Blink-182 took the music world by storm throughout the ‘90s. They graced us with five studio albums, which included countless hits like “I Miss You” and “What’s My Age Again?” Some may know them for their wild antics, like their nude MTV Spring Break performance, as well as a nude BMX bike race on “TRL.”
It seemed like they would never give up their throne as one of the most dominant bands in the music industry. However, the band went on indefinite hiatus in 2005, leaving fans heartbroken and in shock. “I was confused and irritated about the break-up. They are great together. They make music that really speaks to you,” said Amelia Kantrow, Blink-182 fan and MC sophomore.
The band members went their separate ways, forming other bands, but fate had other plans for this trio. After the death of a longtime producer and the near-death of the band’s drummer in a 2008 plane crash, the group reconciled their differences. News of the band burying the hatchet soon found its way to mainstream media. Blink-182 fans had hope.
In a 2010 interview with the Chicago Tribune, band member Tom Delonge said: “If that accident hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t be a band, plain and simple. That was fate.”
According to MTV, on Feb. 8, 2009, Blink-182 went on stage together for the first time in four years at the Grammy Awards.
“We used to play music together, and we decided we are going to play music together again,” said Delonge.
On Sept. 27, 2011, after much anticipation, Blink-182 released their new album, invading “Neighborhoods” around the world!
To jumpstart “Neighborhoods,” Blink-182 gives us “Ghost on the Dancefloor.” Delonge takes lead vocals on this track and sings about the innocence of his two children as the song begins, but the subject then shifts to his inner thoughts.
“When our song was slowly starting / Your memory felt so real,” Delonge sings. The chorus continues, “I saw your ghost tonight / The moment felt so real / If your eyes stay right on mine / My wounds would start to heal.” It sounds as though Delonge is reminded of a person by a particular song and wishes he could stay on the dance floor with said person’s ghost forever.
The second track, “Natives,” is the tale of an inner fight between child and maturity. Delonge again takes lead vocals on the verses, but Mark Hoppus takes over on the chorus.
The verses, music and lyrics, come across as more angry with a faster rhythm. The music in the chorus seems particularly hopeful, but the lyrics seem to accept the loss of the inner child. At certain points in the verses, Delonge makes references to performing: “With the crowd and some lights, I start to feel things move.” Delonge may be insinuating that performing brings out the child in him.
Track three is the first single off the album, “Up All Night.” This song could be generally interpreted as concerning the problems that haunt us all. Delonge and Hoppus split the lead vocals on this track.
“Everyone’s cross to bear is a crown they were on endless holidays,” Delonge sings in the second verse. This basically means that we all have problems that we must live with day after day. “And all these demons, they keep me up all night,” Delonge sings in the chorus, referring to the problems that keep him from sleeping.
“After Midnight” comes in at track four. The song seems to be illustrating a relationship in which someone is being led on. “Bite your lips, your words a robbery / Do you grin inside? You’re killing me,” Delonge sings. He is questioning her intentions, thinking she may be laughing at him secretly.
Track five, “Heart’s All Gone,” is actually a song from Hoppus to Delonge about Delonge’s personal issues before Blink-182’s break-up in 2005. Hoppus takes lead vocals for this track.
The next song, “Wishing Well,” is a response to “Hearts All Gone” from Delonge. Delonge seems to agree with Hoppus in the song while adding his personal views. So, don’t worry, Blink-182 fans; they don’t seem to be taking jabs at each other through the songs, instead simply making sense of what happened in the past.
Track seven, “Kaleidoscope” details the ups and downs of being in a band.
“So lock me up in the studio / Fill it up with sounds and scenarios / Stop blocking the driveway with your car,” Hoppus sings. This is a reference to one of the band members being blocked in by another after a long night of recording.
“Get another stamp in your passport,” Hoppus sings about having to renew one’s passport to go on tour out of the country.
Track eight, “This is Home,” is very similar to the previous track. “Police cars bring cuffs and loaded guns / Kids scream but laughing as they run,” Delonge sings about audience members at a concert.
Track Nine, “MH 4.18.2011,” is a re-visit to “Cheshire Cat” or “Dude Ranch.” If you love old-school Blink-182, you will love this song.
“Love is Dangerous” comes in as the final track. The song illustrates how love can change you.
“My hand’s swollen, I can’t keep holding on,” Delonge and Hoppus sing, in reference to punching something in anger. “I see your lips, but I can’t hear the words.” This line refers to the point at which you come to realize the other person’s true feelings.
Overall, Blink-182 delivers a great album. With their previous two albums, many criticized the band for trying to grow up or complicate their style. Yes, you can feel a sense of growth in “Neighborhoods,” but it isn’t forced.
In this album, the band comes to terms with their issues as individuals and as a group. This Blink-182 album screams, “I really don’t want to grow up, but I think it’s time to.”