Take Off Your Pants and Jacket – Blink-182

Blink-182_-_Take_Off_Your_Pants_and_Jacket_coverRelease Year: 2001

Rating: 8.5/10

When Blink-182 released their untitled record in 2004, many fans complained of the dark turn the band chose. They stated this wasn’t the classic band they fell in love with and never saw the change coming, but there are hints of their darker sound on this record. Some people call this album the sequel to Enema of the State and in some respects they’re right. Just as with their previous album, all the songs are catchy, loud, fast and fun to sing along to, but changes in musical tone and subject matter shows a band in transition.

The first hint of change is right in the opening track “Anthem Part 2.” Where as the first song dealt with partying, this one explores the issues of teens in direct opposition to adults who run their lives. There’s even some political charge in the lyrics as Delonge notes how “kids can’t vote, adults elect them.” The song even goes as far as blaming adults for their kids being “fucked up.” Though it still has that classic Blink sound in terms of music you can already see the banding shying away from their partying image. “Online Songs” is a follow up to their single “Josie” and it’s about the end of that relationship. What’s notable about this track is the opening bass riff, which shows off Hoppus’ skills. From there the music races along as he sings about trying to get back with Josie and failing. It’s another one of their songs that’s so catchy you can’t help but sing along to it.

Since the band was pressured from the record company to make another hit album, there are still plenty of upbeat, fun, catchy songs exploring adolescence. “First Date” is pretty straightforward and has its share of funny moments. The chorus is simple, yet infectious and thanks to the brightness of the music, it sounds like the perfect track to kick off summer. Another fun summertime hit is “Rock Show.” This track has everything fans love about the band: fast music, loud guitars, catchy lyrics, and bounds of energy. It’s all about having a good time and this song is the best at capturing that mood.

Happy Holidays, you Bastard” is one of their classic joke songs that finds Mark complaining about the holidays. The rushing tempo and obscene humor makes it a stand out track, especially since it’s less than a minute long. Songs like “Reckless Abandon” and “Roller Coaster” are good no doubt, but since they sound similar to what the band did on their previous album, they have a hard time standing out from the other tracks. It doesn’t make them bad; they’re still fun and catchy as hell. “Everytime I Look for You” and “Give Me One Good Reason” continue with the theme of adolescent as one touches on a shaky relationship as Mark and Tom effortlessly share vocal duties, while the latter explores teenage rebellion and how they’re only trying to find themselves. They may not be Blink’s finest songs, but they’re catchy and relatable, like most of their material.

Things get bleak for “Story of a Lonely Guy.” The music is slower here with an opening that makes it sound like the guitar is being played underwater. The lyrics paint a picture of a guy whose life is full of melancholy. You can’t help but feel bad for him as he can’t even approach a girl he likes in the grocery store. Though it’s not as strong as the other tracks “Shut Up” also has dark connotations despite all the swearing. It’s about a girl whose sick of her family and decides to run away. In the process of leaving she learns she actually misses them, which she didn’t expect. It’s not their finest songwriting moment, but it does show the guys leaning towards a new direction. But there is one song in particular that shows their serious side.

Stay Together for the Kids” is one their of their darkest songs. The tone of it is angry and violent, especially when it comes to the chorus where Delonge shouts “So here’s your holiday/hope you enjoy it this time/you gave it all away.” The music seems to represent the shift in emotions someone experiences when faced with their parent’s divorcing. The verse have somber riffs, while the chorus has aggressive, explosive music that gives you chills. It’s a really powerful and emotional song, especially when you consider how most of the band have gone through their own parents divorce. It’s a track that still rings true today and not only shows the band progressing as songwriters, but as musicians too.

Overall, I would give this album 8.5/10. It has awesome songs that are fun and fast, the elements of a classic Blink-182 song, but there are also subtle changes that were hinting at where the band would go musically after this. While some songs are good, but get overshadowed by the other tracks, others are excellent and shows the guys’ knack for bouncing between heartfelt songs and fun, catchy hooks. Though it’s been called a sequel to their previous album, this record shows the guys improving as musicians and as songwriters. This was only a small hint to what was to come next.

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16 comments

  1. I don’t remember fans being too upset over this album but I remember some getting upset over Enema(saying the band had “sold out”) and flipping out, unnecessarily, over the release of the self-titled album because the sound was so different & experimental but those people seemed to get over both. Take Off Your Pants and Jacket is so clean & tight sounding but has those old classic Blink 182 elements, like you said, including their humor in tact and hints of where they were going next. Overall I’m happy with their sound evolution, and I look back on this album as one of their best. Glad you wrote about this!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Some people I knew and others I talk to seem to dislike the album because it was too similar to Enema of the State, but I loved it. Of course now I can see how it’s a transition record, but it just makes me like it even more. I dunno if it’s just the people I talk to but Blink seem to get a lot of hate. I remember how many of my friends absolutely hated their self titled, while I thought it was amazing. I can’t wait to write about that one! I’m really proud of the way they evolved. As Mark said a while ago they can’t sing about masturbation all the time at 40. I can’t wait to hear what they do next, They also need to go back on tour…I need to see them finally!

      1. Now that you mention it, “just the people I talk to” the people who complained to me didn’t seem like the big fans, at least in my circle, more of the casual listeners, people who were into the radio singles and not much else. I remember people in general thinking “What’s My Age Again” was a really, unexpected funny song & video but then Blink-182 getting labeled as “fake punk”, “teenybopper” & “selling out” but I liked them anyway and some of the people who use to make fun of them have come around. They’re a good band!
        I feel like I’m always saying “I’ve seen this band ____ times” on your blog but I gotta mention it…I’ve seen them about 5 times now, I think. 2000, 2002, 2004, 2009, 2011, & I missed a Toronto show in 1998 or something around then & then they canceled their Rochester show a couple of years ago so I missed that. You’ll see them! I might be wrong but I think I’m a lot older than you so I just had other opportunities to go to these shows if that makes sense, have you made a list of all the shows you have seen?
        I loved Neighborhoods but I barely listen to the Dogs Eating Dogs ep but when I do every single time I think I like it I don’t know why I don’t remember it’s there.

      2. Yeah I know what you mean. I remember one time in college I was wearing a Blink-182 shirt and waiting for my friend. These group of guys walked by and laughed saying “Blink-182? They’re really cool…not.” I was just like…okay… It’s just weird. But I don’t care if they’re singing about dark stuff or the silly stuff, they’re a great band! A lot of my friends wanted to pit them against Green Day saying GD was better. Both bands are great for entirely different reasons. I liked Neighborhoods a lot, but I enjoyed Dogs Eating Dogs more…it just felt like a cohesive band again on that effort, whereas they were still getting used to each other again on Neighborhoods. Wow!! You are lucky!! You may be older, I’m in my mid 20s, but they always go on tour so I know I’ll see them soon. I’ve made a list of all the bands I’ve seen but I haven’t posted it. I have it mainly for my own purposes. I wasn’t really thinking of posting it here…didn’t think it would be too interesting.

      3. Exactly. I remember standing in the horrible lunch line during freshman year of high school and a couple older guys making fun of my No Doubt t-shirt…same thing. And yes to people pitting GD and Blink-182 against each other. GD only blew up a few years before Blink-182, both great for different reasons & had very different sounds. GD went through the same thing. GD was popular and HUGE when they finally made it big but they were not considered “cool”. They were a band liked by teenyboppers and supposedly people who didn’t know anything about music or punk, which is stupid as hell & not true. I loved them but lots of older people made fun of them for being un-punk or “killing punk”, all stupid. On top of that people still love to say “GD isn’t punk” which is such a boring and silly statement and conversation to have, discussing what isn’t punk isn’t punk is tiresome and dumb. They love to pit GD against and old band like the Ramones or a newer pop-punk band like(I can’t even think of an example). It’s okay to discuss why you love music, bands, why something is your favorite or you prefer that band over another but having aggressiveness arguments over it is so stupid and especially making condescending statements about it. We wouldn’t sit here and debate There’s almost no reason to compare and critique Blink vs GD…what do they have in common? They’re both from California, they got big in the ’90s, they’re considered part of the popular punk rock genre, who cares about the rest?

        I think you hit a nerve! I feel bad for all of us that ever had to deal with morons walking by and laughing at our band t-shirts.

        Yeah I don’t know why I thought I was older must’ve been something you wrote before but I just turned 32. I think my first shows were in 1995. So because I’m older(which doesn’t mean much at all) I just was able to see certain bands. I hope that makes sense! I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I always wanted to be older in the early/mid 90s so I could’ve seen certain bands like my older brother did but I guess it’s kind of cool now to say I’ve seen Green Day or Blink and bands like that a few times. There are probably younger people right now who will say later that you’re lucky to have seen so-and-so because they were only 11 when that band came out, but you were 18. Y’know?

        I tried making the band list too. Just for me, trying to remember. Maybe it’s not interesting, I don’t know but I like to see stuff like that. I might do a post around it sometime and break it up into groups of 5 and pick out songs by those groups or something.

        Sorry this is so long oh my god. (and i’m not proofreading it).

      4. Ugh….the who is punk vs not thing…yawn. See that’s why I don’t get hung up on genre labels. Who cares? What should be important is if you like the music. Who cares other wise? I’ve seen those GD isn’t punk arguments unfold and I’m thinking do you think they care? They make music they like and obviously others enjoy it too. People still scoff at me because not only do I like GD but I also like their new material. There was so much crap going around when they did the trilogy. So many people I know were complaining that it wasn’t like American Idiot or Dookie and I’m like well that’s good….it would be boring otherwise. I can understand if people don’t like certain bands, that’s fine. But I hate when others start teasing people or just trying to convince them why a certain band sucks. That happened to me once when I was talking about Bullet for my Valentine in a chat and everyone was like my god they suck and here’s a list why. And I was sitting there thinking okay….I get it…you don’t like them. That’s fine. The whole is GD punk thing reminds me of when Marilyn Manson first got popular and people were like Ugh He’s not goth and anyone who listens to him isn’t goth. Um…who cares? Does he make music you like? That’s all that should matter. Gah…I hate those stupid arguments.

        Anyway, that’s really cool that you’ve had those chances to see them so many times! I guess now that I’m on my own and have money I get to see more bands now, so I’m sure you’re right. Someone younger than me would probably flip at who I’ve seen. Actually I have an older brother….wayyyy older, who is kind of jealous of the band’s I’ve seen so that’s pretty cool.

        That’s a cool idea! I just like keeping the list for myself and most of the band’s I’ve seen I write a review for here. I can tell you the only bands I’ve seen multiple times are Marilyn Manson (x2) and Cage the Elephant (x3)

      5. I don’t think anybody has ever listened to insults and “reasons” why a band sucks and come out of it thinking “yeah, you’re right, now I don’t like them, thank you”. The reasoning seems to be they suck “because they do” “because I hate them” ect. The only time I’m open to really hearing about it is when the band or singer is misogynistic or racist or something, then I want to know if I didn’t realize.
        I like talking about music and the evolution of a band’s sound, positive or negative comments, but not if the only response is “cause they suck” over and over or “they ruined (insert genre here)”. Don’t care, that argument is weak.

        That’s cool that your brother is jealous of your list! Mine is about 40 & I think he could care less b/c he saw just about everything awesome when he was a teenager anyway, maybe a few things I’ve seen here and there like Bob Dylan or something but otherwise I think he’d be humoring me. I think I have better taste anyway=)

      6. Yeah most of the comments are like that. I’m always open to hearing why someone doesn’t like a particular band, but not when it’s only “cuz they suck!” Give me something better than that! I like looking at changing sounds too…I think it’s interesting. All of the reasons we were talking about is why I don’t get to talk about music a lot with others…it turns into those petty arguments.

        That’s cool your brother got to see Bob Dylan…I;m not a Dylan fan, but it still sounds like a rad experience. I got most of my taste from my brother so I think we like about the same things, which is pretty cool. He introduced me to bands like Depeche Mode and The Cure.

      7. Oh no, I saw Bob Dylan! In 199—something 98 maybe? I think he’s jealous of me w/that one is all I was saying but all the stuff he’d think was cool, worth seeing would’ve been back when he was a teenager in the ’80s and ’90s(like The Cure and Depeche Mode that you mentioned for example-he’s seen ’em both). I got some musical influence from his for sure, I was just talking about this recently, because I’d always look at his music magazines and tapes when I was younger, like 1992, 1993, all the poppunky stuff though, like GD, is pure me though. I remember giving him a tape of Kerplunk for his birthday in the ’90s and he looked at me like I was nuts and I don’t think he even opened it.
        I like that it sounds like you have a good, close relationship especially sharing musical taste, I always envy that with other people’s siblings.

        Agree w/the petty arguments. Those people are not only stupid, they’re excruciatingly immature. Luckily I don’t many people like that and don’t have to deal with it, the only time that pops up is, surprise surprise, the internet. People are just insecure, that’s where it comes from. So annoying.

        People say “life is too short to-” but it really is. We have to just like what we like and not worry about it.
        Nice talk to you though-about music=)

      8. Ah! I see. Sorry for misunderstanding, but that still sounds pretty cool. I really hope I get to see The Cure this year at Riot Fest, I’m so sick of missing out on them 😛 Lol cute story about the Kerplunk tape. That just makes me think of all the records my brother had and he somehow lost them or they got stolen. And I think you could’ve passed them on to me!!! >.< But it's cool.

        Good talking to you too! I always enjoy your comments on the reviews, so keep 'em coming 🙂

      9. Oh no, don’t be sorry, who cares, I was just clarifying it probably didn’t matter anyway!
        Hope you get to Riot Fest. I attempted to make plans for the Denver version last year, wanted to see the mats & brand new, but I ended up doing something else I don’t remember what now. Good luck!

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