were all as similar as they were on previous releases, but there's a heap of variety here musically, which makes it even more admirable that it's their most easily flowing album. Some rushed to the claim that Blink-182 were making their sound more emo to suit trends in popular music, but even a quick listen says otherwise

They've experimented because they're good enough musicians to pull it off, and good enough songwriters to make it a distinctly Blink-182 album that also manages to be conceptually and musically moving, engaging, and unique. Problems for the listener might come in just how sincere it is, but the band have always been quite open about how willing they were to make something epic and melodramatic. In my opinion they nail it.


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