After nearly 8 years since their last studio album, including a 4 year hiatus, blink-182 is back and they sound considerably different than they used to. I expect many people to like this change, while quite a few will be put off. The album is much 'darker' than any other blink-182 album, and shows the members have matured lyrically. This doesn't take away from the quality of the songs at all, because many of the songs still have the classic, simplistic, catchy 'blink riffs.' Anyway - I'm going to review each song individually.
1.) Ghost on the Dance Floor: 4.5/5 A nice way to start the album - starts with a really nice riff, and a bit of synth (which you'll find many of these songs have) In comes Tom's voice, and it has a veryvery heavy Angels & Airwaves feel, so if you aren't a fan of AvA, I'm not sure you'll be crazy about this song. Fairly simple, but it sounds great.
2.) Natives: 4.5/5 Even though the riff is recycled almost entirely from Angel's and Airwaves' "Young London," it doesn't bother me. Unsurprisingly, Travis's drumming is ace. What really makes this song though is the chorus, which is primarily Mark, while the verses are sung by Tom.
3.) Up All Night: 4.5/5 The long awaited first single. At first, I wasn't a big fan, but it quickly grew up on me as I learned the lyrics, and it got stuck in my head. The chorus is sung by Tom, while the verses alternate between him and Mark. Not a bad first single at all.
4.) After Midnight: 5/5 Fairly simple drumming much of the song with quick triple-hits on the hi-hat starting at the intro through the song just draw you right in immediately. In comes Tom, and you start the 3:26 long After Midnight. I can tell you now this is probably my favorite from Neighborhoods - love it. Oh, and in case you're wondering, both Tom and Mark sing in this one.
5.) Snaker Charmer: 4.25/5 Just a catchy song. Took a few listens to really appreciate... it's quite far from the best on Neighborhoods, but at the same time it's far from the worst.
6.) Hearts All Gone: 4/5 One of the first songs released from the band for Neighborhoods. This one's sung by Mark, and to me, it has a real Millencolin/Offspring feel to it. I don't care for it TOO much, but at the same time it gets stuck in my head more often than any other song on the album. This song also features Travis's quickest drumming.
7.) Wishing Well: 4.5/5 Another Tom song. The "la-da-da"s make this song insanely catchy, as if it wasn't already. You'll probably find the chorus stuck in your head after a few listens. Not mind-blowing musically, but it's a good one regardless.
8.) Kaleidoscope: 4.5/5 It sounds like I've heard this song before... I'm just not sure where. It takes awhile for the song to really get started, but once it does, it's a dandy - nice drumming as usual from Travis, and both Mark and Tom's parts are great. Despite the feel that it's been done before, it's freakishly good.
9.) This Is Home: 4/5 I dig the stutters - but that's about it.. nothing remarkable about this song. Still veryvery listenable, but with the other really good songs earlier on Neighborhoods, it's just sort of THERE.
10.) M.H. 4.18.2011: 4.5/5 Mark's best song on Neighborhoods. He didn't have too many, he never does, but this is very nice. A gem at the bottom of the Neighborhoods set list. This song also has what is probably the best line on the album - "Stop living in the shadow of a helicopter." I have a feeling this song will be quite under-appreciated.. for SHAME.
11.) Love is Dangerous: 3.5/5 Initially I really disliked this song, but after about 5 listens, I've really started to like it. Even though the song title and that line is all sorts of cheesy-lame, it's really a good song after a few listens.
12.) Fighting the Gravity: 3.75/5 Thismakesnosensethismakesnosensethismakesnosensethismakesno - kind of sucks you in a bit with that. Sounds dark, and pulls you in. Fighting the Gravity is the slowest song on this album I'd say, and for that reason, and just the way it sounds and ends, I feel like it should be the last song of Neighborhoods, yet it isn't, unfortunately. I think this song could grow on me.
13.) Even if She Falls: 4/5 Solid. Not a stand-out track by any means, and fits well near the back-end of this album, but it shouldn't be the last song. It should definitely be Fighting the Gravity! This was one of the most underwhelming songs to me initially, but it's quickly moved its way up.
First listen through of this CD, I would have given it about a C+ or B-. Upon more listens, I'd give it a B+, or potentially an A-. I'm pleasantly surprised at Neighborhoods. I was almost scared that after the band's hiatus, they'd come back a bit dull, rusty, or just out-of-sync. Something like that. I was wrong, for the most part. From just about beginning to end, this is a fresh, new, and welcome blink-182 sound, and I'm looking forward to what this brings from the band.