Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An old favorite returns with a familiar, nostalgic feel

Originally published in the October 19, 2011 issue of the Coast Report.
Written by Chris Rashidian, Staff Writer

Blink-182's latest album, “Neighborhoods,” disappoints with an inconsistent mix of pop-punk and adult alternative genres peppered with a little Vans Warped Tour nostalgia.

“What’s my age again?” was the question asked in 1999 by the world-renowned group that now appears middle-aged and confused.

Yes, we remember their wild and crazy energy combined with plenty of poop jokes and juvenile love, but we eventually grow up. It is alright to change your music style. In essence, it is what makes an artist grow.

As their first album released in over eight years, “Neighborhoods” was treading on new territory while still trying to keep it’s youthful appeal. Yes, I do remember listening to them back in elementary and middle school, but music styles change, and change can be a bad thing.

I felt almost as disappointed with this album as I did when Radiohead released “In Rainbows” after their hiatus from “Hail to the Thief.”

Tom DeLonge, guitarist and vocalist for Blink-182, left the band to pursue his own dream with a group called Angels and Airwaves in 2005 just as Blink guitarist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker formed their group, +44. But in 2009, at the 51st Grammy Awards, they all appeared on stage together for the first time in five years and said that they are back, picking up where they left off.

After listening to “Neighborhoods” many times in its entirety, it did sound like they picked up where they left off. Sure, it may grow on me like “In Rainbows” eventually did, but in the eight years they spent in hiatus I expanded my musical tastes and moved on.

Nostalgia is a very tricky element that artists can employ because it has the ability to be a double-edged sword. The way that Blink-182 utilized that aspect for their album repelled me away from recommending it to friends.

In all, their new album is not going to reach the popularity that their previous ones did, but if they have the courage experiment with different styles, hopefully their next album won't disappoint.