Tan Dun – Martial Arts Trilogy: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Banquet & Hero (Music from the Soundtracks) (2011)

It’s rare we have a release like this. Tan Dun is a famous Chinese classical composer who features on this album. For anyone who finds Chinese history and culture fascinating, here is a great way to discover some of that, at least musically. It’s a mixture of music from three different Chinese films. Let’s have a listen here to discover some of the great Chinese classical music at hand.

We begin with the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon title track. It has a haunting melody and beautiful Chinese instrumentation at hand. The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra lead on, eventually leading in with violins and other classical instrumentation. It’s so beautiful that you never want to forget this piece. Epic. A nice introduction to this sort of music, it ends sounding glorious.

The next piece The Eternal Vow is a melancholy, yet pacing piece to listen to. It is merely a continuation of what has come before, but sounds so lovely and beautiful that it demands close listening. It is surely one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever made. Terrific stuff.

Silk Road harks back to a traditional sounding piece of music that most westerners would never have the opportunity to hear in their lives. Ladies and gentleman, this is something one should listen to before they die. Chinese classical music is fantastic, and this is no exception.

A Love Before Time is a pacing and lovely sounding tune with English female vocals. It’s different for sure, but sounds fantastic. It takes the main melody from the previous pieces and makes a great song out of it. A good listen, still sounding different from anything else out there.

The next piece, The Banquet – From “The Banquet” is a subtle piano piece with some distant sounding Chinese instrumentation and melodies in the background. Some gospel vocals are here too, it’s a nice sounding instrumental at hand. It changes pace surprisingly towards the end.

After that, we have Waiting – From “The Banquet”. This is a more typical piece that one would find in a movie. It’s a piano and violin piece that soothes the soul. A nice, gentle and understandable listen for this album.

In The Bamboo Forest – From “The Banquet” is a low end piano and percussion piece that goes together well. It is propelled along with a chugging rhythm, and sounds pretty neat. It then has orchestra sections in it as well. Chanted vocals then appear. The percussion then overtakes the listening experience.

Sword Dance – From “The Banquet” is a continuation of the previous piece, yet with a more orchestrated and beautiful classical background that is more traditional of western music. It’s a lovely sounding piece, although short.

The next piece, Only For Love – From “The Banquet” has Chinese singing, which is really beautiful, along with a traditional European sort of classical music setting. It’s an interesting mixture, and is just as good as the other songs here. Nice. It’s soothing and reassuring.

The next piece, Overture, starts off with a Chinese based melody. It then has some traditional Chinese drumming propelling the piece along. It’s not as melancholy as some of the other pieces on this album, at least to begin with, but it still works effectively. It’s a nice listen all the same. Good stuff. More backing gospel harmonies are here, too.

Tan Dun’s most famous piece, For The World, arrives next. It’s a sad and beautiful piece that is extremely moving emotionally. It is a must hear if you enjoy this sort of music, undeniably beautiful. It’s a greatly orchestrated piece of emotion here. Gorgeous.

Sorrow In Desert is a lonely sounding piece that has some prominent drum sounds in it. It’s an image evoking and soundscape sort of piece for listening. Brilliant stuff here, worth a listen.

Farewell, Hero is the last piece on this album. It’s another sad and moving instrumental here. One could even be moved to tears listening to this album, but hey, that is what some of the music here is like. Gospel harmonies and violins are here to be heard.

Although this is merely a film soundtrack, it is definitely worth hearing for something different out there. It’s worth the time, and any Chinese culture fan should take a listen to this. It’s a good representation of these three films set to music.

8/10

Uberzone – Ideology (2007)

Nobody does the hybrid of techno and breakbeat better than Uberzone do. This album is a good one. It features a variety of tracks and instrumentation. Let’s dive in and have a listen.

Okay begins our cyber journey into bliss. With robotic voices and a great beat kicking along, it sounds so different to everything else out there it is refreshing. It’s a good introduction to this album. It must be heard to be believed. There are acid sounds here too, a nice touch. The breakdown sounds great here as well.

4 Bit sounds so 1980’s in a good way that it makes one feel nostalgic. The beat kicks in, and what a beat it is! The grinding bassline makes this song greater than your typical EDM piece. Overall, this album so far is a great sonic trip. This tune is enjoyable as well. There are many unique sounds in the music here, a great piece to listen to when the mood strikes. It fades out mysteriously.

The robotic nature of this sort of music returns with Vibrate. It’s a great piece for those who like this sort of music. It’s surprisingly dance able as well, given the genre of music that this is, despite the fact it is clearly for home listening. A great futuristic and robotic sounding track. It has some highly intelligent sounds here, likely mostly original too.

The unusual Satisfaction follows. No, it’s not the hit by Benny Benassi either. It’s just a good tech-breaks style romp. Some great sounds are found here, which are individual, idealistic and creative. An epic and excellent listen, with some great drum sounds in the middle of the track. Acid noises return as well, just for the ride. A nice piece.

Ideology is the title track, and it starts rather slowly. It’s more laidback than the other tracks here, with some unusual theremin like melodies. It seems quite melancholy here, but still is as consistent as the rest of the album. It’s a good, but not great piece when the mood strikes. Sounds a lot like Radiohead in their Kid A or Amnesiac phase, in fact. It ends with a clock ticking.

FUBAR is much more like it. It’s an excellent and catchy driven piece to boot. It is the sort of tune that could be stuck in your head for days. It’s a wonderfully intriguing listen, so put on your headphones and listen to it. It’s rather more progressive than other EDM tunes out there, too.

The next piece, Alphawave, is a great rhythmic piece with some unusually modified vocal samples as well. It has some great drum sounds as well. It’s just a kickass track with some awesome TB-303 sort of sounds to hear as well. This album is very consistent throughout, always a good thing for the listener. It sounds like it was recorded it 3007, not 2007. A great sonic experiment done well.

The next one sounds apocalyptic. Germs sounds freaky and futuristic. It has a basic rhythm, acid sounds and mechanical melodies to entrance you. It is no doubt one of the better ones on this album, and is musically structured very well.

Geisha samples some Geisha talk in Japanese. It’s a lot slower than some of the other tracks on this album, but sounds like a good head trip all the same. It’s brief, but a good listen.

Funny Noise is another robotic creation from Uberzone. It’s a great deal better than the last couple of tracks, but still very consistent overall. It just flows nicely this album. It’s a robotic and musical project intertwined in a great effort. In the middle of this track, we have a great dancefloor piece. Even through headphones at home, this album is a winner. This track is no exception in this regard.

The short Inner Space is a semi-ambient piece that lets you drift into outer space. There’s not much to it, but it is a nice addition to the album.

The next tune, M87, sounds like a sort of Dub like piece. It’s got some laidback beats and psychedelic noises in it. Whoever said that postmodern music was bad? Uberzone make great tunes, and this album is proof of that. This track sounds like a Sonic The Hedgehog video game soundtrack, no joke.

Black Hole has some strummed acoustic guitar and some real life sounding beats. It sounds different, but good all the same. There is a variety of sampled instrumentation here, from pianos to bongos. It breaks down into silence at the end.

Yes speaks for itself. No comments required for an 11 second track.

The extra track Octopus (Bonus Track) is a solid listen itself. It should have been placed on the original album, but fortunately it is found on some releases of the album. We finish our sonic journey, satisfied with the outcome.

This sort of music is regularly overlooked by critics and consumers alike. However, it is clear that perfect techno + perfect breaks = Uberzone. Do yourself a favour and have a listen to this if you haven’t done so already.

8/10

Silverchair – The Best Of Volume One (2000)

Silverchair are the quintessential post Grunge band. They mixed metal riffs and a variety of Grunge like sounds into a poppy context. Daniel Johns and the band originated from Australia, another indicator of a strange twist to the musical world.

The songs here are really quite good. It covers most of the band’s trajectory to that point. It is simply a good collection of songs.

Let’s dive in and have a look.

Anthem For The Year 2000 begins the listening experience. It’s likely the best political song ever. “We are the youth, we’ll take your Fascism away.” It’s their best song on this recording too. An excellent riff heavy masterpiece. The video for this song was very George Orwellian as well. Some interesting sound effects are here as well.

Freak is a riff heavy and catchy song by the group. It’s an okay song, but perhaps not as consistent as the other songs on the album. “If only I could be as cool as you” is the afterthought on the matter.

The next song is Ana’s Song (Open Fire). This song is a love song, but a very good one at that. There seems to be a psychedelic influence on this one. But it’s a radio ready and good catchy love song here.

The symphonic Emotion Sickness is a calm sounding ballad but is full of rage. It’s a reference to distraught emotions within. It sounds pretty cool, and is a nice change for a Silverchair song. When Daniel Johns screams “GET UP!” you can hear the urgency and pleading in his voice. Great stuff.

Israel’s Son is a surprising and amazing riff heavy piece. It just sounds mega and epic. It refers directly to religious based pain, and the ending is an epic surprise. “Put your hands in the air!” is screamed over and over before the song explodes in your face. A brilliant piece.

Tomorrow follows. It’s a much calmer piece at hand than the previous number. There are some great lyrics in this number. It sounds like proto-Nickelback (but much better than that band by any measure) and is a good listen.

The next song Cemetery is a subdued number. It is a beautiful ballad like piece, which shows the depth of songwriting here. Not bad for easy listening.

The follow up The Door is a much more rocking piece. It is a great song about nothing in particular, but rocks out well. It’s a great rock piece to chill to.

Miss You Love is the next song. It’s a gentle and nice sort of song. It has some contradictory lyrics: “I love the way you love, but I hate the way I am supposed to love you back.” It’s an interesting and good listen.

Abuse Me is likely one of those teenage angst type songs. It invites the idea of just taking a lot of nonsense from someone else. It sounds chilled for such an angry piece. It tells to throw the sailors overboard as well. Interesting.

The next song Pure Massacre slowly breaks into a loud, raw and rocking piece. It sounds like classic rock here. It would be interesting to know what gear these guys were using. Nonetheless, it’s a good listen.

The next song which is Untitled sounds rather weak. There’s nothing really special or interesting about this song. But hey, better than Nickelback though.

New Race is a much better song, directed at young teens about growing up and being a stronger individual. It’s fast and furious, a much better piece from the group. Enjoyable listening. Some chanting at the end is very good.

Trash begins with some distorted piano playing, before launching into some detuned riffing and then some great screaming afterwards. It’s a track for emphasis for sure. A trip for the Grunge generation.

The Ana’s Song (Open Fire) – Acoustic Remix is a great remix with some varied instrumentation and melodies. It sounds even better than the original does. It’s just a great listen. What a killer song.

The following piece Madman – Vocal Mix is a great textured Grunge guitar madness. It has some warped bass chugging along in the background, along with some great guitar work. Nice effort here.

Blind is another song. It sounds like a cover. It’s really not a very good song at all, despite the unsuspecting tempo change. At this point, the album gets a little boring, sadly. It goes on too long as well.

Punk Song 2 sounds raw and unrelenting in its approach. It’s a great song about being like a punk, although it too may be a cover. Nice to hear here.

Wasted / Fix Me is definitely a good medley of two different covers. In fact, it is better than the originals. A good job here by the group.

The next cover here, Minor Threat is another good cover. The album is quite weak on the second half, despite this being a good cover.

The last piece is the Freak – Remix for Us Rejects and is a great remix of the original song earlier on this compilation. It ends the album nicely.

This album by far is not the greatest album ever. But still, if you dig Post Grunge, this is not a bad starting point. The covers on the second half may make this album quite a lot weaker, but it is still a good listen.

7/10

Paul Van Dyk – Volume – The Best Of Paul Van Dyk (2009)

Trance music has never been predictable. Indeed, it is a crescendo of highs and lows in the electronic music world. Well known German DJ Paul Van Dyk put together this mix for us, a greatest hits mix showing off his music so far.

It’s a good minimalistic Trance Music sort of listening, and actually for this genre, is more quality than quantity. It’s a great way to hear some fresh tunes, so let’s jump in.

We begin with For An Angel (PvD Remix ’09) which sounds minimal and melodic for a piece of trance music. It’s a nice introduction with rapid-fire melodies and pounding beats. It’s very simple but well done.

The next piece is Home feat. Johnny McDaid (PvD Club Mix) which is a nice trippy sort of piece. It’s all similar-sounding, but mixed and done so well that it is forgivable. A nice vocal piece is here, worth hearing.

Let Go feat. Rea Garvey (VANDIT Club Mix by PvD) is more techno-based and has some unusual sounds in it. This mix flows so well, that one will be impressed by it. It’s a memorable and catchy piece. In fact, all these tunes are. The change in this tune is awesome.

White Lies feat. Jessica Sutta (Album Mix) is an acid-based experience with intertwined melodies and some great singing from our guest. It’s a nice tune to hear with a few twists and interesting sounds to boot in it.

The minimalist Nothing But You feat. Hemstock & Jennings (Original) is a truly great piece. It is a club classic, with soul searching chanting in it. You must hear this one, it’s an awesome piece with wonderful sounds in it. This album is very, very good so far, and does not fail to impress.

After that, we have Another Way (PvD Club Mix) which has banging beats and acid sounds, once again. It seems that our main man, Paul Van Dyk, uses very similar sounds. But they never disappoint, and this track is proof of it.

Forbidden Fruit (Original) is an interesting trip. Although this album does not promote drug use, it is an almost drug-like experience. A nice chilled, trippy listen.

Together We Will Conquer (Short Version) has some really interesting cut-up drum beats and some nice vocals from a guest. It’s neither overly long nor boring this album, it is purely impressive. A great listen. It sounds totally reassuring.

The next cut, New York City featuring Starkillers & Austin Leeds feat. Ashley Tomberlin (Album Mix) has a guest singer here lyrically evoking about New York City on a clubbing night. It’s a nice touch, with some imaginative thinking about it. It’s a long piece for this recording.

The bass piano-like sound that drives A Magical Moment (Original) leads into an eerie and melodic piece. Not a single track on this album mixed sounds bad or out of place. Now, that’s great modern music! It is a short 4-minute piece but sounds like great clubbing music to chill to.

Words (For Love) sounds very much like a mixture of acid noises, techno, and trance. It is so futuristic that it sounds years ahead of the R & B on the radio today. It really is great. Some great drum rolls are here too.

Tell me Why (The Riddle) feat St. Etienne (PvD Club Mix) is a nice sounding piece featuring St. Etienne with some cut-up vocal phrases from our guest. It’s a good driven piece with a multitude of well-mixed sounds.

Next up is The Other Side feat. Wayne Jackson (Original) sounds musically intense. It’s a neo-Underworld style piece that sounds really good, and tasty. It’s a pacy piece as well. Good listening, with a processed acoustic guitar in it as well. It’s 8 minutes long but doesn’t feel like it is as such.

Following up is the blistering We Are Alive feat. Jennifer Brown (Original) which has a great repeating vocal melody and bombastic drums to boot. It breaks down into a melodic and computerised tune that is very danceable.

Time Of Our Lives feat. Vega 4 (US Radio Edit) is a nice little number reflective on said time of our lives. Melody and rhythm intertwine in such a wonderfully musical way. It’s a great listen for said reflection.

Wir Send Wir & Heppner (Radio Version) is a nice way to finish the album here. It’s a German song but done so well that it could have been English in its emotion. We finish the album off very well.

If you ever need a good listen to one of the greatest introductions to trance music, or just a great mix full of great tunes, start here. You will not be disappointed. The future is here.

9/10

Oasis – Dig Out Your Soul (2008)

The last Oasis album seems prophetic. Surprisingly for the rock group, there seems to be a big air of sadness and melancholy on this recording. This is reflected in the main singles. From all sides of it, Noel and Liam weren’t getting along either.

The music, therefore, is a mixed bag. It should have been a lot stronger an album. It is not. However, without further delay, let’s dive into the album itself.

The first song, Bag It Up, is obviously a drug referenced title. It shows off surreal lyrics, which hold up the theme of the album. Liam’s voice has seen much better days, but the harmonies on this one are fantastic regardless. Apparently, Liam and Noel have their heebie-jeebies in a little bag, if that is clear.

The follow up The Turning follows with a punchy drum beat and surrealistic psychedelic instrumentation. The choir backing vocals in the chorus are not different to that on the previous album in Oasis’s career Standing On The Shoulder of Giants, but it’s okay but an unsatisfying listen. One feels that Oasis could have done better here.

Waiting For The Rapture follows and Noel rambles on a bit here. It’s nothing special and could be bettered in terms of musicality. One can’t help but think that Noel was directly inspired by some later era material by The Beatles. It’s okay but as mentioned, could be bettered.

The Shock of the Lightning is the best song from this album. It sounds so life inspired and upbeat that it doesn’t really seem part of the album itself. But it’s a great listen, and proof that Noel Gallagher could still make great music. “Love is a litany, a magical mystery,” Mint. There’s a drum solo in it too.

The Liam Gallagher penned I’m Outta Time is rather depressing. It could have and should have, been more upbeat. But it’s not. Still, it’s a good listen, when the mood provides. It’s directly inspired by John Lennon and samples an interview which has John Lennon speaking. It’s okay, just very un-Oasis and melancholy, which is not what Oasis were about.

The following piece (Get Off Your) High Horse Lady is pure rubbish. A moaning vocal, repetitive lyrics and a pseudo-shuffle groove does nothing to lift this piece. It’s great when it’s finished, that’s the best bit about it. The sound of footsteps on gravel by a beachside at the end is also unnecessary.

Falling Down is a much better effort, but still, it’s depressing sounding. Still, it’s a good listen and well-structured song. Noel’s singing is fantastic here, he was well and truly ready for his next step – his solo career. But that’s another story. The song here is good though.

To Be Where There’s Life is a punchy and groovetastic song with some overt Indian influences in it. It’s a very good listen, not dissimilar in many respects to Who Feels Love? by Oasis as well. The only problem is that it is not as good as Who Feels Love? but still, it’s worth your time.

The Fender Telecaster driven piece Ain’t Got Nothin’ sounds much like a jam more than anything, but it’s okay. It’s got some of the old Oasis swagger about it but seems much like the rest of the album: hit and miss. It’s an okay listen nonetheless. It’s nice and short though, mind you.

The follow up The Nature Of Reality begins with some random guitar parts before launching into a beatastic piece with more surreal lyrics. It ponders the existence of life, but there could have been a better musical setting for it. It rocks well though.

Soldier On finishes the album on a bad note. It drags on from the word go, and there’s nothing great or special about it.

This, sadly, was the last Oasis album. After Noel Gallagher left Oasis in 2009, the group began a war with each other. Most picked a side between the Gallagher brothers Noel or Liam, but to do so seems illogical. Both were – and are, great musicians. This was their last joint effort before the chaos to be unleashed later on.

6/10

Layo & Bushwacka! – Night Works (2002)

In the 21st century, musically we have never had it so good. Breakbeat in this century is vibrant and interesting.  Many genres of music go well with a breakbeat style rhythm. The British duo known as Layo & Bushwacka! delivered this album, a great listen in breakbeat from start to finish.

Let’s dive in.

Vinyl begins with some rather unusual sounds, sounding rather dark and foreboding. It’s a short introduction to the record, and a good one too.

Ladies And Gentlemen is next, which is also quite short. It has some interesting sounds in it, and a spoken word part. It’s a good way to kick-start the whole recording, and we enter into this listen with style.

Then we have the brilliantly good Shining Through. This piece has bongos galore, a great breakbeat rhythm and some Asian style sounds. It’s a fantastic track, and received much airplay in the EDM scene at the time. It is really that good, worth listening. You can dance to this piece as well, if you wish to. It’s a classic piece.

A very short piece with a middle eastern melody, Sahara, is next. It’s tripped out, and is proof of the mixing abilities of the duo.

We Meet At Last comes next. It has some dark sounds to boot and takes a while to really kick off. It’s not as good as the previous tracks, some of the sounds here are poor choice in the mix. But still, it’s a good effort from Layo & Bushwacka!

Mainlining follows and has a semi psychedelic feel to it. It has some plucked guitar parts, before seguing into the next piece.

The piece that comes next is Let The Good Times Roll. It has some African like melodic singing in it, possibly blues influenced, before hitting us with some good beats to spare. It’s an unusual piece, but given breakbeat’s huge ability to cross into almost any genre, is very good to hear. It’s rather melancholic in its melodies too.

The next arrival is All Night Long, sounding very quiet at the beginning. It flows into pseudo techno beats, and is a good piece to hear. It has some catchy vocal melodies in it as well, reminiscent of Scatman. This is a standout effort on the album, it should be listened to.

Strike is a seven second warping transition into the next piece. Nothing much to say about it given its length.

Sleepy Language arrives next, and boy! It is an awesome 21st century piece. It’s a good listen for when the mood strikes, featuring a great range of samples and ingenious production by the duo. Great work here. Perfect for late night listening.

The following piece, Blind Tiger, is a laidback piece sampling a blues singer and is just chilled as a listen. Good use of delay based sound effects are here. A chugging piano and great saxophone is in the middle here, followed up with a descending bass line. It’s an interesting listen for sure.

The interlinking piece Automatic sounds very machine like. It has some psychedelic sounds which are interesting, before launching into the next piece.

Love Story is a quiet but melodic piece indicating the emotion at hand. It has techno beats in it as well. It’s a good instrumental that is reminiscent of Underworld. Not bad at all. It has an odd midsection to it, before bouncing back to the beats.

2mrw starts off with digitally enhanced beats and sounds IDM like. It jumps into a computerised and futuristic style of song that is fresh and interesting.

The remix entitled Love Story (vs. Finally) (Bushwacka! bootleg version) is very simple and catchy. It’s a good bonus addition, and a subtle, funky listen. The vocal piece in the centre is brilliant.

Following is It’s Up To You (Shining Through) (Radio Mix) which is a great remix of Shining Through with great vocals added. It’s good to hear such variety here, and goes well on this place of the album.

Let The Good Times Roll (Reworked) is another short remix, but a very good one, bringing in more catchy elements to the music at hand. It’s punchy and danceable. Very good effort.

Where Did We Go Wrong? seems to sound just awful. Good thing it is at the end of the album and that most of the rest of the album is listenable. Let’s pretend that this cut did not exist for the most part, it’s ordinary. Even the vocals on this are bad per se. And once this awful track is over, we conclude our journey.

This album is a decent listen overall. For those who love atmospheric sounds and mixed in with breakbeats, be sure to check out this album. You may enjoy it immensly.

7/10

Blink-182 – Blink-182 (2003)

/All the successes of Blink-182 had come to fruition. Despite this, the band went very serious on this recording in comparison to previous efforts. Prior to this, the music of Blink-182 was not very serious at all. This one is. It is the last album to feature guitarist and singing Tom Delonge. It is also their best effort musically.

We begin with pounding drums and lead into Feeling This. It’s a good song about desire, perhaps with an air of melancholy about it. It’s a good song to begin with, and sounds like definitive Blink-182. A great way to start the album.

The grunge like guitars and message of Obvious arrive next. It’s about being cheated on, not at all a comfortable subject to hear. And just when you thought the song was over, bam! It starts again. A good and obvious surprise. Nice.

I Miss You is Blink-182’s most popular song ever. It is a sad ballad about missing someone you love. It is nothing at all like earlier Blink-182 efforts. “Don’t waste your time on me, you’re already the voice inside my head. I miss you.” It’s a very sad song. But so good that it’s worth listening to when the mood demands it.

Violence starts off with some great percussion based sounds, before leading into a fast paced track which is disturbing lyrically. It’s not specifically about violence, but being killed emotionally by a partner. Makes sense if you ever feel this way. It’s just so well done, despite the fact it is a depressing listen. A good job regardless.

The quick and bitter Stockholm Syndrome Interlude comes next. It’s a painful observation with a female voice-over observing a terrible relationship based situation at hand. By now, this could be considered a postmodern breakup concept album of sorts.

It segues into Stockholm Syndrome which is a bitter reflection of the past. It’s effective on many musical and emotional levels. In other words, it is a really good medley of sorts with the previous song.

Down is the next piece. It’s less intense than the previous songs to listen to, but just as good. It’s still about failed relationships though. Who knew what was running through the band’s mind at this point? It’s a good song anyway.

The Fallen Interlude is a mostly instrumental piece that has some minor key melodies in it. It’s a good change from continuous songs. Some great drum work is here as well.

The short and rather disturbing Go arrives next. It is about parents who fight with one another, perhaps verbally or physically and the flow on effects of this. Uncomfortable listening, but fortunately a short listen.

After that, we segue into the rather ordinary Asthenia. It’s not as good as the other songs on this album, but it is still okay to listen to. It could have been bettered though. It seems to refer a lot of classic songs though, which is interesting.

Always is truly a great song. It is just perfectly done for the mood at hand. It’s about still loving someone, even after being rejected in a relationship. It’s something you’d play to someone if you feel that your relationship is on the rocks. Awesome listening.

Easy Target is a short and hateful sounding song. It’s not clear what the subject matter is about, but it fortunately is short for such a track. It has a reoccurring riff throughout that segues into the next song.

The following piece, All Of This, features Robert Smith of The Cure on vocals. It’s a slow paced song with Nine Inch Nails style drums, but it makes a big impact on the listener. Ironic choice for a guest vocalist on a Blink-182 song though. Decent enough anyway.

The short Here’s Your Letter is about being distressed thinking about a girl in one’s life. It explains a series of events, which is quite unusual in modern music. It’s a good listen to hear on the album though.

I’m Lost Without You is the last main song on the album. It’s a very sad piece about the loss of love. The instrumentation and arrangements support the lyrics perfectly. The lyrics sound very deep too, a perfect match for the song. It’s a great epic work. The drumming outro is superb.

Anthem Part Two – Live in Chicago is added to the album’s end. It starts off with a great joke, before heading into a decent live version of said song, which is on the previous Blink-182 album Take Off Your Pants And Jacket. It’s a nice version of the song.

This album is an emotional ride. It’s a postmodern breakup album. Perhaps this was what Tom Delonge had going through his mind at this point, and left Blink-182 after this effort to spend time with his family. Still, the music here is fantastic when the mood desires it. Sadly, Blink-182 were never the same again after Delonge’s departure.

9/10