I'm continuing to love this album more than anything else blink has done in a long time. It's arguably more blink than anything post-TOYPAJ, just when it comes to vocal sharing. Yes, you would have some shared songs like Feelin This, Boxing Day, Natives etc., but, throughout this record, both Matt and Mark sing. Even when a song is either Matt or Mark heavy, the other singer AT LEAST gets the bridge or a verse. That is what blink is truly about, and why songs like Pathetic, Feelin This and Man Overboard has resonated with so many people.
It just amazes me when people say this doesn't sound like blink, one, for that reason, and, two, because it doesn't sound like self-titled. Let me just say that self-titled, while many loved it, didn't sound like blink just by looking at all of their previous releases. This album is more blink, again, than anything post-TOYPAJ. Again, you might not like it, but I don't agree when people say it doesn't sound like blink.
Even though people are upset about the throwbacks, I actually wouldn't have minded even more throwback references. Even though it's not one of my favorite songs, one of the best lines is "Thank God for Punk Rock Bands." Blink began as a punk rock band. It's who they are. And, unfortunately, Tom was pushing blink away from that. Now, with Tom no longer in the picture, I can't blame them for embracing that sound and mentality altogether. It's almost cathartic to the point where they're like, "Damn, we no longer have this buffer. Let's sing about and sing like the bands we grew up loving."
Now, with that said, I think that Brohemian Rhapsody should've been a full song. That intro is fucking glorious, and I find myself replying it over and over and over. I really hope that, when and if another album comes out, that they embrace that type of instrumentation WITH the insane layering of vocals.
And I remember reading awhile ago how this album didn't work because all of the song structures were the same left me befuddled. I feel that this album actually goes beyond all other blink songs in that regard. Before this album, only Apple Shampoo, didn't have a chorus. It was just a song with multiple parts. And then Cynical comes along and joins ranks. There's an intro, a "verse" and then an outro twice, or, to say another way, Part A, Part B and Part C and Part C.
And that's not even mentioning the songs which (usually embraced by metal bands) where the second verse is sung (or in some metal band's cases screamed/growled/or, in the case when the first verse featured unclean vocals, sun) differently than the first. Blink barely did that before .... if they even did. I can't even remember of an instance except Dysentery Gary where Mark sings a verse.
So, again, you can not like the album, but when you say it doesn't sound like blink, I believe (while I won't say you're wrong) the evidence doesn't agree with you. As i've said previously, this album would've made more sense if it preceded self-titled. But, alas, it didn't.
I have so much more to say, but I'll just leave it at that.
EDIT: Plus, Mark really stepped up with his bass. I'm actually more excited about that than guitar licks. He throws in some bass chords (which I haven't heard in a long time, the only one of consequence, being in Carousel) and even some "intricate" parts as well. It was a truly great experience. Like I said earlier, I would've liked more songs like Bro Rap guitar-wise. But, damn, they stepped it up vocally with great harmonization in every song that actually puts in a lot more effort that guitar riffs, in my opinion, especially when they are so layered.
I was hanging on by a little thread.
Just minutes before I was on a mountain.
I screamed "I can see all."
The ground broke from the sound.
It was all built on nothing.
Caution: the solid ground that you are on will slide from under you.
-Hot Water Music