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Enema of the State

music reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Enema of the State

Artist: Blink 182
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release Date: June 1999

Review by Ken
3½ stars out of 4

The first thing that draws your attention to the new Blink-182 album is the titillating photo shot of porn star Janine in a cleavage-baring nurse's outfit. How ironic it is that the band should opt for such a cheap and tacky (not to mention pretty damned stimulating) LP cover to mask what is undeniably among 1999's best musical adventures. 'Enema of the State' is not an album that seeks to tax your brain cells, no way. It's just 12 songs worth of quick-entry, quick-exit excitement.

Musically, vocalist/bassist Mark Hoppus, guitarist Tom Delonge and drummer Travis Barker still play the band's trademark pogo-tastic melodies, crunchy three-cord guitar riffs and power-pop choruses. But despite the seemingly casual and throwaway nature of the songs, the band has somehow managed to create a record that will make you feel happy and glad to be alive on a planet that's full of misery and depressive thoughts.

Blink-182's song themes all tend to revolve around the subject of disastrous relationships, lost loves and bad break-ups. But it's all handled in such a humorous and tongue-in-cheek style that you really find yourself smiling instead of feeling sorry for them. For example, observe the following verse from the track 'Don't Leave Me': 'I said; "Don't let your future be destroyed by my past"/ She said; "Don't let my door hit your ass". See what I mean?  Other songs like their current modern rock hit 'What's My Age Again?' see the band exploring a love for prank calls and other teenage delinquencies, even at their much older ages. The verse; "Nobody likes it when you're 23/ And you still act like you're in freshman year" is certain to go down well with millions of young adults who probably feel alienated for still doing the things that they loved to do when they were in their teens- like reading Spiderman comics and collecting Star Wars toys.

But more than anything else, one gets the strong impression that Blink-182 wishes for the triumph of nerds and geeks everywhere over the so-called 'cool' and 'popular' people of the world. It's almost as though they feel tired of the hip and trendy ones always getting the girls and other breaks in life; while the just-average types are largely ignored because they are not as immediately charming or arrestingly good looking. And yet; by wearing their hearts on their sleeves with their revealing lyrics and sincere storytelling style; the band has managed to endear itself to thousands of new fans. As proof; 'Enema of the State' has already been certified gold in America, with sales increasing every week. Thus, it's safe to say that the band members have in their own way, and by their own means; become extremely cool and popular- and have managed to enter the circle of 'in' people after all; whether they actually wanted to or not.



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