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Tuesday, December 5, 2023
December 5 , 2023

REVIEW: Blink-182 grows up with “One More Time…”

Blink-182 members Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker pose together.
Blink-182 members Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker pose together. Photo credit: Sony Music Entertainment, via Wikimedia Commons

You might know the band Blink-182 from your mom’s vintage CD collection or from singing their iconic track “I Miss You” at karaoke. On Oct. 20, the group released their ninth studio album “One More Time…” — and it is some of their best work.

“One More Time…” goes back to the sound they had around their 2011 “Neighborhoods” era, which displayed a more mature sense of lyricism as opposed to their goofier nature.

The band has gone through tumultuous times in the past few years, splitting from founding member Tom DeLonge in 2016, replacing him with Matt Skiba from Alkaline Trio, and finally reuniting with DeLonge in 2022.

But through the ups and downs, Blink-182 never stopped releasing music and touring with musical acts like A Day To Remember, Neck Deep and even Lil Wayne. Almost a year after their reunion, the band announced their latest release, the first album with DeLonge in 12 years.

“Edging,” the album’s first single, shows that Blink-182 never lost their touch. Its poppy melody paired with angsty lyrics bring fans of the trio back to their peak, mainstream days.

Blink-182 returns to their roots in a video directed by rap video director Cole Bennett. Bennet is famous for his company, Lyrical Lemonade, a music platform that helped launch artists like Juice WRLD, Ski Mask the Slump God and Trippie Redd into mainstream music.

For almost four minutes, the band asks “Do I have to die to hear you miss me?” going over how both members Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus have had brushes with death through airplane crashes and stage 4 cancer, respectively.

The next single release, titled “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got,” is about Hoppus’ struggle with cancer. Singing over a melancholic tune, he talks of waiting rooms and dying skin, feeling like a zombie slowly melting away as the chorus screams “You don’t know what you’ve got” until the next chilling verse.

Listeners will feel the pain that Hoppus went through as he endured chemotherapy and relearned how to sing and play the bass. The track is symbolic of how people take life for granted until they almost lose it.

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Even though Blink-182 takes a more serious approach on this album, that cherished immaturity still exists on several tracks, like “Dance With Me.” This classic pop rock tune calls to the twenty-something experience with lines like “These drinks are bringing up old routines.”

On this track, the group moves away from high school angst into midlife crisis musings. That’s what’s fun about this song — it makes you feel young, but mature.

The sentiment continues on “Fell in Love,” where DeLonge reminisces on a relationship that started off hot but lost its fire. With lyrics like “And honestly / I needed you / You needed me, it’s crazy,” he captures the feeling of looking back and appreciating a relationship that was necessary to move forward in life.

Experimenting with sound, synth-wave track “Blinkwave” is a bit strange on the first listen but gets nicer with each replay. “Turpentine,” which sounds like it came off their 2003 self-titled album, is a refreshing listen with a tone akin to the classic Blink-182.

Tracks like “Childhood” and “Bad News” stem more into the previously mentioned mature themes of the album reminiscing on loss of youth and the pains you go through when growing up.

In the end, DeLonge, Hoppus and Barker have reinvented their band while staying true to its roots. With fun, fast-paced punk tracks alongside strong drum performances from Barker, the album sounds like a classic Blink-182 project.

There’s a sense of grown-up nostalgia and mature songwriting. While I wouldn’t consider it a pop punk masterpiece, the project is fun and refreshing. If you’re a Blink-182 fan or want to be reminded of the 2000s rock scene, this is a great album to return to that world.

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