blink-182, 'Neighborhoods' (DGC/Interscope)

Critical Mass
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Label: DGC/Interscope

by Mikael Wood

"Hold on -- the worst is yet to come," sing the man-children of blink-182, and you gotta give 'em credit for flipping the usual reunion-album rhetoric. Indeed, the lean, ten-track Neighborhoods feels surprisingly -- and refreshingly -- low-key. Yet the band once used their SoCal nonchalance as cover for some deceptively profound observations on the complexity of adolescence. Here, though, watery, joke-free confessionals like "This Is Home" and "After Midnight" sound comparatively adrift, stranded between the touching self-examination of 2003's blink-182 and the examination of self-touching with which they made their name.

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