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reviewed by Harold Chavez
Two years ago “Neighborhoods” was conceived by Blink 182 (Tom, Mark, & Trav (abbreviation for Travis)) and on September 27th of the year 2011, it was finally born. On its release date, I went out and bought it. I haven’t purchased a CD in years (because now I mostly just buy vinyls/stocks in cassette tape, but I wanted to keep to my tradition of purchasing a Blink  album on the day it squeezes out of its luscious vagina. And to our suprise, blink-182 had twins! There’s the regular/stupid-twin version and the deluxe/fuck-yeah-30-or-so-more-songs! version. At first I wasn’t sure about the deluxe because my counting-calories-practices rule out of most “deluxe” items. Luckily for me, deluxe CDs are OK in moderation. I left the store, which will remain unnamed (Target) and ran home eager to listen. Ten hours later I was home (got super lost).
Thoughts on album cover: Looks great, but what is evermore great is how they were able to find buildings whose rooftops spelled out the band’s name perfectly!
The first track “Ghost on the Dance Floor” opens up with some sexy/scary/then just normal synthesizer, drums, and a very dance-y guitar riff. I have to admit, I instantly began dancing. Tried about 40 ethnic-ish dances I made up (except for “the robot”) and only about 2 worked great (not “the robot”). The song is about a deceased lover seen by Tom on the dance floor of a (strip?) club? It really freaked him out, as it should, but he also loved the moment even though it hurt him like hell. Don’t believe me? Here’s my proof: “I saw your ghost tonight. It fucking hurt like hell.” Boom! Straight from the lyric book! I bet this incident really threw off his dance moves, which really sucks because no one else could probably see the ghost/Patrick Swazye. Moral of the song: Dance like no one’s watching; especially ghosts.
The next track “Natives” opens up with a guitar riff that reminds me of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” because I would imagine they both would be really hard to keep up with while masturbating to. What I like the most about this song is the chorus. Mark’s vocals are so deep and manly. If I felt unsafe and he held me and sang to me in that voice, I would instantly feel not unsafe.
The single “Up All Night” is about demons keeping blink  up all night. I hope they’re not evil demons though. Hopefully playful demons just being loud and making fart noises causing each other to laugh hysterically, hence not letting anyone sleep. Speaking of farts, I’m convinced the sound effect played throughout most of the song is a fart ran through a synth in a few different keys that complement the bass/guitar riff.
“After Midnight” is next, which is probably my favorite track/time to snack. Next is “Snake Charmer” which is about good girls who like to sin. I imagine some good girls sin because of blink-182; causing them to transform into bad girls. For example: Katy Holmes. I’m sure she lies all the time about not listening to Blink (182) when Tom Cruise angrily asks, “ARE YOU LISTENING TO BLINK ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-TWO AGAIN!?”
The next song is an instrumental introduction to “Heart’s All Gone”. This non-lyrical song is only on the deluxe version (sorry non-deluxers). This track could also stand alone as a great song if you add in your own lyrics. It’s fun, but for me it’s more fun to imagine Trav, he’s the drummer and has never sang in his life, singing on this track. I don’t know what he’d sound like, but in my head he sounds exactly like Freddy Mercury & Cher’s secret lovechild. Speaking of Travis’ singing, his drum intro in “Heart’s All Gone” is fantastic! He’s at his best on this speed track. No disaster ever could stop this guy from drumming, not even diarrhea! Even when he’s on the toilet, he’s shredding on the drums because his toilet IS a drum set as well!
“Wishing Well” is an exquisitely catchy number. I like the “La da-da-dah, da-da-da-dah” part the most. Sometimes a few La da-da-dahs is the only way to truly express what you’re trying to say. “Kaleidoscope” is a great dual vocal track. The vocals on this song and most of the album are a lot more raw than previous albums, and like the great Ol’ Dirty Bastard would say, “OOohh baby I like it raawwww”.
The next few tracks begin to tranquilly close the album on its 49min run. I really enjoyed the metaphors found in the lyrics of “MH 4.18.2011”. I’m not sure what the song title means, but I’m guessing the MH stands for the man singing the song (Mark Hoppus). Then there’s the date, which could probably be the date he wrote the song or maybe it’s the date his birthday just happened to land on this year? Guess we’ll never really know, but it would make for a great Myth Busters episode one day.
“Love is Dangerous” has a lot of production that reminds me of the last album, which was produced by Jerry Finn (before he passed away. RIP). This record was self-produced and the band hasn’t done that since like 1964! Well it’s been a while and this album sounds exactly the way the guys in Blink “182” intended for it to sound. The fruits of their labor taste superb; I like all of my fruits caramelized. I won’t spoil the end of the record for you, but trust me, you’re in for quite a surprise. You might leave your CD player(yes, they still exist) crying with awakening and feeling like a vulnerable child needing of a warm hug or warm Popsicle. I know I did.
Overall, despite all of the trials & tribulations that have occurred for them and us in the last 8 years since their breakup, Blink 1(69)82 have put together a transcendent work of art. Mark, Tom, & Tray-Bark (nickname I gave Travis Barker) delivered their own baby to a world never expecting for them to procreate again, and what a pleasant surprise it was. In conclusion I give “Иeighborhoods” a 9/11 on the control knob.