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.