So, the UFO-obsessed Tom DeLonge has sold 20 million albums or whatever as chief songwriter of the much-maligned Blink 182 but now he’s had a big quarrel with the others he has to start a new band. Ouch. Now what?
Now he gets some old mates from other ‘punk’ bands (Offspring, Distillers) and makes a less-than-super supergroup with them. Revolutionary. The problem they encounter is that the whole world sees the Yellowcards and Simple Plans as old hat. This nu-emo thing is so carefully styled – it’s something that takes a whole load more thinking about. One gets the feeling Tom ain’t too hot on thinking.
The plan is to make music that reflects their band’s name: Angels And Airwaves. So they hole up in some studio and watch space films and war books. It already sounds silly but it gets better. Tom’s daughter is called Ava. So is the abbreviated band name! AVA! They turned the ‘A’ in the middle upside down. Incredible. Seriously. Incredible.
I really just cannot believe that he’s getting away with this example of self-indulgence in quite such monstrous measures. Why isn’t it just called Tom DeLonge’s Band? Why is it called anything? Why is there anything at all? Hasn’t he got enough money now? Can’t he just go away?
Granted, DeLonge has seemed to become more ambitious in recent years but _We Don’t Need To Whisper _is maybe one baby step too far in the wrong direction. It’s a much more laid-back and 'mature' affair than we have seen played with both the impressive Box Car Racer material and also in the last Blink album but by aiming to sound like U2 and Pink Floyd, AVA ends up sounding like an emo version of an even more plodding Coldplay.
A lot of work has gone into trying to make this album something more credible; something that maybe Tom’s daughter can look back on and be proud of her father for. The grand textures and layered sounds hark back to the 1980s, and even before, when deeply atmospheric noodlings were commonplace and respected. Sadly, the world has moved on and it would take something truly special to make anyone but the converted sit up and take any notice. As it is, the sound is horrible contrived and is far from being a fresh, updated version of DeLonge's classic favourites.
After abandoning Box Car Racer after one album we can live in the vain hope that DeLonge is a man of trends and *AVA *is not here to stay. However, we must realise that he’s rich and bored now and he will keep inflicting this pain upon us.
Hint: Do away with Tom DeLonge and we do away with that hideous whine of his.
2Raziq Rauf's Score