JAM: “Neighborhoods” a Strong Blink-182 Album

by Mark Jacobo

Courtesy of Blink 182

Blink-182’s “Neighborhoods” is a breath of fresh air for me.

When the band released its 2003 self-titled album, I instantly fell in love with it.

Earlier in my life, I was used to listening to Blink-182’s songs about frustrating girlfriends, the douchebags that get the girl and the occasional sodomizing of a dog.

However, when I was in 7th grade and my parents got me “Blink 182” for Christmas, I was surprised at how much Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker had evolved as musicians.

There was a huge gap between “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket” and “Blink 182” — but I was able to catch up.

That’s why I love “Neighborhoods” so much—because once again Blink 182 has shown that they can evolve.

The album stays true to Blink’s new style and they couldn’t have pulled it off any better.

“Neighborhoods” starts off with “Ghost on the Dance Floor,” a song that starts off as an echo before finally taking off. The song has somewhat of an 80s feel to it because of the dominating synthesizer throughout the duration of the song (similar to “Always” off from the self-titled album).

Travis Barker’s drumming on each track is as innovative and powerful as it has always been, most notably in “Snake Charmer,” “Kaleidoscope” and “Heart’s All Gone”.

Each track segues beautifully to the next, creating one constant flow — it’s hard to pause for a bathroom break; it just ruins the album’s mojo. I advise listening to it in its entirety for complete satisfaction.

Granted, there’s one tiny con, though, and it’s the lack of Mark Hoppus taking lead, as he only does so in four tracks. He does, however, duet with DeLonge and takes lead during some choruses, as per usual, but I still felt as though we could have used a little more of the Hoppus man (If Hoppus is your favorite member, than you’ll enjoy “Mh 4.18.2011”).

Short story even shorter, if you’re a Blink-182 fan then you’ll definitely love the strength and musicality of “Neighborhoods.

The album is the culmination of not only the pop-punk trio’s career as musicians, but also their journey as, well, people. They’ve changed drastically since their debut, 1994’s “Cheshire Cat” (all three members now have their own respective families) and it’s most certainly affected their songwriting for the better.

Posted above is the music video for the band’s first single from “Neighborhoods.”