Courtesy of Columbia Records

November 30, 2022

Staying Together For the Kids: Blink-182 is Back!

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Blink-182 fans rejoice! There’s a phrase not a lot of people born this side of 1990 have ever heard. For those of you who didn’t come of age in the early 2000s, or have a love of pop punk like I do, let me give you a refresher on who I’m talking about. The California-based band was founded in 1992, but they didn’t find commercial success until their album released at the end of the millennium, titled, Enema of the State, which features classics such as “All the Small Things,” “What’s My Age Again” and “ Adam’s Song.” These are all great songs that I highly recommend. 

Lead guitarist/vocalist and band co-founder Tom DeLonge has a habit of leaving and coming back to the band over the years. The last time that he left the band was back in 2015, but within the past few weeks, the band announced in hilarious fashion that DeLonge had rejoined the band and that they would be going on tour together next year. This is the part where Blink-182 fans can rejoice. It has been nearly ten years since most of the original members, including Delonge, Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus have released music and toured together. And now they are back, as heralded by a new single that they released on Oct. 14 called “Edging.”

The comment section on YouTube of the official audio for the new song is mostly positive. However, I just can’t bring myself to enjoy it. It has all of the hallmarks of a typically satisfying Blink-182 song, with a beat reminiscent of “The Rock Show” and a lyrical maturity reminiscent of “First Date.” But there’s something missing. Well no, it’s not that something is missing, it’s more that something was inserted unnecessarily. Now, I won’t say that Tom DeLonge is exactly the songbird of his generation, but his whiny and high pitched delivery is what makes Blink-182 songs stand out from the countless other pop punk bands that took influence from them. The use of autotune here feels so forced and overrides DeLonge’s delivery in an unsatisfying way. I had similar problems with their 2016 album California and the way they abused the use of autotune in that setting as well. I think that it all boils down to the history and visual imagery that the band presents. The band is fun, fast, lighthearted. This song is fast and lighthearted, but the autotune just eliminates that fun element for me. 

When you’ve been around for 30 years, there is a certain guarantee of some wins and some losses in your career. Although most people associate Blink-182 with the early 2000s, recent hits like “Scumbag” have proven that the band still has a ways to go before it runs out of good material to produce. I’ve resisted this joke long enough, but “Edging” left me wanting more. I want more proof that Blink-182 is back in full form, that they’re worth seeing on tour, that they’re still the kings of pop punk. Maybe Tom DeLong rejoining the band to produce this new album will prove all of that. Only time will tell. 

Tom Sandford is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected].