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

Blink-182 – Enema Of The State (1999)

This album broke Blink-182 into the mainstream. Prior to this, they had set themselves up as a novelty sort of group for skater punks and young college tools. After the release of this album, they widened and broadened their audience to a mainstream perspective.

The songs are definitely here, along with the production and mixing. It sounds much better than what their previous releases did. Plus, Blink-182 had an image to boot as well. This is their highest selling album to date. It’s excellent, so let’s dive in and check it out.

We begin with Dumpweed. It’s a short tale about college romance, and desperately attempting to hold it all together. It’s short, sharp and just perfect to start off the album with.

The feeling of betrayal by a girl enters the scene. Don’t Leave Me is all about that. It’s a very good listen and continues the strength of the album. These songs are shorter than you’d expect, but just top notch all the same.

Aliens Exist is a story about contact with alien life. It’s a typical Tom Delonge penned idea and something he is semi-obsessed with, even to this day. Sadly, Tom Delonge is no longer an active Blink-182 member, but he captures the surreal well here.

Going Away To College is a tale of trust in dealing with the said title of the song. It’s very American Pie-ish this album and is reflected in the choice of song subjects and selected works here. Still, it is very good.

The follow up What’s My Age Again? speaks of young adult immaturity, and never being able to hold down a relationship due to this particular reason. It’s quite melodic and catchy. Never a dull moment on this album.

The next song Dysentery Gary is about a guy who loses his mind over heartache with girls. It’s a very short and interesting twist for Blink-182.

Adam’s Song talks directly about suicide. It’s a great song though, and directly quotes Nirvana into Blink-182 territory: “I took my time, I hurried up. The choice was mine, I didn’t think enough.” It’s a strong statement and is consistent enough to remain sitting well in the middle of the album, segueing into the next song.

All The Small Things was the last song recorded for this album, but you can hear why. It’s the best song on that album and is a party song for sure. It’s so catchy and has a wonderful melody to boot. Enjoy this hit single of theirs.

The follow up is The Party Song which is hilarious. The best lyric in it is, “Some girls try too hard,” which is true but listen to the song lyrics for further understanding on this one. It’s hilarious and awesome, which is what Blink-182 did best.

The song afterward, Mutt is much more punky and humourous than you’d think. It tells the story of an interesting couple who just are in it for the sex. It’s comical, and worth your attention.

Wendy Clear is a nonsense story and perhaps is a little weak because of it. But it sits as a bridging piece towards the end of the album.

Anthem finishes the album with a hilarious story of a house party being thrown. These guys obviously had a decent sense of humour and it flows in this tale of underage fun. The album ends nicely here.

After the release of All The Small Things as a single, Blink-182 went mega. They stayed this way until 2005, when Tom Delonge left the band for personal reasons. Things were not the same again after that for Blink-182. Still, this recording is exactly what you need if you want some 90’s punk with attitude. The loud guitars here point to that, it’s a keeper this album.

9/10