I’m going to be honest right off the bat with this. I didn’t know what my expectations were for this album, but I wasn’t crazy excited for it. I really liked “Bored to Death” and what Matt Skiba brought to Blink-182 with that song, but their more recent releases before this didn’t thrill me. I know this was supposed to be a new Blink, but I was pretty hesitant going into listening.
However, my opinion was quickly swayed that California is a hit! There are so many catchy tracks and Skiba brings new life to a band that has been around the block a few times. California isn’t your standard Blink or pop-punk/rock album; it’s introducing new ideas to the standard pop-punk sound. This album is an excellent comeback, after five years of silence.
“Los Angeles” was the first track to rope me in. The instrumentation is all over the place in the best way possible, and the tempo changes and rough vocals give it an edgy feel that you can’t help but love. That song that you know is going to get stuck in your head is “Sober.” The bridge and chorus are just so catchy that you’ll be humming it for hours. One major standout for me is “Home Is Such a Lonely Place.” Everything about this song is beautiful. The guitar perfectly marries the raw sound of the music with the raw emotion of the lyrics. This track is my second favorite of the album, while “Left Alone” takes first place. With lyrics that are very relatable and a chorus that uses a unique vocal approach, this song is the song I’ve been needing for a while. It is a perfect balance of anger and sadness, which makes it real. California is bringing back the silly side of Blink that everyone knows and loves with “Built This Pool” and “Brohemian Rhapsody.” “Built This Pool” serves as a great silly filler in the middle, and “Brohemian Rhapsody” ends the album on a perfect, fun note.
Blink-182 is legendary, if we’re being honest. They’ve come a long way and have served as an anthem for many teenagers. However, those teenagers have grown up, and the Blink-182 sound has matured with them. California is a major step in the right direction.