As my senior year comes to a close, I routinely find myself drowning in spells of nostalgia and reminiscing on experiences of years past. I remember playing in the snow, procrastinating over homework, hanging out with friends. But I mostly remember the music that helped form my impressionable mind.
When I was young, my dad sang me the songs of James Taylor, while my mom and I belted out the ballads of Tina Turner on the way home from school. As an elementary school student, I became obsessed with the pop craze, and melted when I heard my favorite Backstreet Boy.
This all changed in middle school when I found my “edge,” or at least what I thought to be edgy – the music of Blink-182. This band exuded the teen angst I thought I ought to be experiencing. They were the epitome of cool. They were not afraid to be humorous as they led the forefront of a teenage rebellion.
Blink-182 released their self-titled album in 2003, and I was fortunate to buy it, thanks to a gift card. “Blink-182” became the soundtrack of my final year of middle school. I was an eighth grader growing up to the sophisticated sounds of what bassist Mark Hoppus called a “self-meditation on romantic decay,” and I felt smarter for being able to recite that description on cue. No longer did Blink-182 sing of hot dogs and first dates, but instead serenaded the masses with a refined pop-punk sound that was a refreshing surprise to dedicated fans.
The first single released, and the first song on the album, “Feeling This,” sets the tone with its head-banging drums and heart-gripping lyrics. The next two, “Obvious” and “I Miss You,” have a mysterious quality that further reflects the band’s new attitude about love, life, and music. There is a solid meaning and purpose behind every chord, every note, and every word.
Between the fourth and fifth tracks on the album, a letter is read that Mark Hoppus’ grandfather wrote to his wife during World War II. It brings a tear to the listener’s eye as it describes his unconditional love during the most terrible of circumstances. The remaining tracks encourage listeners to take a new outlook and to see life from a new perspective.
Blink-182’s final album (before their “indefinite hiatus”) was released in 2005, and is something that the band can be proud of as an end note to over a decade of success. Its new-age, sophisticated feel is something that will remain revolutionary and proves that a band can stay true to themselves and their music while growing up and growing apart.
This band reinvented themselves for this album, and their efforts are deemed immortal as “Blink-182” will forever play as the background music to many souls who were touched by this legendary band.
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