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Customer Reviews

A higher level of music worth experiencing

Say what you will about Tom Delonge and his ego, but when it comes to music, Angels & Airwaves has succeeded in accomplishing what most modern bands have miserably failed at: the creation of a new, progressive, and unique sound that is all their own. I believe many fans were personally surprised (and even offended) that Delonge’s new project was not the same old cookie-cutter pop-punk that has diluted the modern music scene. However, now that we have had a year and a half to digest AvA’s debut album, it is clear that AvA is its own animal and neither an extension of Blink-182 nor just another pop-punk band. “I-Empire” is without a doubt in the same vein as AvA’s debut album “We Don’t Need To Whisper.” Musically, lyrically, and thematically, the two albums resonate with one another. The difference with “I-Empire”, however, is that Delonge has fixed the mistakes made on AvA’s debut album. The songs don’t drag on and on (most are around 4 and ½ minutes), there is more lyrical diversity, and the music is much catchier. The remarkable aspects of “WDNTW” however, have been preserved, which include the epic sound, uplifting and adventurous themes, surgically precise guitar riffs, and reverberating crescendos. There are a lot of quality songs on this album, and picking out the best is probably a fruitless endeavor. Nevertheless, some of the standouts include “Call to Arms,” the smoothe-sounding “Breathe,” the ever-catchy “Everything’s Magic,” the U2-esque “Love Like Rockets,” and the stadium-rocking “Secret Crowds.” Perhaps my one complaint is that I would have preferred full-length songs over the two brief interludes. In summary, people who loved “WDNTW” will love “I-Empire”. There will always be those who refuse to appreciate what AvA is doing, but I believe “I-Empire” will convince a few naysayers to put their anger towards Tom Delonge and nostalgia for Blink-182 behind them and embrace AvA’s unique and progressive sound.

On Cloud Nine

I am not discussing blink-182. They are done, they are over, and they are, given the current scene of things, never coming back. Get over it sticklers. Were they a great band? Personally, they were the staple of my early adolescence, true innovators of the pop-punk genre that are irreplaceable, unless your name is Green Day. But for what they were to me then, blink musician Tom Delonge’s new two year old baby, Angels & Airwaves, are ten times the band to me now. The band premiered with a little known disc entitled “We Don’t Need To Whisper” which discussed the rebirth of life and shell-shocked listeners with delayed guitars and out-of-this-world space effects that textured every song with sonic booms and atmospheric symphonies. Bombarded with bullets of hate was the reaction to it, a cynical oppression that blamed the band for stealing U2’s songbook and chord arrangements and slopping it in layers of synthesizers. I never understood this argument; Angel’s don’t just make U2 sound boring, but they also make them sound old, like a worn race horse buckling its heels. Sound arguments aside, Delonge’s band did something; it dared to go there. By there I mean the unknown, a certain place given your taste in music that you could swear has never been done before upon first listen. Their debut single, “The Adventure,” had an uplifting soar of a sound that seemed as if it was going to leave earth’s orbit and never return. And “The War” simply was one of the most pulse-pounding, kick-in-the-face songs I’d ever heard. “Whisper” was not quite perfect due to the stray song or two that would dawdle about without payoff or resolution. “I-Empire” is quite nearly a masterpiece of sound, production and musicianship, a hybrid of what seems like thousands of thoughts and emotions translated into the most epic music ever heard, then compounded into a reverberating caged monster. This is the music of champions, or so it seems. It blasts off with “Call of Arms,” an album opener for the ages, absolutely reveling in building the beats of drums and sky-rocketing your senses. There’s a word for it and it’s most nearly uplifting. Hey, blink fans: Want a throwback to the good old times? Lead single “Everything’s Magic” is just the ticket, a perky ditty that’ll get the heads nodding and sing-a-longs a singing. Also given the code name “The Love Song,” “Breathe” is a breath of sonic beauty with Delonge’s voice earnestly proclaiming eternal companionship and the feelings of it. It is one of the slower tracks but it tears your heart inside out. Though often criticized for their almost over-use of long intros, Angel’s & Airwaves have proved in the past they are masters of it and “Love Like Rockets” is one of their best attempts, a transmission of President Eisenhower addressing the United States via satellite starting off the track with blinks of energy echoing behind his fuzzy voice. It’s a song fit for Superman, as he soars across the sky reminding all he is alive and ready to divide and conquer. As Delonge sings “Do you feel alive?” during the effectively drawn out chorus you can do nothing but feel good. Interestingly enough, this is followed by a song seemingly ripped from a blink-182 album, with its “ladda da’s” on repeat on top of a bass line Mark Hoppus would be proud of. The drums aren’t bad either. The song, “Sirens,” almost shoves the cloth in the mouths of AVA haters and blink worshippers, reminding them that Delonge has yet to forget how to write a catchy tune. Whatever your expectations of this album are, nothing, and I mean not a single thing on this planet, can prepare you for “Secret Crowds,” the albums booming effigy of the most epic proportions. This is a song meant to be played only two ways: on an 800 watt sound system or in a football stadium, echoing and bouncing off the clouds above. This is a track that seemingly is bigger than the entire album, so expansive and gargantuan that you’ll want to shout along with it. Things cannot quite get as good as that but the album remains riveting, the jointed tracks “Star of Bethlehem” and “True Love” continuing on Delonge’s promise to spread love across the world and in “Lifeline,” reminding us that he has a softer side. “Rite of Spring” is going to be a fan favorite thanks to Delonge’s reference to his punk upbringings and time of discovery. Album closer “Heaven” is just about as direct a track title as there is and for very good reason. The opening organ and splicing of previous tracks on “Whisper” give the song a presence that, yes, feels like you died and went to heaven, but only to discover the gorgeous nature of it all. Call it a one night stay at the most expensive hotel in the universe. I’ve fought over ways of describing this album but I come up short every time. My conclusion is that I simply cannot. “Empire” is a soundtrack on life and love, absolutions and discoveries. With lyrics such as “I held my head as I left the ground/ the belt grew tight as the blast grew loud/ a loving wish whispered in my ear/ please leave with grace/ all the best my dear” and “I will run the streets and hostile lands/ I will touch the rain with all I have/ I will breathe the air to scream it loud/ my feet will never touch the ground/ because the days they feel like distant clocks/ like when kids grow up and learn to walk,” are so touchingly affirming that you cannot help but smile. You can call Delonge self-indulgent, which he is, but do not make the mistake of claiming the man doesn’t have ambition. He believes in this, he lives it and has every intention of sharing it with you. “I-Empire” is a twinkling aurora of catchy lyrics combined with all the ingredients of a powerful super-group. It is the album of the year.

good album

this is a good album. Check out + 44 and tell me who u like better. Yes 4 AVA and No 4 +44

Biography

Formed: 2005 in San Diego, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

With the hiatus of pop-punk superstars blink-182 in full effect by the fall of 2005, singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge revealed the formation of his new band — one he'd already been working with for six months — called Angels & Airwaves. Much hype ensued after the announcement. In interviews with outlets like MTV.com, DeLonge proclaimed that his new music would borrow elements from bands like U2 and Pink Floyd and, ultimately, be something of a revolution to change the face of rock &...
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I-Empire, Angels & Airwaves
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