‘Neighborhoods’ | Blink 182

| Cadenza Reporter

For fans of
Paramore, Angels and Airwaves
Tracks to download
“Ghost on the Dancefloor,” “Natives”

Pop-punk band blink-182 completes its resurrection with “Neighborhoods,” its sixth studio album. The band has publicly admitted that the catalyst for their reunion came after drummer Travis Barker survived a near-fatal plane crash in 2008, allowing the trio to put aside past squabbles.

There are few clues in tracks that indicate the six years and numerous side projects that bookmark blink-182’s previous incarnation, but the album also reminds the listener how well frontman Tom DeLonge and bassist Mark Hoppus complement each other when sharing vocal duties. But it is Barker who remains the band’s musical trump card. His superlative work behind the drum kit halts any pedestrian moments on “Neighborhoods,” and he surely belongs on any list of the finest drummers of the past 20 years.

While some of the musical experimentation on their self-titled 2003 album fell short of the mark, “Neighborhoods” finds an effective balance between originality and the kind of concise, anthemic songwriting that has sold 27 million albums worldwide. Catchy opener “Ghost on the Dancefloor” grabs our attention while dealing with the unusually somber theme of feeling the sudden presence of an absent loved one. “Kaleidoscope” presents the only moment during which the band might want to pause and ask: What’s my age again? Lyrics like “Delete the progress on your game…/the loudest songs on your mixtape” fall flat when we remind ourselves that these guys are now all fathers fast approaching middle age. But for anyone craving a fix of early-teen nostalgia, or those seeking out some above-average pop-rock, “Neighborhoods” is worth spending some time with.

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