Album review: California marks a gloriously sunny return for Blink 182

Lead single Bored to Death boasts a towering arena-ready chorus, while She’s Out Her Mind is the kind of punk-pop perfection not heard from the boys for over a decade.
Album cover of California by Blink-182. Courtesy Vagrant / BMG / Liberatot Music
Album cover of California by Blink-182. Courtesy Vagrant / BMG / Liberatot Music

California

Blink 182

(BMG)

Four stars

American pop-punks Blink 182 were never convincing when being serious. Their 2003 self-titled album had its moments but was ultimately too mawkish.

The scrappy 2011 follow up, Neighbourhoods, was essentially a divorce album. The latter had the band’s songwriters – bassist Mark Hoppus and guitarist Tom DeLonge – going at sonically different directions, thus rendering the whole affair messy and chaotic.

With DeLonge replaced by Matt Skiba from emo-punk group Alkaline Trio, the three piece return to basics on their rather glorious seventh album California.

It all sounds instantly familiar, yet the songs are bolder and expansive. Lead single Bored to Death boasts a towering arena-ready chorus, while She’s Out Her Mind is the kind of punk-pop perfection not heard from the boys for over a decade.

There are some developments, however. Los Angeles is U2-esque in its epic scale and makes good use of Skiba’s powerful vocals. The highlight is the title track, a bruised nostalgic ballad, with Hoppus never sounding so sincere.

In fact, it’s rather beautiful – when was the last time you heard a Blink 182 song described so?

sasaeed@thenational.ae

Published: July 4, 2016 04:00 AM

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