By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
As 1999's melancholy suicide note "Adam's Song" revealed, the boys in Blink-182 have always been more than just pop-punk pranksters delighting in fart jokes, masturbation puns and Peter Pan syndrome. The Southern California trio stresses this often during Blink-182, a drastic departure from previous albums that elevates the band beyond its usual sixth-grade reading level.
"Feeling This" speaks of a bedroom romp, but its looping drums and layered harmonies hint at mature musicality. Even more experimental is "The Fallen Interlude," stacked with blippy piano and drum & bass stutters, as well as the excellent Cure doppelgänger "All of This," on which mopemonger Robert Smith adds lyrics and gloomy vocals.
Plenty of hard-driving mosh-pit fomenters will satisfy old-school fans, and Blink still sounds as if it needs a stint with the guidance counselor: The charging metal punk of "Go" hints at domestic violence, and "Obvious" spits vitriol on behalf of a betrayed heart ("I saw you again/I know you fucked him again"). Sure, their carefree juvenilia may have made them famous, but growing up has made Blink a better band.
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