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Angels and Airwaves - I-Empire (Cover Artwork)

Angels and Airwaves

Angels and Airwaves: I-EmpireI-Empire (2007)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In my review of the last effort from Tom Delonge's Angels and Airwaves, the majority of my complaints revolved around the sheer excess of each song. It seemed like the album was less focused on producing a coherent work and more interested in shedding the "baggage" of Tom's more jejune former band. .
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In my review of the last effort from Tom Delonge's Angels and Airwaves, the majority of my complaints revolved around the sheer excess of each song. It seemed like the album was less focused on producing a coherent work and more interested in shedding the "baggage" of Tom's more jejune former band. Each track creaked under the weight of production tricks and lengthy introductions; hooks were buried under masses of extraneous sound.

With I-Empire, it may seem like little has changed. Tom still backs his nasal but endearing vocals with music nicked from the Edge, the Police and the Cure and the songs still seem designed to be sung with arms outstretched and eyes closed. Still, there is a remarkable economy of sound. Songs have decreased by just a minute or two apiece, but the difference is surprising. The opening song, "Call to Arms" clocks in at five minutes but the song begins promptly and the hook works.

A similar comment could be made about the album's first single, the mercifully concise "Everything's Magic." The song rather ostenstatiously borrows a bass line from the Cure's "Close to Me" -- perhaps one of the more distinctive lines in recent memory -- but it still works. The Edge-esque guitar line combined with an urgent pace makes for a memorable and fun song.

"Love Like Rockets" takes a little while to get going, but works quite well. "Sirens" has a "Do Do Do" moment, but works because it trades some of AvA's musical hubris and trades it in for the kind of simple pop melody that punctuated Tom's earliest material. Perhaps "Secret Crowds" is the most satisfying track as it feels like the band finally cuts loose a little with rhythm guitarist David Kennedy trading his echo pedal for some welcome crunch. It's among the best songs Tom has written in quite some time.

Just over a year has passed since We Don't Need to Whisper, and I'm pleased to report that things are looking up. The reconfigured band is definitely tighter, and Tom's songwriting seems more comfortable and fluid. It stills lacks the stark clarity of Blink-182, and still sounds like the kind of band Tom would have mocked in his prior days. But that said, I-Empire is a better album, and Angels & Airwaves is a better band.

 

 
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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.
heretic (September 25, 2011)

I always preferred this album to Whisper, but it only just recently hit me how lame Whisper actually is.
When I got into this band, I bought I-Empire first because I heard "Everything's Magic" and liked it. I really enjoy the fact that the songs are shorter, but still have build-time. I remember trying to tell my girlfriend why I like this band so much, how artistic they are, and then the "la da da, lda da, la de da dee da" from Sirens came on, and I did feel a bit embarrassed.

But I'm a fan.

goodbye_kid (November 21, 2008)

I love this CD. I love Tom's voice.

C-Men (June 29, 2008)

huge disappointment. we don't have to whisper is better.

SilentStorms (November 14, 2007)

"Listen, what you have in your hand will mark the dawn of the next generation of music. That's why the cover album is set during the dawn of a new day. What this means is the dawn of the rise of the greatest musicians the world has ever known. If you gaze into Tom's eyes you see he has much to say but also he hides...that's because if he could make the album he really wanted to do it's golden glory would destroy your minds. It's going to take 30 years of Angels and Airwaves records to prepare for the master work of the gods...."

Ahahahahahahaha. Oh man. Gimme a second ... ahahaahahahahahahaaa. Ok I'll stop. Ha.

mattman0182 (November 13, 2007)

I dont know what the writer of the article is smoking, but to say AVA is a better band then Blink 182 is insane.

As for the album, the first one was actually ok, but boring after a while. This album is a complete regression. The songs all sound the same, they have no melody, and because of the computer tricks on Toms voice, its almost impossible to understand what he is saying. Tom really needs to get over himself and come back down to earth. The album is complete garbage.

frostbrewliner (November 10, 2007)

I really want to get this on vinyl so I can have that beautiful artwork they way it is truly meant to be seen.

jacknife737 (November 10, 2007)

hey, although its really easy to poke fun, some of the songs are actually kind of catchy.

fritobandito (November 10, 2007)

does this band remind anyone else of a watered down appleseed cast for prepubescent girls?

sleepwalker (November 9, 2007)

The first album was beyond boring. I can't imagine ever wanting to give this a listen.

Jesus_H_Christ (November 9, 2007)

Listen, what you have in your hand will mark the dawn of the next generation of music. That's why the cover album is set during the dawn of a new day. What this means is the dawn of the rise of the greatest musicians the world has ever known. If you gaze into Tom's eyes you see he has much to say but also he hides...that's because if he could make the album he really wanted to do it's golden glory would destroy your minds. It's going to take 30 years of Angels and Airwaves records to prepare for the master work of the gods....

fallingupwards84 (November 9, 2007)

i still cant believe this shit gets a 7/10 on this website

ThoughtriotAF578 (November 9, 2007)

Score is for tom's verbal diarrhea on their myspace page.

rugget (November 8, 2007)

That cover is fuckin hilarious

rozcoemission (November 8, 2007)

I was bored at work so I streamed this... horrible!!! If he's been waiting 20 years to make this record he obviously has been smoking meth listening to too much cure

Autosuggestion (November 8, 2007)

The song rather ostenstatiously borrows a bass line from the Cure's "Close to Me" -- perhaps one of the more distinctive lines in recent memory -- but it still works.

Recent memory? A bass line from 22 years ago?

dordon (November 8, 2007)

""Album art is pure comedy. Does anyone know if that is Drew Stuzan (the guy who does all the Star Wars stuff) or just a copy cat?

It is Drew. At least, according to Tom."

Tom also said Joe Strummer told him his son was into Blink in the same interview......Joe didn't have a son."

i thought he said it was pete townshend... not joe strummer

maverick (November 8, 2007)

"Album art is pure comedy. Does anyone know if that is Drew Stuzan (the guy who does all the Star Wars stuff) or just a copy cat?"

It is Drew Struzan; he's credited in the album's liner notes.

-Scott

AlmostPunkEnough (November 8, 2007)

score is for the fact that this is a joke more than anything else.

that being said, the first album had two good songs. most of this is so corny it borders on unlistenable. until i remember that it's not for real. then i just don't wanna listen anyway.

johnnygoneargyle (November 7, 2007)

this album is a LOT better than the first one, but the only song that's actually good is "call to arms" imo.

turneyfoshee (November 7, 2007)

I liked New Wave more than this shit.

inagreendase (November 7, 2007)

hey, what happened to that product Tom was making that would "Revolutionize the way mainstream America listens to music"?

http://www.punknews.org/images/covers/angels_and_airwa ves-i_empire.jpg

maladroit (November 7, 2007)

I started laughing really hard when I saw the album art, then I scroll down and see everyone else is too. Now I'm laughing even harder.

GlassPipeMurder (November 7, 2007)

Just uploaded the Everything's Magic single and I must say it is very enjoyable. I have mixed feelings about Tom and this project in general, but I do get good vibes from this song.

xjustx24 (November 7, 2007)

3 and 1/2 stars? are you fucking kidding me???????

F_Ward (November 7, 2007)

Fuck this.

PregnantOctopus (November 6, 2007)

Hah, more like Blink-18U2. Or something.

brixtongunman (November 6, 2007)

more like Gayngels & Airgayves!!!

sorry, I enjoy doing that shit far more than I should. (I'm not a homophobe I swear)

VictorIkpeba24 (November 6, 2007)

Better than their first album, but that was really easy. It's an enjoyable pop album, but I will never buy it, cause I really can't show to people that I own an album with such a horrible cover art...

DiscoFucker (November 6, 2007)

"Album art is pure comedy. Does anyone know if that is Drew Stuzan (the guy who does all the Star Wars stuff) or just a copy cat?

It is Drew. At least, according to Tom."

Tom also said Joe Strummer told him his son was into Blink in the same interview......Joe didn't have a son.

damnitsderek (November 6, 2007)

oh my god, that cover art.

that is absolutely priceless.

sleepwalk (November 6, 2007)

Album art is pure comedy. Does anyone know if that is Drew Stuzan (the guy who does all the Star Wars stuff) or just a copy cat?

It is Drew. At least, according to Tom.

MyStereoHasMono (November 6, 2007)

"It stills lacks the stark clarity of Blink-182"

So there's no songs about farting or boners?

cpp_ (November 6, 2007)

I hate to say it, I never liked Blink and I never liked the last album. But this album at least had an ok listening to song "Rite of Spring". The rest of the album and previous album is every song with a verse that seems to be leading up to somthing but nothing comes out of it. It's almost as if he gets bored after writing the verse and says 'fuck it!' as soon as he gets to the chorus.

moneenerd (November 6, 2007)

Based purely on principle I will never, ever listen to a band with cover art like that. Not to mention that the ridiculous shit that this guy says about his band makes me wonder if the whole "change the way people listen to music" thing is actually supposed to funny or ironic in some way.

I second that

Cos (November 6, 2007)

Album art is pure comedy. Does anyone know if that is Drew Stuzan (the guy who does all the Star Wars stuff) or just a copy cat?

christopherrager (November 6, 2007)

Based purely on principle I will never, ever listen to a band with cover art like that. Not to mention that the ridiculous shit that this guy says about his band makes me wonder if the whole "change the way people listen to music" thing is actually supposed to funny or ironic in some way.

LooseKanonYankee (November 6, 2007)

hey, what happened to that product Tom was making that would "Revolutionize the way mainstream America listens to music"?

AND what about the Movie for the first album?

LooseKanonYankee (November 6, 2007)

haha "Jejune" thats a 5 dollar word

Piata (November 6, 2007)

That album cover is fucking HILARIOUS.

Score is for the album art. I can't stop laughing.

88fingersOscar (November 6, 2007)

damn you showed me.

88fingersOscar (November 6, 2007)

why has noone commented on the terrible artwork?

GreenVandal (November 6, 2007)

The album cover looks like a movie poster for ET or Star Wars or something. That is fucking hilarious.

jacknife737 (November 6, 2007)

*cough*higher score than new wave*cough*

Haven't given it a listen, but I am looking forward to picking it up this friday.

Oldpunkerforever (November 6, 2007)

Secret crowds is the best on here with rite of spring right behind, this CD is not that bad for what it is. As much as allot of people hate Toms voice, I actually like it for the music he has behind it, it works. -oldpunker-

seankingston (November 6, 2007)

Both of their CD's have only had about 2 listenable songs a piece. "Secret Crowds" and "Everything's Magic" are obnoxious, but well constructed. "The Adventure" and "Start the Machine" were ok on the first one. Regardless, 3.5 is ridiculous score for this CD.

fallingupwards84 (November 6, 2007)

give it time guys... in 29 more years, you all will be giving this album 5 stars

maverick (November 6, 2007)

I'd give the first album 3.5 stars -- I thought there were some really good rock songs on there. This one just feels too bloated for me, and there's not enough new ideas implemented from the first record.

-Scott

Dante3000 (November 6, 2007)

At this rate, in 30 years he'll actually have a good album.
WOOO!
-Dante

scorpiondeathlock (November 6, 2007)

i dont like this too much. i think if the last album wouldve cut 2 minutes of spaceship filler from each song it wouldve been really good.

DiscoFucker (November 6, 2007)

I'll give it a try. The first had it's moments, but overall just got boring. I'm all about musicians being cocky and pretentious; some of the best music ever made has been made by complete assholes. (Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones.)

fallingupwards84 (November 6, 2007)

i respect Aubin for passing up the temptation to completely bash both this album and band for being the joke that it is...
however, the review doesnt match the high score

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