On June 1, Blink-182’s bestselling album Enema of the State will be turning 13 year old. Since I won’t have the time to review the album on that date, I decided to look at it today. (The date is close enough!) The album is a classic and still rocks to this day. This album is upbeat and energetic; the kind of record you put on to celebrate the start of summer or if you’ve had a rough day and need to kickback and have fun. And that’s exactly what Blink wants you to do with this record.
The songs here are so awesome and great that it’s hard to pick the most amazing ones. Plus, they’re all catchy as hell. The opener “Dumpweed” has a great dirty guitar riff that has a slight dark tone to it. The song is a bit on the aggressive side and because of this the vocals sound angry and frustrated, which you can really feel. Another amazing song is the odd “Alien’s Exist.” This song is pretty unique; you don’t find songs about aliens everyday. This song has a great energetic guitar riff that’ll get you jumping up and down. Also, it’s great how the song captures the feeling of paranoia and conspiracy theories. Alongside these tracks you can find fan favorites “All the Small Things” and “What’s My Age Again?”
There are also some great songs where the band really experiment with sound and tempo. One example is “The Party Song.” This is a great speedy number that manages to represent the pace of being at a party. It actually gives you the feeling of being at a crappy party. The fast tempo is not only kept up by the music, but by Mark’s vocals. But there’s also a great dynamic here; there’s a part in the song where everything slows down, even the vocals. Not only is it cool, but it gives you the chance to hear the great bass riff.
Another stand out track is “Adam’s Song.” This song gives the band a chance to show they aren’t all about dick and fart jokes. It’s a song about suicide and depression. You know that the song isn’t like the others when the slow, somber riff opens the track. It sets the sad and dark tone. The lyrics themselves are pretty bleak with references to suicide and better days. There’s even a slight,eerie nod to Nirvana with the line “I took my time/I hurried up.” It’s a depressing song, yet there is optimism to be found here. During the musical break, the music picks a bit and the piano comes in, which really brightens up the sound as if to say things will get better. It’s a powerful track and shows a more mature Blink.
Blink-182’s first few albums were heavily influenced by punk rock, but on their second release they started taking more elements from pop music. The band takes the pop influence and runs with it on this album. It’s not meant as a bad thing; it just means that a lot of the songs are quick, easy to remember and easy to sing along with. Take “Don’t me Leave Me.” It’s a fast paced tune that has quite a melodic quality to it. The words are pretty easy to remember and it’s fun to sing along to and I think that’s what Blink wanted people to do when listening to the record: have fun. Just about all of the songs have these qualities.
Just as with their previous albums, the band’s juvenile humor is found here. There are tons of humorous songs like “What’s My Age Again” and “Dysentery Gary,” but what makes the humor better here than on their previous efforts is that it fits in. You barely even notice it. The humor in their first album didn’t fit into the songs well enough. This led to a lot of the songs being weird or something to be listened to once in a while. They improved this issue on Dude Ranch, but here they’ve perfected it. The humor is subtle enough to fit into their songs and not mess up the flow. Something else the band got right on this album is the number of tracks. Their previous album had a lot of great songs on it, but there were so many songs some of them didn’t stand out. But here with only twelve tracks, every song gets a chance to shine.
Overall, I give this album 9/10. The band seems to have gotten everything right here, from how their humor is integrated with their music to the number of songs on the record. It’s basically a perfect album for the band. It’s a mostly fun record, full of humorous and energetic songs. All the tracks are better with the addition of Travis Barker on drums, who brings even more hard hitting energy to the group. This has got to be one of the best albums of the 90’s and it’s a classic now; one of those albums that you have to listen to at least once.