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Blink-182 - Neighborhoods (Cover Artwork)

Blink-182

Blink-182: NeighborhoodsNeighborhoods (2011)
Interscope

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It was a different world when Blink-182 released their last album, either self-titled or untitled, depending on whom you ask, back in late 2003. I myself enjoyed my first listen of that album on my Sony Discman during my lunch period on an otherwise uneventful day of junior high. It's astonishing to.
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It was a different world when Blink-182 released their last album, either self-titled or untitled, depending on whom you ask, back in late 2003. I myself enjoyed my first listen of that album on my Sony Discman during my lunch period on an otherwise uneventful day of junior high. It's astonishing to take a step back and realize how much things really have changed since then; for the band, for their fans, and for the music world at large. While a bevy of reality shows and side projects (most notably Angels & Airwaves, +44, and that weird rap album Travis Barker made) have kept the group's name in the public's consciousness, the fact remains that this is the band's first new record in just shy of eight years. Eight years. That's half of how long it took for Chinese Democracy to come out. It's been a long time. So with that out of the way, let's get to the actual music.

The first few tracks on Neighborhoods are energetic, upbeat, oddly danceable numbers. Much like they did on their last outing, co-vocalists Mark Hoppus and Tom Delonge both contribute vocals to almost every song, rather than the practice of their earlier albums, which generally featured "Mark songs" and "Tom songs." Even with this collaborative spirit, Delonge seems to dominate the proceedings here. There's a lot more Tom than Mark to be found on Neighborhoods. Several of the songs sound closer to Delonge's Angels & Airwaves. The hard rock riff that band incorporates into their sound rears its head here on songs like "Snake Charmer" and first single "Up All Night".

Generally speaking, the songs that do feature Hoppus in a more commanding role tend to be the songs that slant more on the side of the band's earlier work. The most "punk rock" song on Neighborhoods is Hoppus' speedy "Heart's All Gone", and his "Kaleidoscope" is one of the only songs that wouldn't feel out of place on their previous album.

Hoppus has always been my favorite of the two vocalists, but Delonge takes the prize for best song on Neighborhoods with the so-catchy-it-hurts "Wishing Well", even if some of the lyrics are pretty nonsensical ("I reached for a shooting star, it burned a hole through my hand. Worked its way through my heart, had fun in the Promised Land." What the hell is that supposed to mean?). The song should make for a pretty big single once radio picks up on it.

The biggest factor that separates Neighborhoods from the rest of Blink-182's catalog isn't so much the songs themselves (although most of them do see the band trying new things), but rather the production. It's worth noting that the band recorded the majority of the album separately, with Hoppus and Barker recording their parts in Los Angeles, and Delonge recording his in San Diego. This is palpable when listening to the album. The whole thing has a very distant, isolated feel. However, without the presence of a good editor, namely Jerry Finn, the band seems to throw every possible production trick possible into the mix. I've never been one to complain about overproduction–I love a good, old-fashioned, huge-sounding rock record when it's done right, but there are so many effects going on here that it actually detracts from the record as a whole.

There are some pretty solid pop-rock hooks buried underneath that wall of effects, but it takes a few listens to fully grasp them. So much so that it might turn off the casual listener. If there's any record even tangentially related to the punk rock scene released this year that stands a chance of selling one million copies it's probably this one, though I imagine if this record were released by a new band, or even say, Angels & Airwaves, that wouldn't be the case. There are some pretty enjoyable songs on Neighborhoods, but those weird effects ares so off-putting that on a whole, it can't really be considered much more than average. It's worth a listen or two, and it will be listened to by a HUGE amount of people, but I imagine it will be met with some disappointment.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
alysonrose (March 5, 2013)

If you are a long time fan of Blink, you'll know that there wasn't much for them to do. If they would have made an album like "Dude Ranch" people would have said they were old sellouts looking to the past. This album isn't great, sure, but there are some good songs. Blink didn't try too hard on this album, and I think that that was the intention. They didn't want it to feel forced. I'm sure they put in effort, don't get me wrong, but I think they just kind of let things fall into place. Overall, it's a decent album.

commie1848 (September 29, 2012)

People piss and moan here because it is the 'review' section where we are supposed to share our opinions on recordings from different bands. I know every critical comment of blink 182 must feel like your high school girl friend studying with the quaterback all over again (or whatever), but seriously, not a good album. After eight years this what they have to show? And did they really have anything to show from the start?

1080Rider (February 8, 2012)

Why does everyone have to piss and moan. If you don't like the newest album, listen to good charlotte or whatever else you listen to. These guys made a new album, it wasn't the same as the last, it wasn't the same as their first. It was just their next album...

PS- eatdogs... sweet blog!!!

duh (October 6, 2011)

im sorry to everyone who likes this but im sure glad i downloaded it. this is horrible.

chipsahoycookie (October 5, 2011)

bois

chipsahoycookie (October 5, 2011)

sk8r

chipsahoycookie (October 5, 2011)

hart

chipsahoycookie (October 5, 2011)

i

MAINOFFENDER (October 4, 2011)

gr8

wild186 (October 3, 2011)

come to nyc!

upsetandbroke (October 3, 2011)

Would be good to see a review from someone who was in junior high around the Cheshire Cat/Dude Ranch era to see how it looks through the eyes of someone who grew up with them. A good album though.

Dycelot (September 30, 2011)

"what the hell was that supposed to mean"? it could have meant simply that he reached for a sure thing but got burnt instead and the failure unexpectedly hurt him. something like that. otherwise a good review, but i think this is worth at least 3 and a half. i like these guys now, didn't until the "self titled/untitled"

JayTee (September 30, 2011)

- I LIKE THE SONG "HEARTS ALL GONE"!!!!

- I KIND OF LIKE THE SONG "NATIVES"!!1

- I LIKE THAT ONE PART OF THAT ONE SONG WHERE IT'S LIKE "DA-DA-DA-DAHHH, DADADA-DAHHHH"!!!!

- I KIND OF LIKE THE RIFF IN SNAKE CHARMER!

That is all. That's it.

nickvicious (September 30, 2011)

I thought it was a pretty decent album. If you want a it to be Dude Ranch or Enema, you'll be upset. But if you accept it as what it is (and forget that it is even blink 182 in the first place) then it's pretty damn good.

millslane (September 29, 2011)

The album grows on you as a whole but there are at least two throwaway songs, Love is Dangerous and track 13 on the deluxe. The 1st half of the album is great though.

mogs (September 29, 2011)

I loved blink since the begining and I kinda always had a feeling they'd get back together. It took awhile and alot of things happened/changed since their last album (my personal favorite) which is why this album is the way it is. I think this album is a pretty damn good album. A little on the dark side but still really good. That's what I like about it. It's where they are in their lives. The lyrics are good and the music is good too. They've thrown a little of everything into it. They're always progressing as songwriters and musicians and to me it's awesome. The dick jokes and all that will always be a part of them especially at their live shows and who knows, maybe the'll throw a few in their next album. 5 STARS!!

porksoda (September 28, 2011)

Finally a review were the person isn't unabashedly gushing over the record. People are so disillusioned. Blink could put out a record of pure aural shit (which they almost did with this) and people would be like, "This is their best record ever!!"

Neighborhoods is not a good record. It's not a bad record, but it's not very good either. Agreeing with pretty much everyone else, you hit the nail on the head with the review. Tom needs to understand the purpose of a side project, and somebody needs to remind him why people started liking Blink 182 in the first place: catchy, fast, fun songs. Not songs about space and being a 'prodigal son.'

Terko64 (September 28, 2011)

Review nailed it, although i love blink and grew up with them..... this album just isnt quite up to par..... to much ava to little blink. really wish they would have had mark do some more... hearts all good is the only "replay-able" song on the album.... glad they came back for one last hoo-raa though. mad respect blink.

paulrulzdood (September 28, 2011)

wow, what a spot-on review. couldnt' have said it better myself. every thought i had whille listening (tom domination on the writing, the distant/cold feel of apparant disjointed part recording, mark providing the only "throwback" songs).

it's nothing great. take 44, a bigger dose of Angels & Airwaves and a dash of the last blink album from 2003, add some maturity and awkwardness and you've got this album.

BluthCo (September 28, 2011)

The production's kind of weird, but the songs are still pretty good. I'm glad they're rooted in pop-punk and weren't too heavily influenced by Angels and Airwaves.

flydebs (September 28, 2011)

I feel like there's a good album buried under all those effects... Somewhere...

CropOfTheCream (September 28, 2011)

I think this is the best possible record they could have made after being separated for all those years. The next record will probably be a lot better.

Dante3000 (September 28, 2011)

Seriously, everyone on my twitter feed was losing their minds when this leaked a few weeks back. I didn't even know what they were talking about. I thought Neighborhoods was some awful band. In conclusion my friends are dorks.

r3vengetherapy (September 28, 2011)

I didn't plan on even bothering with this, but I saw the stream and I'm at work so I figured why not. It's actually not the disaster I was expecting after hearing that single, which is probably the worst song on the record. I do wish Mark had done more lead vocals as I've always found him to be the stronger of the two. I totally agree that the production is overdone and has way too many bells and whistles attached to it. They've always known how to make good pop songs though. Should have made a whole record of songs in the vein of "Heart's All Gone."

friokir (September 28, 2011)

sounds better than s/t as a whole, but too much ava. pleasantly suprised tho.

oldpunkerforever (September 28, 2011)

First off, alot of people, including me did not have high hopes for this and I am actually suprised at how good some of the songs are, very nice progression from the self titled, however my real complaints are really just 2 things. One is the production, its way over the top and a bit much at times, alot of it could have and should have been trimmed down. The other is much of it sounds likes AVA with a blink twist, Tom is trying way to hard on this and I actually think my fav songs are w Mark taking lead or at least most of the vocals.
All in all though for alot of punks ( or otherwise) hoping for failure, this is not it -oldpunker-

thirtyseconds (September 28, 2011)

Pretty well actually son!

fox82 (September 28, 2011)

This one is just as bad as the self-titled record.

Question to anyone who still cares enough about them to actually pay money to see them live: How do the fit in the songs about fucking dogs and getting blowjobs off girls with all these 'serious, grown-up' songs of late?

thirtyseconds (September 28, 2011)

I love it.

colin (September 28, 2011)

I'm always amazed at how many people still care about this band. That last album was such garbage, too.

yes, yes, yes.

tenwestchaser (September 27, 2011)

I'm always amazed at how many people still care about this band. That last album was such garbage, too.

anarchypants (September 27, 2011)

The productin isn't great but I do like most of the songs.

Apeman_on_the_moon (September 27, 2011)

The production on this is terrible. I kept checking different versions of these songs on Youtube to make sure I wasn't hearing demo tracks recorded in someones boiler room.

joemomma420666 (September 27, 2011)

no this is the best you are you ng i wasin 9th grade when s/t came out it tomances me punctual

kickaha (September 27, 2011)

I like this more than I thought I would. Seems to me they picked up where the last album left off and made this sound like a natural progression even with so much time off. Of course there are elements from 44 and Angels & Airwaves but I expected as much.

hashbrowns (September 27, 2011)

it sounds completely phoned in to me. i'm not sure how much of it was written/rehearsed from home (LA to San Diego), but it sounds pretty paint by numbers at parts.

i miss jerry finn's production. i really feel he would have helped them create a more interesting album.

exitenglish1208 (September 27, 2011)

not as good as s/t, but i still really like it. it's definitely a grower, after half a dozen listens i found myself getting really into it. definitely is overproduced though, someone should have re-taught them how to end a song, that's really my biggest complaint. wishing well definitely is super catchy, really like that song

eatdogs (September 27, 2011)

i always hated blink 182 throughout junior high and high school. HATED them and their fans with a passion. i was on the other side, jamming really crappy nu-metal shite. it wasn't until i was at college that i considered giving them another chance. i purchased their greatest "hits" album and remembered how i did actually like the song, "dammit". anyway, this band wasn't my gateway into punk, (Green Day were the ones circa 94 or so...) but i can understand the nostalgia for these dudes. they have/had a rabid fanbase and i think this album had a lot riding on it.

still, it wasn't but five or six months ago when i spotted two guys i went to jr high and high school with at a new found glory show here in okc at the conservatory. these dudes still looked like they did back in jr high, what with their short, spikey hair and tom delonges swift, gelled bangs. they told me about how they took their jr high, high school band to LA and try to land with a record label. they almost had it, but it didn't turn into anything much. i felt sorry for them, but then realised that they were still probably as crappy as they were in jr high and high school. total blink 182 copy cats. (their old band was called, C.P.R., or Crappy Punk Rock. aparently that's what blink 182 used to be called or something...)

oh, and i haven't heard this yet and don't know when i will. i haven't had really good access to new music like i used to...

donniesaur (September 27, 2011)

I don't know if I can trust the judgement of someone who was in Junior High in 2003....

MuhammadMormon (September 27, 2011)

Should have stayed dead.

MN_DrNick (September 27, 2011)

Ugh....

ZappBrannigan (September 27, 2011)

The last two paragraphs hit the nail on the head. The production drowns it (it feels completely impersonal as a result), the songs have no variety, and it gives me the overall impression that they aren't trying. Their s/t was my favorite from them; it showed progression and seemed pretty heartfelt, interesting, and varied. Sounds like they pretty much agreed that the side projects weren't successful enough, so half-assing the old band and letting Tom do his nonsense shit was a smarter move. Lame.

goodbye_kid (September 27, 2011)

solid work, but not their best... too bad finn is gone, producing is pretty lame. but i fucking love them. for sure blink 182 is more than music to me.

drunkwithpower (September 27, 2011)

good god, you were in junior high when that album came out? I think I was a junior in college. I've been doing this too long.

Doubleb50 (September 27, 2011)

I just went and bought this 2 hours ago and gave it a quick listen and im glad i planned for the worst. Its not terrible but i cant say i like it. "hearts all gone" is the only song i really enjoy. Ive given up hope on them ever puttin out another duderanch or even enema.

JaseHxC (September 27, 2011)

My first listen left me rather disappointed and then I struggle to make it through a second time in it's entirety. All in all, it's a great rock album with some catchy hooks and lyrics but it's not the Blink-182 I fell in love with and still go back to today when I need a quick fix. I support an artist's right to expand their sound and branch out but in the case of Blink, I can't get behind it as they have side projects to venture into new territories. I'd like to note that I did enjoy the self titled album greatly.

2/5

bryne (September 27, 2011)

Not a classic by any means, but most of it's grown on me. Even "Up All Night."

ZachLeg (September 27, 2011)

i dig this record. especially the tracks 1-8

teaessare (September 27, 2011)

Agreed. Especially about the "distant" part.

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