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Old 02-14-2010, 12:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 9
Default Angels & Airwaves - LOVE (2010)

Angels & Airwaves

Track listing:
  1. Et Ducit Mundum Per Luce
  2. The Flight of Apollo
  3. Young London
  4. Shove
  5. Epic Holiday
  6. Hallucinations
  7. The Moon-Atomic (...Fragments and Fictions)
  8. Clever Love
  9. Soul Survivor (...2012)
  10. Letters to God, Part II
  11. 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” and “Shove” 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.

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Old 02-14-2010, 03:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Personally, i think its over-produced.
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Columbus, Oh
Posts: 19

Originally Posted by TLang View Post
Personally, i think its over-produced.
that's because DeLonge can't really sing
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1

Totally agree with you. And further I believe that Angels and Airwaves suffers from a lack of originality in the music itself, from overused chord progressions to just plain style. I, for one, am tired of those same 4 chords used in every pop/punk song (B-F#-G#m-E, sometimes without the F# and another E and played in various progressions.) But the main complaint I feel is as follows.

AvA is basically multiple repeated motifs layered on top of each other. Which serves its purpose. And of course U2 is famous for it. But there are 2 main differences. One is that the repetition of U2s guitar was two-fold: rhythmic repetition of the palm muted chucka-chuck and melodic repeated riffs on top of that, sometimes incorporated in the palm mute and sometimes left as a free flowing sound. The two combined helps to alleviate the innate boredom of hearing the same thing over and over again, and further more the melodic riff was always altered as the song progressed, reaching higher and lower and giving that suspense and release that AvA is currently missing.

And the repetition of U2 vocal lines is two-fold as well, the repetition of 2 motives, not just one as AvA does. Any single repeated line has a call and response form that lends a completeness to the sound. Perfect example of this is Pride, "One man come... One man he resists..." contrasting lines in both sound and meaning that together satisfy. And the vocal patterns are never strictly repeated, again they are altered as the song continues. And as such, the vocal carries the song to its rises and falls, giving that sense of arrival that songs like Shove lack.

I'm ranting somewhat, but the gist is that AvA is missing levels of complexity. I would love to see AvA reach the ranks of U2, and yes I agree they definitely have that potential. For now, I'm still waiting.
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I feel that AvA ruined his voice. He was great (well, at his best) on Blink's self-titled album just before their breakup. I saw Blink last summer and his singing ability was horrendous. I googled videos of him singing on the Tonight Show... still horrendous.

I'm not really looking forward to a new Blink album, and I've never liked AvA so I can't imagine I'd like LOVE very much, if at all.
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