REVIEW: Blink 182 – Neighborhoods

Artist: Blink 182
Album: Neighborhoods
Genre: Pop Punk
Label: Geffen

Back when Blink 182 announced their reunion, the entire music scene was speechlessly excited, even kids that got into the scene after Blink broke up were going on about how Blink 182 changed their lives, and how them getting back together was like totally the best thing that had ever happened to them. I of course, was too busy being excited about the Sunny Day Real Estate reunion, The Get Up Kids reunion, and complaining about how no one is paying attention to those other reunions because of the Blink 182 reunion, to really pay much attention to how monumental a moment it really was. But while I watched from the outside, my detached attitude to the matter really provided me with a unique and beneficial viewpoint. I recognized this event as important, I started listening to Blink 182 was ten, and I probably would have lost interest in drumming if it weren’t for Travis Barker. I thought it was very cool that they were back together, nothing more really. But after watching the reactions of my close friends, fellow musicians, and complete strangers, I finally realized how monumental an occasion it really was. There are so many people out there that were profoundly affected by this little band that was fueled almost exclusively by fart jokes. Countless people wouldn’t have picked up instruments, so many of our favorite bands wouldn’t exist, people wouldn’t have chosen to get involved in the music industry, or some people simply wouldn’t have a very good sense of humor, if not for Blink 182. So, at the risk of sounding horribly cheesy, it could be said that their new album Neighborhoods is the cumulation of the past decade of the music industry. Which may be just a bit too melodramatic, but only in an attempt to illustrate the insurmountable hype and anticipation preceding this hugely important album.

Honestly, I set myself up for disappointment, I mean, after all the media hype, fan hype, nostalgia, and album delays, how on earth could this album live up to what everyone so optimistically assumed would be? But, to my surprise, it came miles closer than I ever thought it would. Neighborhoods shows a great degree of maturation and overall solidarity, it almost feels like the band never called it quits in the first place. It is very cohesive, and the chemistry between Mark, Tom, and Travis is abundantly clear; it feels fresh and exciting, yet constant and well-developed enough that, if I didn’t know better, I would never guess that Neighborhoods is their first album together as Blink 182 in 8 years. This isn’t blind idolization, truth be told, I noticed almost immediately on “Natives” that Mark Hoppus’ vocals weren’t always on point, they always served as a good background to Tom DeLonge’s vocals, not quite frontman material, but it still feels like with all the effort and hype put into this album, Mark’s vocals could be just a bit better. But Tom’s vocals still shine though, and in song’s like “Heart’s All Gone” where Mark’s vocals are simply there to highlight the main vocal line, it feels just right. But to be fair, that’s the only real flaw that could be found on Neighborhoods, and that is simply unreal.

I believe it may have been impossible from the start for this album to live up to it’s otherworldly hype. That said, people seemed to be more excited by the idea of Blink 182 themselves, as opposed to the content of the new album, but that doesn’t mean it had a free pass before it was even recorded. Every aspect of this album was doomed to be over scrutinized by every fan, critic, and naysayer that listens to it. And in that respect, even attempting such a task is admirable, but pulling it off to such a successful degree is seriously impressive. Neighborhoods does have its imperfections, though most of which can be attributed to the unrealistic degree of perfection that was assumed of this album. But in terms of a comeback album from a simply legendary band, it was extremely well executed. If nothing else, the overall impact of not only this album, but Blink 182 as a whole, on it’s fans, and the scene as a whole, is enough to grant this album the status as one of the most important releases of the year. It also helps that it’s pretty damn good, too.

SCORE: 9/10
Reviewed by: Mike Hogan

James Shotwell
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One Response to “REVIEW: Blink 182 – Neighborhoods”

  1. I was with you until the fart jokes part, but following that I just found myself disagreeing with you more and more. I thought this was a musically mediocre album with terrible production and even worse lyric. I don’t hear any maturation that you’re talking about, aside from a noticeable lack of fart jokes. With this album Blink 182 have successfully killed 90% of the reason anyone care about them (in my opinion)–they were fun. This album is a big, steamy pile of no fun.

    More on your review… too much backstory, not enough actual review and discussion of the album’s content.