Blink-182 became famous as Clinton-era punks run amok in suburbia, but 2003's eponymous Blink-182 saw a shift in the bands pop-punk sound for more experimental elements resulting in the band's more mature sound. Neighborhoods, the band's first LP in eight years, picks up where they left off.
Blink-182's return may be welcomed by some, especially anyone who spent their formative high school years with the band's antics and pop-punk tunes, however Neighborhoods isn't the triumphant return fans have been waiting for. The record like it's lead single, "Up All Night," re-lives past-triumphs failing to cover new ground.
Neighborhoods is a universally darker record, achieving with limited success more thoughtful rock, leaving behind their bare bones pop-punk. Blink's grittier sound is too often is weighed down by clunky, angst-ridden narratives; "Stop draining the colour outta my scene/just play me something to dance to," sings Hoppus on the misguided "Kaleidoscope." Lyrically feeling immature for a band in their late 30s.
Luckly the band finds promise in the sonic synth atmosphere of "This is Home," or alt-rock of "Love Is Dangerous" reaching beyond the record's usual sound. All too often however DeLonge and company get stuck in nostalgia, with one foot in the past and one in the present. Neighborhoods is a fun visit with a band, who once dominated pop music, but the nostaligic feeling quickly fades.
Essential Tracks: "This is Home" and "Ghosts On the Dancefloor"