Newest Review: ... the final verse comes around there is a change in sound with far greater drumming influence and more walkie talkie weirdness. Again they... more
We Don't Need To Whisper - Angels and Airwaves
Member Name: AverageJoseph
We Don't Need To Whisper - Angels and Airwaves
Advantages: Refreshing, Original, Positive, Melodic, Percussion, Effects, Lyrics
Disadvantages: Cheesy, Really Cheesy, Similar Songs
Tom Delonge's messy departure from Blink 182 in 2005 seemed to signal the end for one of the most influential pop rock bands from the mid 90s onwards. A definitive change of sound in Blink 182's previous self titled album in 2003 was a subtle indication of what was to come from Delonge, a much darker, serious blink with not one single song about break ups, masturbation or bestiality. Considering Delonge's last side project 'Boxcar Racer', one could expect another offering of straight faced rock and 'We Don't Need To Whisper' is pretty much that. Nowhere near as angry or heavy as BCR, Angels & Airwaves (named after his daughter Ava) sees Tom unleash a soft sound never heard before. Because of the change of genre, Blink fans are better off reminiscing listening to 'Enema of the State' and 'Take of your Pants & Jacket' - both solid examples in name as to why this album is not down to their comical expectations. No, WDNTW is a heartfelt, mushy piece of work that some will find beauty in whilst everyone else will just hear something that's 'not blink'. Later it would be revealed that whilst the album was being written and recorded, Delonge was on strong painkillers for his back problems, and so there is a certain neurotic vibe going on - in which he regrettably started spouting rubbish about being a God - stuck up and foolish a the time but they guy made a good record and apologised later on. To get the gist of this one, you'd need to disregard the history and listen with an open mind and take it all in.
Track no.1 was originally first heard on a compilation CD released by Kerrang! magazine, one which I had the fortune of acquiring (even though the magazine is trash). 'Valkyrie Missile' is a space launch of a song. Slowly building up with etherial organs and all kinds of gooey noises jolting about. Some brief exchanges via comm systems is super cheesy as Tom and another band member say "Who do we think we are?" "Angels & Airwaves". After the introductory pleasantries, the hang up of the microphones make for a percussive beat and the bass comes up with a slick and soft line. 2 and a half minutes in and the guitar finally makes itself know with a delayed effect - one that would appear numerous times later on. Its certainly an epic hello and though a tad uncertain, its actually exciting. "Everyone, everyone will listen.. even if it hurts sometimes. If you will come and hear the message. Everyone wants to learn to love again, open up and come alive." sounds like Delonge finally has something important to say. "I'll pull you close and then we'll say goodbye" closes the first long verse and slams straight into the initial beginnings of the song, clearly gaining more momentum and sounding better a second time round. When the final verse comes around there is a change in sound with far greater drumming influence and more walkie talkie weirdness. Again they insist on closing the song, the same way they opened it with that name drop - which is a shame because without it the song stands as a delightful dancey start. Sounds like christmas in 'Distraction' thanks to its icicle droplet, high pitched guitars over the rustling snare drum. After a good minute of that you wonder whats coming - a long drawn out "I'll be your distraction" - a bit of a let down frankly. However the corny lyrics are sang confidently in "There's a field near by with words written in stone - my love will not die, please let it be known". Its a slow bouncing track that shines brightest in its verses as the chorus is far too simple and forced. Like the first song though, it spans over 5 minutes and is a chore to listen all the way through.
One of the songs deemed good enough to be a single is 'Do it for me Now' - a quietly jittering song that could easily be construed as a reference to fellatio - the only throwback to the past. The guitar effects are just top notch with that tap delay making the soothing notes ring out in numerous echoes. "Lost and hurt and bone thin from the love thats been starved, I know I've got close but I'm sure its too far from the point of suspense, we know it should be, the end of the part of our favourite movie" is a quality story told magically by Delonge with the ever enticing riff in underneath. "Kiss me here and hold my hand and let me feel like I'm the only one, I know you can, won't you do it for me now?" is admittedly just as weepy as it gets but its surprisingly sincere. Easily one of the best songs lyrically, and a ballad all round. The one released first as an official single with its own music video, caused a stur among the whole rock music scene as it was the epic return of the former Blink frontman with a spectacular song - 'The Adventure'. Like the first song it has a fairly long introduction with technical drum tinkering from Atom Willard (ex drummer of The Offspring). An almighty cry from that same guitar style builds up to a eye opening main riff. Its had to believe the guy who strung 3 chords together whilst singing about sodomising dogs came up with it, not from a technical point of view (see 'M&M's) but from a mature and dignified one. "I wanna have the same last dream again, the one where I wake up and I'm alive" are the firsts words declared in a marching verse. "Here I am and here we go, life's waiting to begin", so it would seem, a new endeavour for one of the most memorable characters in poprock. It is however slightly anticlimactic as there is a good minute where the song builds up in pace and volume, only to go back to the basic vocals previously mentioned. The drumming is superb in its enthusiasm and timing, whilst the ending kind of takes its time with the chomping melodies.
The saddest track follows in 'A Little's Enough' - "When all is said and done, will we still feel pain inside? Will scars go away with night? Stars smile for the morning light" proving to be a genuine lyric in the starting moments. With the guitars turned down and the drums strongly beating away, the bridges and chorus' are solid tear jerkers. "I'm sorry I had to say it but it looks like you're sad, your smile is gone, I noticed it bad. The cure is if you let in just a little more love, I promise you this - a little's enough" well worked 'I noticed it bad' aside and backed up with some pleasant contrasting vocals and smashing drums. 'The War' is a heavier song with the standard drums but hard rocking guitars, similar to those used in Boxcar. "The ocean is on fire, the sky turned dark again as the boats came in" the first line of a defiant sounding battle cry. "Believe do you want this? Believe I want this too" acts as the tension fueled bridge for one of the albums strongest choruses "Why won't you tell me that it's almost over? Why must this tear my head inside out?". It may not be as inspiring as the music makes out but the melody and soaring theme make it a memorable song. Perhaps this one takes a few listens to really get into it (Being the anti-social nerd, I had this randomly start on my MP3 player at my school prom.. which sucked but the song cheered me up and the after party was intense). 'The Gift' struck a chord with me pretty quickly with its delicate chimes and heartbeat bass pedal. "Oh God I feel like I'm in for it now, It's like the rush has gone straight to my brain" Delonge shouts to the heavens. The chorus features some well held notes and eventually, classy harmonizing. The bassist (Ryan Sinn formerly of The Distillers) quietly shows off behind all the synth, effects and Tom. The unsatisfying yelps from Delonge, tarnish it though, in the interlude but overall another cheery song.
Another single released is 'It Hurts' - now this one took me a long while to see the good in it. A spiralling introduction and repetitive echo of the title throws you off. The verses are a mouthful up until the first few notes of the chorus which is the songs focal point. "Are you out of your mind? You've dug yourself into a liars hole. You made a little spark to live inside, it's now a f*cking fire out of control" goes the 2nd verse, just waiting to sprint into the sing along chorus "How did I let her inside? We're dripping of sweat, and feeling alright. Your lips are the last thing touched tonight. Your best friend is not your girlfriend". After an interlude and feedback laden guitar solo, the chorus comes back around for one last hurrah and continues the desperate cries of "Your best friend is not your girlfriend" and a harsh scream of "It Hurts!" thrown in there too.. that and a creepy "we don't need to whisper' at the death. 'Good Day' is another slow burning ballad with quality palm muting and lullaby like melodies. "I think I like today, I think it's good.. It's something I can't get my head around" is the confused chorus. The lyrics bode better in the verses and bridges "True love is something that comes easy, just one kiss God I swear I want too.. I heard a pin drop and a nervous heartbeat.. have you ever heard me scream I love you?" well we all have now Mr.Delonge. The chorus appears again with more vigor then closes with several uninspired 'Lada duh da, duh da, duh dada's. After some stoic drumming, the last few lines are enhanced further with a sprinkling of guitar squeals that sound devine.
'Start The Machine' starts with what sounds like a jack in the box being rewound - or some kind of juvenile toy, that is until the brooding bass joins in. "The ash set in then blew away.. Its getting lost into the sea.. I grew so close to all the thoughts I had to leave forever, I left the chill and voice of screams and kids and ran for shelter" is yet another strange story told by an emotional Tom. "The pain has a bad reaction, a blend of fear and passion. You know what it's like to believe - It makes me wanna scream" is the anthem like line, a call to arms for a final singsong. Adding more loved up lyrics like "I see the stars, they're in your eyes. A playful kiss, can you tell I'm excited? A fast escape in the nick of time. If you lost your wish, can I help you find it?" All is eclipsed by the mantric last words of "If loves a word, that you say, then say it - I will listen". Not bad for the finale of an interesting and original album. My copy however contains one more - a UK bonus track, 'The Machine' - a rehash of the song.. Its possible the band were uncertain of which one to release as they both offer something different (with the same lyrics). This time things are far heavier with a grinding guitar slugging away. Personally, I think it lacks that little edge that it's counterpart has - including the final lines that made it work just a smidgen more.
And so ends the first release by Tom Delonge without either of his ex-bandmates Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker. Blink fans won't rejoice as the only thing that's in the same light is the unchangeable - the voice. Everything else is fresh and new, from the idyllic effects and distortion to the tranquil melodies and transient moments of glory. Those expecting anything blink related will be disappointed. Those expecting originality and something new will either be pleasantly surprised or annoyingly astounded. I dug it, still do.. but I am a bit embarrassed to admit it..
Summary: Adventurous, Brave, Corny & Delusional