California is the seventh studio album by the punk-rock band Blink-182. If you listen to their music and know a little bit about them, then you can understand how big of a deal it was that they created this album.
The band was widely known among teenagers, and young adults during the late 90’s to early 2000’s. The song’s “Dammit,” “Adam’s Song,” and “The Rock Show” propelled them into popularity and fame. Then their infamous self-titled album was released in 2003, captivating the hearts of fans and listeners from afar. It brought a new sound; atmospheric vibes, maturity, adulthood, and ultimately a new direction for the group. The Cure’s Robert Smith was featured in one of the songs.
Then came the “indefinite hiatus.”
in 2005, they went separate ways leaving us fans pissed off and confused. The bands c0-founder Tom DeLonge went on to create the group Angels and Airwaves (AVA), meanwhile, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker started up the band +44.
Four years go by and then rumors started circulating that Blink-182 was getting back together. It was true, in 2009 they reunited and in 2011 they recorded and released the album “Neighborhoods.” It attracted modest success. I like the album for what it is, even though it coincidentally sounds like a combination of the bands they created during their hiatus.
The following year they released an extended play titled “Dogs Eating Dogs”. While us fans were waiting almost 4 whole years for another release, plans for a seventh album kept being delayed.
Tom DeLonge has been focused on several businesses he owns, which is quite a lot. His other band AVA is still a huge part of his life, as well as his family. To The Stars, is the most recent project he has created. It’s a solo album but also a local shop in California, dedicated to evidence of extra terrestrial life, something DeLonge is very fond of.
Mark and Travis decided to go on without him and recruit someone else to take Toms spot. Low and behold: Matt Skiba. The Alkaline Trio leader came into the band with fire, making it known that he doesn’t intend to do anything but have fun, write some music and tour. After several months in the studio, the album “California” was released this past June.
The album debuted at number 1 in the US and UK. The single “Bored To Death” was the first number one single in over a decade. It’s literally 16 tracks of awesomeness.
At first, I listened through the album and felt good but a bit conflicted. I suppose that the new voice and guitars through me off, although, Matt Skiba totally took the band in a solid new direction. I kept listening to the CD for the next few days, then a week passed and I noticed myself listening to it almost every day. Then it hit me, and I realized that this is one of their best albums. Structurally it’s compelling; the way the songs are put together, the melodies, dynamics, and overall vibe it gives. The album cover goes with the songs.
“Los Angeles” is unique, in that it brings out a different sound, it’s darker at first but then lightens up into euphoria. “She’s out of her mind” is poppy and upbeat like many of their classic songs. They added a couple short funny songs, something they’ve always done, and showcased a softer side with the songs “Home is such a lonely place” and “California.” I think they even through a jab at former member Tom DeLonge in the song “San Diego.” Though he claims he hasn’t officially left the band, I’m curious as to whether or not they reunite. If they do, would Skiba still be in the band? That would make for an interesting situation.
I got a chance to see them live on tour and even in their 40’s; these guys are out there rocking out and having a blast. Never been to such a great concert, well maybe Pearl Jam was better, but either way, both were the greatest shows I’ve been to.
Check out this album “California.” I think it’s very easy to relate to for almost anyone. It brings us to a new direction for the band, the pop-punk genre, and us fans, while still carrying over a lot of traditional Blink-182, what makes the band who they are. I give it a 9/10.