Angels & Airwaves – I-Empire


Album

I-Empire

Label

Suretone/Geffen

Year

2007

For Fans Of

Brand New – Armor For Sleep – Blink 182

Summary

The ego has landed...

Rating

60 / 100

Regardless of the fact that
I’m twenty five years old, I still love Blink 182. I, like many
people (whether they want to admit it or not) was bummed when the band
decided to call it a day but my spirits were somewhat lifted when I
found out we would get not one, but two new bands from the split.  

As we all know, Mark
and Travis released a record with Plus 44, and while it
wasn’t dramatically different from Blink’s newer material it
filled the void and gave us something to sing a long to after a few
too many drinks at Bang. Enter Tom Delonge… who loudly and
proudly proclaimed that his new outfit Angels & Airwaves
was quite possibly the greatest band of the last two decades.  

Did their debut live up to
the hype? No, it did not. Does their sophomore effort deliver on Tom’s original promises… strike two I’m afraid. 

Remember those kids who were
wearing Dickies and a New Found Glory tee six months ago but now they’re
busting out cardigans (Cripps is exempt from this) and claiming they’ve
been fans of The Smiths for years? That’s Tom
Delonge
… a man who is so intent on proving to people that he’s
outgrown the pop punk he cut his teeth on that he’s prepared to write
another record of B grade (and that’s being generous) U2 covers. 

There is nothing inherently
bad with “I-Empire”, but when you tell everyone with access to the
internet that your music will revolutionize the world as we know it
big things are expected. Did you hear what I said Mr Delonge? Big things! Over-using a delay pedal and spending too much time
with a synthesizer does not make you ground breaking! 

Now that I’ve got that out
of my system let’s talk about the songs themselves. “Call To Arms”
is probably the most straight to the point track on the record but it
has two major faults, the first being that it sounds like it could have
been lifted from the first Angels record, such is the lack of
progression or development in the song writing department. The second
issue is a statement about the band in general, and that is that Tom’s voice simply isn’t good enough to front an arena rock band.
There’s no doubt that he reigned supreme as the pop punk king but I
don’t think Bono will feel threatened by Tom’s vocal prowess…
or lack thereof.  

“Everything’s Magic” is
a really catchy tune however I’m fairly certain that The Cure
used the bass line around fifteen years ago. In saying that, it’s still
my favourite track on the album and almost single handedly responsible
for the 60 out of 100 that I’ve given this record. It’s a shame that
it’s followed up by “Breathe” because it’s such a fucking horrible
tune. Seriously, if I never hear that chorus again it’ll be too soon.   

“Love Like Rockets” actually
has a pretty cool riff but the problem is that the song doesn’t really
get kicking for a minute and a half, which is a big no no when you’re
trying to write hits (their words, not mine). “Sirens” starts off
with so much promise but the song just doesn’t go anywhere, although
if Hollywood ever decide to make a sequel to The Wedding Singer
then I’m sure they’ll be keen to use it on the soundtrack.  

“Secret Crowds” is the
first really rockin track on the record even though it lags around the
four minute mark. “Star Of Bethlehem” and “True Love” sound
like they were written for Boy George and “Lifeline” just
plods along without really going anywhere, however“Rite Of Spring”
brings the album home on a strong note and manages to save Angels
some face.

Conclusion

The bottom line here is this. Delonge and co have talked this record up way too much and because
of that it was always going to sound mediocre. There’s a few cool tracks
on offer but as an entire record it drops the ball. I sincerely hope
that the band pulls their collective heads out of their arses and let
their music do the talking in the future.  

Tracklisting

  1. Call To Arms
  2. Everything’s Magic
  3. Breathe
  4. Love Like Rockets
  5. Sirens
  6. Secret Crowds
  7. Star Of Bethlehem
  8. True Love
  9. Lifeline
  10. Jumping

9 Responses to “Angels & Airwaves – I-Empire”

  1. silv83

    havent heared yet. if it sounds anything like the first, this review is propb accurate if not generous
    blink ftw, let go cunts

  2. Dan632

    i don’t mind this band…though neither of their albums live up to what Tom claims. not the liner notes on I-Empire, Tom Delonge thanks Matt, Tom and David saying “we’re the best band of the last 18 months”.
    this album, was never going to be anything great just going off how their first album sounded.

    Tom really needs to fix his ego and anounce his next album as being “more of the same”, i like the band but they’re nowhere as good as Tom thinks…

  3. bronnyg

    totally agree with the reviewer. definite POOR album here, which is irritating cause blink 182 were such a fucking great band.

    as for the ego/this album will make you shit your pants its that good nonsense, no one really believed it right? i know i never did. nothing is EVER that good!

  4. TyLELU

    talking it up was just a total marketing ploy, he probebly knows he soonds like a dick when he says that shit, but if it makes him more cash then he happy

  5. lockieb

    i agree with the ego part, but the album is actually realy good i’ve decided
    lifeline and secret crowds and call to arms are the best
    like everythings magic, but the riff is such a rip off of “anthm pt 2” by blink..

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