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Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Album Review | ONE MORE TIME… by blink-182

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After over a decade of not making music together, you would think the original trio of Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker would have lost some of their chemistry. Yet blink-182’s ONE MORE TIME… feels full of ideas that have been yearning to be used. This album is a comeback done right, as blink-182 is able to keep the edge they have had for three decades while still sounding fresh and youthful. 

ONE MORE TIME… opens with “ANTHEM PART 3,” an ode to their classic sound. This song continues blink-182’s concept of tracks titled “ANTHEM…” that began on their classic album Enema Of The State and was further explored on Take Off Your Pants And Jacket. “ANTHEM PART 3” kicks the album off with a bang. A guitar riff practically the same as the riff on “Anthem Part Two” opens the track, with the rest of the band taking a rest. Seconds later, Barker’s drums soar and take the front stage as they are slammed with energy and pace unmatched by anyone else. DeLonge starts with:

Everything that we’ve tried

We’ll keep waking up to that light /

We’ll see rising of a new tide /

We are startin’ up a new life /

When your head is hanging too low /

When your heart is ’bout to explode /

You can make it anywhere, go /

There’s no fear when you get here, give up that ghost.

This song is blink-182’s timeless sound mixed with some aged vocals. They are at their best, giving off the feeling of teenage angst and showing they still have it. “ANTHEM PT 3” is an excellent opening track to show listeners they are back in full swing.

Following “ANTHEM PT 3,” blink-182 continues to bombard listeners at a rapid pace with the track “DANCE WITH ME.” A bouncy DeLonge guitar riff opens, and without any notice, the track jumps right into the action with a thick bass line and hard drums. The song doesn’t lose its groove, and once it is established, listeners are hooked in. The chorus to “DANCE WITH ME” is sure to be stuck in listeners’ heads, with DeLonge shouting: 

Olé, olé, olé, olé /

Yeah, we’re doing it all night long /

Olé, olé, olé, olé /

Yeah, we’re doing it all night long /

Olé, olé, olé, olé /

Yeah, we’re doing it all night long /

Olé, olé, olé, olé /

Yeah, we’re doing it all night long.

It comes off cheesy at first, but by your fifth listen there’s no denying how catchy the hook is. Besides, that’s what makes up so many of blink-182’s best songs, like “All the Small Things,” where the hook is all “na na nas.” It may be cliché at this point, but to me, this song is an earworm that you will find yourself singing.

The third track is where this album begins to take a different approach. Blink-182 is not scared to stray away from the formula that makes up 90% of their songs, and “FELL IN LOVE” is one of those experimental tracks. A synthesizer is the leading instrument, opening the track and creating a light, fun, upbeat feeling alongside the electronic claps added in. 

This might be the only time I have heard blink-182 fully lean into and embrace the pop elements they have in their music. It is an interesting decision that somehow works for the piece, as the lyrics and real meat of the song still sound like blink-182. It still matches the youthful feeling oozing from the album. “FELL IN LOVE” is simple, overproduced fun and a good change of pace from the pure pop-punk that the album rushes into.

“TERRIFIED” occupies the fourth slot on ONE MORE TIME… and is again a step away from basic pop-punk. I would compare this track to some of DeLonge’s work in Angels and Airwaves rather than other blink-182 tracks. “TERRIFIED” initially gives off a spacey feeling, building up with slow, distorted guitar that paints a picture of floating along in the atmosphere. 

Moving forward, we reach “ONE MORE TIME,” a song that tugs at the heartstrings. This is the deepest and most personal track blink-182 has ever written, telling the story of their lives together. “ONE MORE TIME” starts with nothing but an acoustic guitar strumming some chords. A few moments later, DeLonge softly sings:

Strangers, from strangers into brothers /

From brothers into strangers once again /

We saw the whole world, but I couldn’t see the meaning /

I couldn’t even recognize my friends.

Goosebumps arise every time I hear DeLonge’s vocals begin. Tackling the subject of falling apart from people you once loved is tough and relatable to listeners. How often in our lives do we wish we just had “ONE MORE TIME?” People grow apart as we grow older, and life gets in the way of things. It is a tough pill to swallow and, sadly, a part of life. Blink-182 encourages the listener not to sit around and dwell on such things, though. To me, this is a message to reach out to those people you have loved and maybe fallen away from, and to have that “ONE MORE TIME.”

Heading a bit deeper into the tracklist, we hit “EDGING.” This was the first song blink-182 released following their 11-year hiatus, and it delivered everything fans had yearned for. “EDGING” is brash, loud, and over the top in a way that highlights blink-182’s talents perfectly. When it was released, it set the bar high for what was to come.

The production is high-quality in a way not present on previous projects; the songwriting and composition are on par with the best of their work. “EDGING” tells listeners a childish story about all kinds of actions that a teenager might do — it is simply witty and entertaining. This track never fails to keep listeners engaged: DeLonge and Hoppus show off their chemistry by quickly shifting from one to another’s vocals. 

One song later, listeners hit “…YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT,” a bare-bones selection. Seemingly everything is stripped down to simple loops that continue throughout the track as Hoppus and DeLonge share the floor on vocals. Most noticeably, the way the track is mixed and composed is wildly different from everything else on ONE MORE TIME….

Travis Barker’s drums are the main instrument here. Blink-182 has never been known for their elite playing levels, but creatively, it is an interesting choice to almost completely rip away a large part of the band and have it play second fiddle to the drums. The lack of a catchy riff or thick and chunky bass makes listeners focus directly on the vocals. It creates a feeling of wanting to be heard, like blink-182 is shouting at us to pay attention to them and soak in their lyrics.

“BLINK WAVE” is next on the track list, following “…YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT.” Lyrically, this song caught my ears a bit more than some other songs off the album. Instead of continuing this idea of “we’re still blink and we’re still young,” the trio delves into a more serious situation of a turbulent relationship. This is nothing new from the band, as they have been writing songs about divorce and suicide since the ‘90s, but I like when blink-182 takes the risk and talks about serious issues people face. They word things in simple yet effective ways and can always convey the emotion of such situations through their music. I feel that they approached “BLINK WAVE” similarly to “Adam’s Song” off Enema of the State, and it shows that the band is able to expertly handle more sensitive topics. 

For me, ONE MORE TIME… is solid but definitely not up to the standards of past works. This album’s highlights are all the tracks that bring a youthful and energetic delivery. The band has aged, as evidenced by DeLonge’s vocals, but it feels like they never lost themselves and have been brewing up this album for ages.

This album is a mixed bag overall, though. Some tracks try to be something that blink-182 is not. Even if some of the tracks are not the best and won’t go down as classics by any means, I can’t do anything but commend the band for coming together after all these years and trying something new and fresh.

Another part I enjoyed from this album was the composition. ONE MORE TIME… is electric and not afraid to embrace the angsty teenager blink-182’s members still have inside themselves. All in all, I say you should give the album a shot, as tracks like “DANCE WITH ME” and “EDGING” are truly some quality songs. There are also some songs that are made with plenty of thought and care, like “ONE MORE TIME,” which is heart-wrenching and holds up quite nicely alongside some other somber tracks.

I may be slightly biased in saying I enjoyed this album, as blink-182 is my favorite band of all time, but I think everyone could find one song to add to their rotation in this deep tracklist.

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