Blink 182 - NINE
NINE is Blink's second go around without founding member Tom Delonge. While Matt Skiba is honestly an all around better musician and singer than Tom, you can really sense that the magic of Blink-182 just is not there anymore. This feels like a very different band, and that's probably ok. Blink were never supposed to make it out of 25, it's music for your past but doesn't particularly feel like your music of the future. I can almost describe which Blink song I was listening to during each one of the phases of my life, but none of those moments are really here. As the band ages the sort of expect their fanbase to age in the exact same way, it just doesn't happen that way. This album is a natural evolution of the band's music since the shift that their self titled album brought about, but it's almost devoid of all the fun. Blink seemed like band that didn't and shouldn't, take themselves to seriously, but on their most recent albums that frivolity is all but gone. "Darkside" which follows the story of someone taking a risk and going dark in order to find the best of what may come is nice, but doesn't really feel all that interesting. "Blame it On My Youth" seems to all at once bank on nostalgia, but then have some guilt around those same memories. Skiba has definitely amped up the emo for Blink which seems to totally negate the fun and frivolous aspects that make Blink-182 so endearing. They also seem to be obsessed with this idea of generational differences with multiple songs dedicated to the issue.
There are some good songs here like "I Really Wish I Hated You" and the musicianship has definitely taken a step up but that doesn't make this a good album. For Blink fans this doesn't really scratch that itch of missing the band and wanting them back together. As it's own band this album would make more sense, and perhaps allow the listener to take a different perspective. Where are the power pop anthems? Where are the songs we can sing and laugh along to? I don't know. Growing up doesn't always mean becoming the deepest guy at the party, sometimes you can just have fun. If you go back in time to 2002-2003 Me and ask him what Blink-182 needs the last thing I would say is Tom DeLonge. 2019 Me says "I Miss Tom".
6.8 out of 10