Album Review: Blink 182 – “Neighborhoods”

I wouldn’t be surprised if Blink 182 guitarist/vocalist Tom Delonge said: “We’re doing this my way or I’ll quit again,” before the band entered into the studio to record their new album ‘Neighborhoods’.

Angels & Airwaves fans will love this new Blink 182 record, while old school fans will most probably purchase it to complete their collection, if nothing else.

With that said, it isn’t all bad. It still has some classic Blink 182 elements, just with more synthesizers and abstract noises.

Besides the weird noises, the thing that makes this record seem more Tom Delonge orientated is the fact that he sings on 75% of the songs. Usually co-vocalist Mark Hoppus takes an even share.

A large number of factors would have added to the different sounds on this album. It’s been more than seven years since they recorded their self-titled album and so much has happened to each member over that period of time.

Travis Barker released a hip-hop album and was in a plane crash, Hoppus had a short run with +44 and then became the host of his very own TV show and Delonge released three albums and a full length movie with Angels & Airwaves. This is also their first self-produced album, since the death of their long-time producer Jerry Finn in 2008.

Catchy riffs and melodies make ‘Ghost on the Dance Floor’ a fairly strong opener. This track, like many others on the album, sounds like a combination of Boxcar Racer and Angels & Airwaves songs. You can get a pretty good idea as to where the album is headed from this track.

Followed by one of Neighborhood’s more up tempo tunes ‘Natives’ is probably the closest thing to old Blink 182 you’ll find on this album. A healthy vocal mix of Hoppus and Delonge combined with upbeat drums makes it stand out.

‘Up All Night’ is track number three on the record and not too far apart from ‘After Midnight’ and ‘Heart’s All Gone’. These three songs came out before the album and gave fans some hope of hearing something slightly similar to the self-titled album. But songs like ‘Fighting the Gravity’ and ‘Heart’s All Gone Interlude’ violently smash those hopes and show the band wasn’t out to do something that they’ve done before.

Other highlights included ‘MH 4.18.2011’ and ‘Even if She Falls’. These two songs feel almost like a reward for listening through the experimental material on the second half of the album.

‘Neighborhoods’ is an album that a lot people probably won’t love or understand on their first listen, due to the new direction the band has taken. But after a few or more listens fans, young and old, will surely be able to find something that gets stuck in their head.

While the album has it’s good points, it doesn’t have any songs that compare to their older classics. It may be another seven years before we’ll see an album that compares to ‘Enema of the State’ or ‘Dude Ranch’ but for now let’s hope that Blink 182 doesn’t end their career with a mostly filler album like ‘Neighborhoods.’

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Comments 49

  • this album review seems likes a filler review. its like you listened to the album one time and wrote this review. give it another listen, read the lyrics. this album has a lot of depth to it and i find it a bit better than self-titled album. but this of course is just my opinion.

  • I really enjoyed this album, i would recommened it to all rock fans

  • The new CD may not be old blink but it definitely isn’t Angels and Airwaves. This is a new sound for them but its awesome! The cd displays a mature sound for them but overall is a kick ass album!

  • what a terrible, half-ass review. this album is huge, there is something on it for all fans of blink 182’s work. fan’s have been awaiting this album for 8 years and all you can say is that is sounds like angels and airwaves and box car racer, ha! It sounds like blink 182 to me, and ofcourse it would have elements of what the band members have done through those 8 years because they have grown as musicians. It doesn’t mean that Tom is trying to make it sound like aVa, if you like angels and airwaves go buy one of their cd’s cuz this ain’t it. It is even better than their self-titled album, filler my ass! The lyrics are daker and deeper than anything they’ve ever done, and the instrumentals on it plus the synths make it extraordinary. I don’t hear “weird noises”, i hear great rock music. As a huge fan my hopes were not “crushed” This album, self produced, gives me hope that rock music is far from gone. So shut the fuck up i said, your going fuckin deaf!

    • No, the reviewer is right. This thing sucks. 2 good songs, and the rest is crap. Sounds nothing like their first 4 albums.
      Bad Religion has grown and matured as a band, but the difference is that they can still make kick-ass albums.

      • They have 5 previous full-length releases excluding Cheshire Cat which would actually be their 6th previous studio release. But, who’s counting, right?

      • Perfect example of a band maturing and still making good music. Blink hasn’t really matured at all. In fact, they tackled more adult topics younger in their career with songs about teen suicide, divorce, and abuse… Then they come out with this album which is all about broken hearts and bullshit, synthesized, and mixed with auto-tune. I love old Blink, I like maybe 2 songs on the new album… The more I think of it, the more I realize that their style has just stayed in high school… 8 years ago, three piece punk bands were cool to high school kids like myself, now the high school kids like their music all moody and synthesized. If anything, Blink is de-maturing.

    • You sir are, a moron. His review is pretty spot on. Your blind devotion is quite funny. I’m a huge blink fan and this doesn’t realy sound like them, other than its a band, and Mark and Tom are singing.

      • im hardly devoted. i had no expectation for this album at all. their old music was perhaps the best pop punk music ever written, but this album has songs that are real rock songs, not childish pop punk songs. they are not teenagers anymore, no point kidding urself anymore, grow up .

        • Whats wrong with liking childish pop punk songs? im gonna be an adult and say im gonna do whatever the fuck i want and if its hate all over this new bullshit blink 182 im gonna do it, they were never ment to be a rock band….ever

  • 2 alright songs, 12 really bad songs.

    And this definitely IS more like AVA (crap) than Blink 182.

  • This album is great and it doesn’t remind me of AVA one bit, and I dislike AVA. This sounds like pure blink-182, a sum of Mark, Tom and Travis and then some.
    Having said that, it annoys me to hell that Tom sings majority of songs. Hasn’t this guy dominated on the self-titled record? Is he not the guy who put out a Box Car Racer album and FOUR AVA albums? He should know his place, pull his head out of his ass and let the more talented singer/songwriter sing most of the songs. Both live and in studio, because I assure you, no one likes to listen to a drunk fool DeLonge has become. Mark Hoppus should became a full-time lead singer because DeLonge’s voice is getting worse on every album.
    Still, I do think this is their best record, but it would’ve been even better if Hoppus sang a lot more than DeLonge.
    I’ll give it 4 stars nonetheless.

  • I don’t get why people are so judgemental. The band is not going to sound the same after over 10 years of existance, no band ever keeps the same exact sound for such a period of time. If Blink were to try and make another fucking “Dude Ranch,” that would be incredibly uncreative. It is stupid to think they would set out to make a copy of something they’ve already done. Don’t like it? Cry me a fucking river, bitch. It’s life.
    I personally think this album wasn’t all that bad, not my favorite, but not bad. This review wasn’t all that great though… Very short and not very in-depth. It’s obvious this was written in ten minutes, perhaps fifteen.

    • NOFX has sounded the same for 20 years, your argument is their invalid

      • Okay, you have a point. To be honest though, in my opinion NOFX is very uncreative. As much as I love ’em, they are predictable. Hell, The Offspring have had the same sound from the beginning, which is why I can only listen to them for so long before I just have to have a break for a week or two.
        But shiiiiit, who are we to judge music? It’s an art form and there is no wrong or right in how to create it. It is what it is.

      • Also broha, *There not “Their.”

  • Not an awful review, but it does seem kind of filler-esque. And while everyone clearly listened to the leak, I think posting an amateur review of it a week before release date is kind of like shouting “HEY, I TOTALLY DOWNLOADED THIS THING ILLEGALLY” and has potential to be dangerous. Just saying.

  • Okay, the reviewer is right, if you can’t see it, you’re biased.

    I’ve been a big fan of Blink 182 since the early demos and the raw punk rock sound was what got them their success.

    Sure you can mature, but to mature and move so far from what you were originally doing is utter bullsh*t in my view. Look at Green Day, perfect example. They matured, but they still kept their sound. If this stuff had someone other than Mark or Tom singing it, it would get nowhere. They need to be shaken up and told that what they’re writing now would get kicked in the face countless times by their old stuff.

    Neighborhoods is not Blink 182. Period. Heart’s All Gone and Up All Night are the only viable tracks on the album, and even they’re not great.

  • I’ve waited for this record since the day their self-titled came out. Been a fan since Enema Of The State and I must admit that I’m disappointed. I know that both Mark and Tom can write better songs than this. To me, this album just sounds like Blink 182 has become the side project. And I love Blink with all my heart. Take Off Your Pants And Jacket is probably one of my favorite albums of all time. I still listen to that album at least once a month..
    I’ve got nothing against bands developing, but this just doesn’t sound right to me. 7th round through, and the only part that sticks out is the chorus of “Kaleidoscope”.
    I’m not saying it’s bad, and I’m really happy that Blink is back. But this record is not proving their position as the worlds greatest pop-punk band! Let’s just hope it gets better from here!?

  • I love Angels and Airwaves and have followed Tom since he left Blink. I used to listen to blink in the old days as a Tom fan, I saw him as the band lead anyway. Now that he’s back in Blink I’m so happy this new album hasn’t gone all back to the old Blink style. Tom showed us that he was capable of much more with AVA and bringing that style and combining it with blink is awesome, it’s like the planets have now aligned for me.
    I downloaded the album 4 days ago and have listened to it at least 20 times with many more to follow, every song is great and just get better.
    Can’t wait for Love part 2 and the Love movie from AVA. Tom you rock!!

  • A strong album. Much better than any of the pop-punk releases in the last two years. Stands up well against the hype, but its not a masterpiece. The closest to a five any blink album’s ever been.

    I wouldn’t mark this down for not sounding like EOTS. That would have been kind of embarrassing, considering that Mark is almost forty and has a kid in school.

    Let’s take time to reflect on the failures of pop-punk this year (Good Charlotte, Sum 41) and be thankful that this album won’t be joining them.

  • well Neighborhoods is certainly the most anticipated album of 2011. And i say the lyrics are more deeper than Enema of the State and TOYPAJ..being a Blink fan i would say this album is a little “down” than the untitled album. i prefer the untitled album than Neighborhoods. Snake Charmer has got a story of its own and the opening song Ghost on A Dance Floor also tells a story. i would give 8/10. adios

  • This album is strongest when Hoppus and Barker are allowed to write streamlined hooks with melodic overlays and double-time beats; it’s weakest when Tom DeLonge’s misplaced confidence in his musical experimentation is allowed to overwhelm and suffocate the hooks and melody that, musically at least, make Blink 182 the best pop punk band ever. (No ever band, with the possible exception of Propaghandi, writes such infectious melodies over and over).

    I think that the album will grow on me, but I look forward to a different “kind” of progression on the next album, if Tom’s ego may be kept in check enough for the band to grow.

  • Yes! This album is good maybe not sound like the old blink 182
    but not bad

  • I agree with “wj”. I’ve never listened to AVA, and I soured on Tom DeLonge’s writing style and vocals around the time of the lip ring. That being said, “Neighborhoods” has some damn good songs on it, and most of those come when Hoppus and Barker take the reins (though I’ve always thought Barker was over-playing at times, and there is no shortage of that on this album). DeLonge’s voice works best when he loses the condescending, over-enunciated whine and actually sings. On the good moments (“Hearts All Gone”, “M.H. 4.18.2011”, “Fighting the Gravity” especially), Blink show that they can still write tight, no frills, pop-punk hooks. The synth stuff I can do without, but I actually found myself not hating it on most of the album.

  • ur review is rubbish. everyone can prefer the old blink, but ALL bands progress, bands cant simply write album after album of the same stuff. Bands like Enter Shikari being a prime example of this. There are definately a few stand out songs, Natives, Hearts All Gone and This is Home are all songs that i would rate as being some of Blinks best songs. to say the band sounds like Angels and Airwaves is wrong, the only parts that sounds similar are Tom’s vocals, but what on earth did u expect? was he supposed to change his voice? moron review.

  • fuck what u ppl think this album is exactly what i expected from them what was u expecting them to sing about fucking dogs if they play old style blink it would get boring every song is great and of course theres gonna be elements of blink ava boxcar and plus44 thats them they split discovered new style of music and brought it back to the table and put it together this is by far there best album yet if u dont like it dont listen to it/

    • We don’t like it.. We don’t listen to it.. We sampled it, and now we’re reviewing it.. So go fuck yourself bitch boy, and listen to your Bubble Gum Boy Bands =)~

  • After listening to this album all week long I can honestly say IMO that it is nowhere near as good as their self titled album. There is no real passion, it screams of a band that is not on the same page musically, all trying to get their own little bits in. People say they’ve matured yet they did that on the last album, unfortunately this is 3 dudes spread across america being forced to make music! (Huge blink fan btw)

  • This album is much worste than their last album. You will not find their old distinctive/creative sound that would blow you away on their first few albums. It sounds like all the rest of the shit that you will hear on the radio… If you listen to the radio… But I guess if you listen to New Blink 182, then you obviously listen to the radio, and enjoy watered down, uncreative, indistinguishable, mediocre music. The kind of music you will get from Blink 182.

  • I think their new album is pretty good although i preferred their previous albums like ‘Enema Of The State’ & ‘Take Off Your Pants & Jacket’ Enough said.

  • I’m an Angels and Airwaves fan and don’t really like this album excect maybe 3 songs that I’m tired of already but any case the untitled album was way better then this and the last good thing blink has done so far.

  • im a full on blink 182, angels n airwaves fan.
    i think their new album neighbourhoods is fucking awesome, especially after midnight. but what would better than actually meeting them.
    to who ever disss them, fuck you.
    ps i love you tom, mark, and travis.
    and i can also play drums,bass and guitar and i no all your songs.

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  • This was, suprisingly, not disappointing at all. Way better than I expected, and it has some growers. Obama meme here.

  • very nice

  • one of the best

  • Awesome music

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