NOTE: I meant to have this article up way earlier, but with all the craziness of the past few months it got put on the back burner. But better late than never, so enjoy!
I can’t believe ten years have passed since Blink-182 released the album that not only divided their fans, but showed they were more than potty humor. I have been a Blink fan since Enema of the State and at the time I was working on getting all of their albums. I remember rushing to Best Buy to get the album and wishing the car would move faster on the way home, so I could finally listen to it. When I played the CD I was stunned. The dark music and the bleak lyrics sounded nothing like the three guys running naked in the street I fell in love with. It was loud, intense, dark, and amazing. I thought every song was amazing from the weird, ambient noises of “Anesthesia” to the violent vocals of “Stockholm Syndrome.” Every song was amazing and fresh. They somehow managed to make the songs have the classic Blink feel, yet sound completely different. It’s like they wanted to prove to the world to not write them off because they have an odd sense of humor.
In no time this became my favorite album of theirs. I played it everyday, learned all the lyrics, and tried to replicate the guitar sounds on my own. Everything about the record is so damn cool. Of course not everyone was happy with the result as I quickly learned. Some fans felt betrayed because these weren’t songs about aliens or fucking a dog. These songs were dark and sometimes even depressing. I feel that it came down to some people refusing to let them change and evolve. To be fair I can understand their frustration. You expect a stellar album from one of your favorite bands and suddenly they’re making music you never expected from them. Yet, I applauded them for doing something that no one saw coming. They didn’t want to be known as the naked guys for the rest of their career. If anything it was one of the smartest moves of their career because whether you liked it or not it got everyone talking.
Though I love the album I hate it when people say this is where the band grew up. I disagree with the thought because they’ve always had heavy songs looking at dark topics. Just look at “Adam’s Song” and “Stay Together for the Kids.” Both of these are bleak songs that deal with serious topics. They’ve always had the ability to write this kind of material, but it wasn’t until 2003 that they decided to do an entire album with this kind of material. Even though it ended up confusing and losing some fans, the album has slowly become a fan favorite and many now appreciate the record. Of course it was around this time that tensions were flying high in the band. With the record came anger, heartache, and almost the end of Blink-182. I can’t tell you how happy I am that they put aside their differences to be able to celebrate ten years of this amazing album. I still can’t believe it’s been that long.
Whenever I listen to it, it sounds like it was recorded just yesterday. It’s still one of my all time favorite albums. Whether it’s “All of This” with the amazing and adorable Robert Smith or the energetic and sexual fueled “Feeling This” I’ll always remember how happy and proud I was when I first heard it. Sometimes when I listen to it I’m transported back to the halls of my high school where I would hide my headphones underneath my hair just to hear “Always” before the next class started. I’m glad they honored the release by playing it in full and I hope I can see one of my favorite albums played in its entirety in the upcoming year. Thanks Blink for one of the most ambitious, strongest, and best albums of your career. It still sounds amazing after ten years.