Angels & Airwaves’ “We Don’t Need to Whisper”

A & A / We Don’t Need To Whisper / May 23, 2006
03. It Hurts / 04. Do It For Me Now / 05. The Adventure

A couple of months ago, I remember flipping through a magazine article about the most anticipated albums of 2006. Among them was ex-Blink 182’s Tom Delonge’s new music group Angels & Airwaves. Set to release their debut album in May, I recall the excitement I felt upon hearing Delonge describe the band as something huge, monumental even.

Now, after listening to most of the album, I can’t recall what I had expected to hear, but it certainly wasn’t this. I understand Delonge, one-third of the vital Blink-182 trifecta, would be influenced by his band’s former sound, but I never knew it would amount to this extent: Angels & Airwaves doesn’t sound like Blink-182, it is Blink-182. It’s typical pop/punk at its best, and I couldn’t choose any other two bands to exemplify that label more than these two. Delonge’s distinctive whiny vocals do not help whatsoever. If I didn’t know better, I would just think this was the follow-up to 2003’s self-titled release.

However, that is not to say that the album is bad. The guitar riffs and infectious drum beats make for a perfect Spring release, yet stand in juxtaposition to the melancholic, brooding lyrics. But gosh darnit, I still cannot get over how close to Blink-182 this is. Just listen to “It Hurts.” As the song builds on itself and makes way for the verse and chorus, I’m sorry, but that is something straight off of, err, any Blink-182 album ever released.

As a debut album it’s not bad. But it’s not good, either. It’s simply mediocre. Mediocre has its benefits, though; the band doesn’t have to worry about following up with an equal masterpiece of a sophomore album, and can, instead, focus on evolving their sound and taking the focus off of being a Blink-182 knock-off. A good knock-off…but a knock-off all the same.

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