The return of pop-punk is here.
Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Matt Skiba, of the 1990s adored band blink-182, just released their ninth studio album. While each of the 15 tracks have the right modern touch, the band’s sound remains true to who they are, which is a rock band with a punk message.
I was six years old when the music video for “First Date” came out in 2001. I remember watching it in secret so my parents wouldn’t find out. It’s safe to say blink-182 hasn’t always been the most kid-friendly band.
But, nonetheless, their music was always good and their new album “NINE” isn’t any different.
We also got new music this week from Canadian queen Céline Dion and iconic pop band Maroon 5. There’s nothing I love more than a good comeback.
Let’s hit the ground running.
“NINE” an album by blink-182
- The full rock band intro on the album’s first track, “The First Time,” is really how you want to start a rock album. I felt like I was in a time warp, taken back to the late 1990s/early 2000s. And I didn’t hate it. The boys bring it down with “Heaven,” a slower tune with vulnerable lyrics like “Heaven doesn’t want me now.” This album is way more adult than anything blink-182 has given us before, but they can’t help but reminisce on “Blame It on My Youth.” The track is the biggest ode to their prime years, full of reckless youth. That was before all the drama with former band member Tom DeLonge. On “Run Away,” the track starts off with an intro that gives me a slight Linkin Park vibe, bridging electronic sounds with a little bit of rock and fast-paced, rap-like verses. One of my favorite tracks on the album, “Black Rain,” gives us some major vocals combined with mature, vulnerable lyrics that break down pain. “I Really Wish I Hated You” is your typical song about an ex, “No Heart to Speak Of” is hauntingly beautiful, “On Some Emo S**t,” is the song former emo kids everywhere have dreamed about for a decade and a half and “Remember to Forget Me” has the acoustic touch I always knew the band was capable of.
“Memories” by Maroon 5
- Pop king lead vocalist Adam Levine and company have done it again. They’ve given us another soon-to-be pop chart topper. Can I just bottle up Levine’s vocal skills and keep them forever so they remain this flawless? No? OK. Then I’ll just play “Memories” on repeat for the next week. I admire the band’s subtle approach on this song, with minimal instruments and a clear vision within the lyrics. We all have those memories, you know the ones you’re good at keeping at bay until you’re a few drinks in, and Maroon 5 wants you to know it’s completely normal.
“CROWN” by Russ
- Russ returns with another upbeat, edgier tune. I’m not sure what producer he’s been working with lately, but they’re a match made in hip-hop heaven. “CROWN” is a love song to an independent, college-educated girl that appears to be out of the rapper’s league. He switches up between rap verses and on point vocals, yet the whole track flows smoothly.
“Better Man” by Aaron Smith
- Fresh off the Scottish pop artist’s debut EP “Loveless,” the track “Better Man” is an all-around masterpiece. Smith gave us deep, yet beautiful, vocals with a haunting build up that left me wanting more. The beat’s pulse flows up and down throughout, yet he doesn’t miss a beat. He tells a story of wanting to become a better person, and I know that is something we can all relate to.
“Buying Time” by Lucky Daye
- With a fun acoustic setup right from the start and vocals that ooze soul, American singer-songwriter Daye (David Debrandon Brown) has made his mark on the music world. This effortless, simple track is easily my favorite of the week. Daye keeps it modern, but his voice is one that belongs to an old soul. The play-on-words throughout his lyrics, talking about buying overpriced, materialistic items in order to buy more time with someone he cares about, are priceless.
“Imperfections” by Céline Dion
- Dion is 51 years old and her vocals sound better than ever in her latest release. A grown woman who has lived all walks of life singing a smash song about imperfections is exactly what we needed in 2019. I’m calling it one of this year’s power anthems, and I expect a dozen club remixes to be released in the next two months.
“Stack It Up” by Liam Payne featuring A Boogie wit da Hoodie
- Pop superstar and former One Direction boy bander has given us another chart topper, and be brought along one of my favorite rappers. While Payne’s solo releases nearly all sound the same, I can’t help but get enough. He’s dreamy, his vocals are smooth, and his music team knows exactly what they are doing. It’s a song about money, which the whole world knows he has too much of. A Boogie wit da Hoodie was the perfect feature for this track.
“Sugar Honey Iced Tea (S.H.I.T.)” by Princess Nokia
- Nokia (Destiny Nicole Frasqueri) is all about that funk, and there’s no lack of it in this track. The American/Puerto Rican rapper is bringing the heat with this one, and I can’t help but get a female-Pharrel vibe off of it. Her verses go hard, without even a thought of holding back, and her beat brings in a big band/old school sound. This is the kind of song you blast at a house party a month from now, when everyone knows all the lyrics. It’s the next “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo, taking powerful females by storm all over America.