In Review: Blink-182’s “California”

Blink-182 added another album to their emblematic discography this past Friday, with the release of California. The widely loved pop-punk band bears a fresh and matured mix of their conventional sound in this 16-track album.

That familiarly chaotic pop-punk sound is somewhat of a comfort from the very start, beginning with the erratic “Cynical”.  “Rabbit Hole” and “The Only Thing That Matters” show A continuation of this sickly energetic guitar and maniacal drumming.

California album cover (via genius.com)
California album cover (via genius.com)

There is also more of the classically anthemic Blink-182, with songs like “Bored To Death,” “Kings Of The Weekend,” and “Teenage Satellites”. This classification of tunes provides the bold and rhythmic sound one grows to expect from such an iconic group.

Something I have always noticed this band to be successful at is the seamless combination of the audibly harsher characteristics of punk rock with the balanced, catchy melodies of popular music. They continue their legacy in that well throughout this release. However, their experimentation of this craft crosses a few boundaries in songs like “Los Angeles” and “No Future,” where clashing sounds within the song do not always feel cohesive.

“Home Is Such A Lonely Place” is a crucial element to toning down the aggressive energy of the rest of the songs on this album. It provides a pleasant change of direction in the way Blink-182 does: emotional lyrics through a beautiful delivery. It vaguely feels like it could be the matured older brother of “I Miss You”.

The title song, “California,” successfully wraps up the thematic elements of the album. The song itself approaches a conclusion in a more relaxed fashion musically, slowly building up to a rock-out anthem. If you thought 2016 might be a time you would finally move on from your angsty Blink-182 days, you probably thought wrong.

Catch Blink-182 on tour this summer or listen to California on Spotify today.

Alyssa O'Brenski

Southwest-suburb born and raised, and attending University of Iowa. Chicago, its sports, and an infinite amount of music are a few things I can't get enough of.

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