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Blink 182 returns in ‘neighborhoods’

Two years after their reunion, Blink-182 returns to recording music with the release of their new album “Neighborhoods,” bringing back the music adored by so many.

Known for their songs “What’s My Age Again,” “All the Small Things” and “Feeling This,” and the band’s vibrant personalities, they helped define the punk-pop genre and our generation.

Drummer Travis Barker, guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge and bassist Mark Hoppus became a representation of the idealized us: the younger generation. Their music was about growing up and skateboarding, touching and loving, listening and not listening, heartbreaks and first dates.

In 2005, Blink-182 broke the hearts of thousands of fans when they announced their breakup, an “indefinite hiatus,” to spend more time with family and loved ones. The members went their separate ways leaving fans mourning with their Blink-182 CDs set on repeat.

While apart, the members sought to form other bands, which included the creation of Angels and Airwaves led by DeLonge, and +44, which included Hoppus and Barker, but none of these bands were quite as successful as Blink-182.

However, fate brought the band back together again through a series of devastating events, including a plane crash in which Travis Barker was one of the only survivors. The three were reunited again in Barker’s hospital room as he recovered from third-degree burns. There they also recovered as a whole, both as a band and good friends.

Their sixth album “Neighborhoods” has been well worth the wait, reviving the classic Blink-182 sound while establishing their future in music.

Without betraying their signature sound, they refused to let modern pop affect the sound they created before the breakup. Like their earlier albums, such as “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket” and “Enema of the State,” Barker, known for his unearthly talent for drums, continues to stun the listener while maintaining their fast tempo.

However, their songs about love and growing up take an interesting twist in their new album. The band’s vibrant and boisterous personalities are toned down in songs such as “After Midnight.” In contrast to earlier works, which were often filled with the much loved slapstick humor, they take a more mature outlook on the realities of life.

In their new album, they shine light on the cookie-cutter neighborhoods, tearing down the illusion of the white picket fences and sense of community. Instead of dealing with growing up, as seen in “What’s My Age Again?” they focus instead on being grown up. Now, songs like “Heart’s All Gone,” “Natives” and “Up All Night” deal with a greater sense of isolation, depression, the need to escape and the meaning of their existence, although songs such as “Snake Charmer” speak of seduction, love and sin.

Long time fans of Blink-182 will rejoice in the reunion and salvation, appreciating their dedication to their original sound and ability to create good music. At the same time, new listeners will fall in love with their animated personality and music.

This album absolutely optimizes what was confirmed at the 2009 Grammy Awards when Barker claimed, “we used to play music together, and we decided we’re going to play music together again.”

I have to agree with Tom DeLonge when he added, “Blink-182 is back.”

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