Review: Blink-182’s California Stephanie Dooley July 15, 2016 Music 971 Tweet Share Share Email WhatsAppShares 0 Once again Blink-182 finds themselves reigning supreme up at the top of multiple charts. Their latest album, California, landed them yet another spot at the top of the Billboard 100 list, and, as a testament to the power of Blink, it was their first 1 album in 15 years. So despite the ever changing music landscape of 2016, these guys are proof that rock always has a place at the top of the charts. And if that isn’t proof enough, the band has also knocked Drakes Views from its throne in which it has sat comfortably at number 1 for the past 9 weeks. Dethroning Drake, what more proof do you need to the power of this band? In the context of the album, Blink-182 is one of those bands that, though when attempting to really develop their sound and add new twists to their music, still has the ability to make their audience feel very comfortable in a sound that sounds familiar. That is the general feeling that one gets while listening to California; though the music is new, and the songs each in their own right have a great deal of layers and interesting contusions. Within this album there is something for everyone whether a previous Blink-182 fan or not. For starters, their first single off of the album, “Bored to Death” is an integral tracks in the creation of the album. Yet beyond that, there are many others that stand out. From songs like California – a punk ballad that includes a variety of guitar and drum solo’s that add depth to its beat and infuse life into its lyrics, to pieces like “The Only Thing that Matters” – which really drives home a sense of energy, has an almost 200’s punk vibe to it – there is something for every type of fan. One of my personal favorites is a track called “Teenage Satellites”, which is the kind of song that wants to incite whatever level of rebellion it can within you. Personally I enjoy the kind of song that wants to be more than just a song, but rather that wants to connect with the audience to feel young, to feel inspired, and to feel bolder than they might when the music stops. Overall this is the kind of album that has interconnected layers, with each one fluidly melting into the next. One of the interesting aspects of the album is their choice to reuse similar sounds. Their first single, Bored to Death, really is the jumping off point for this entire album. Throughout the various songs, pieces of major aspects of Bored to Death can be found littered throughout the album. One such example would be the song “San Diego”; this is a song whose opening riff is a lighter rendition of the opening riff of “Bored to Death”, and throughout the entire song one can pick out places where the songs almost mirror each other, but not quite. It’s an interesting technique in the sense that it connects every song in the album through common trends within the music; a technique that could be both hurtful and helpful all at the same time, depending on the specific listener. On the one hand, the use of this slightly mirroring effect can keep the listener very present within the album. It’s a way to almost trademark the sound, reminding the person of exactly who and what they are listening to. When that riff, or that similar echoing drum section appears, the person knows right away that this is Blink. On the other hand, in the same way that it could keep the audience member present, it could also bore them. The problem with the mirroring affect is that at times it becomes almost too similar. And the last thing anyone wants to do is feel like they are listening to the same song, just with different lyrics. It’s a technique that is subtle enough to work, but depending on the person, could prove tiresome the more they listen to the record. All in all, this is a very strong album. Unlike other revival of sorts that we’ve seen from other artists within this year alone, Blink-182 have really gotten their audience down to a science. They know what their audience likes to hear from them and they aim to deliver. Their music is infused with a signature sound that cannot be undermined, but rather only strengthened by the contributions of new flavor and techniques. Instead of completely trying to experiment, or delve too far off of the path that brought them to their success, Blink branches off of their original sound. Keeping what works and simultaneous working with those key elements to make them stronger in the end. Defying the laws of time and the revolving door of the music industry, Blink-182 manages to keep themselves on top despite random hiatus’s in an age where music isn’t natural, but rather is mechanical; proving to all that no matter how times change, oldies are always goodies.