LOVEAngels & Airwaves2010Track listing:
- Et Ducit Mundum Per Luce
- The Flight of Apollo
- Young London
- Epic Holiday
- The Moon-Atomic (...Fragments and Fictions)
- Clever Love
- Soul Survivor (...2012)
- Letters to God, Part II
- Some Origins of Fire
When Tom Delonge says that his band’s latest album is “like blending Radiohead and U2 together"
, it’s hard to take him seriously. Maybe it’s because this is the same guy who once sang “I know a guy who has sex with his sister/He used his **** to pop her four-foot blister”
. Maybe it’s because his whiney voice is more reminiscent of a male Avril Lavigne than it is of Bono or Thom Yorke. Or maybe it’s because after two mediocre efforts, it’s fairly safe to say that Angels & Airwaves (often referred to as AvA) will never be in the same league as U2 or Radiohead.
Whatever the reason, it’s still hard not to admire Delonge’s ambition. Following the implosion of blink-182, Delonge could have easily replicated his previous success by forming another pop-punk trio singing about sex and teenage rebellion. Instead, he decided to pull his head in and attempt to create what he considered to be the best band in the world. The music was as epic as it was pretentious. The lyrics were uplifting and anthemic, albeit clichéd. Everything seemed to fit the template of a stadium rock band. The only thing holding Angels & Airwaves back was Delonge’s lack of songwriting ability.
The main gripe I have with Angels & Airwaves is the constant failure of their music to reach a satisfying climax. Some of their songs have intros that last up to three minutes, only to lead to something tremendously underwhelming. It’s as though Delonge has the idea in his head, but he is unable to put it into motion in the real world.
If you’re expecting the band’s third studio effort to be an improvement on the first two albums, you are setting yourself up to be severely disappointed. To put it simply, LOVE
continues from where I-Empire
finished, which coincidentally is where We Don’t Need to Whisper
left us. LOVE
closer “Some Origins of Fire”
could have easily replaced “Valkyrie Missile”
as the opening track to We Don’t Need to Whisper
The lack of evolution is not the only problem with LOVE
. While AvA’s previous albums featured heavily processed sounds and effects, LOVE
suffers greatly from overproduction. The prominent use of Auto-Tune on “Hallucinations”
is simply irritating, and the overall preciseness of the project somewhat takes away from the supposed message of love that the album is meant to convey. At times, you can’t help but feel like you’re listening to a manufactured pop album, without the attractive catchiness.
That being said, there are some positives that can be taken away from this album. Tracks like “Hallucinations”
are some of the most enjoyable songs this band has written, as long as you ignore the painfully generic lyrics and exasperating use of Auto-Tune. The album flows nicely, creating more of an ‘experience’ than the last two records.
In a sense, LOVE
does achieve what Tom Delonge set out to do. It is engaging, stirring, and in some ways, fun. On the other hand, the lack of a climax or ‘destination’ can leave the listener feeling frustrated and unsatisfied, which is really what is keeping Angels & Airwaves from joining the likes of U2 and Muse as one the biggest bands in the world. Even though the potential to turn this into something great is still there, Delonge would probably be better off focusing his attention on another blink-182 album.2/5