Blink 182

California (Deluxe Edition)

Written by: PP on 28/08/2017 21:04:26

Soon after "California"'s original release date, Blink 182 were already back in the studio recording new material for a deluxe edition re-release of the same album. Almost a year after its original release, they released the edition and it turns out they included twelve(!) additional tracks, so basically an album's worth of new material. It stands to reason that the band thought the songs were good enough to be released, but not good enough to stand on their own to warrant a second album release, because why else would you hide them on a re-release of existing material, right?

That's exactly what's going on here. The soundscape is unmistakably the same as on the original "California" release, where "Misery" perhaps best characterizes the whole deluxe edition: sounds a hell of a lot like Alkaline Trio put together with the electronically-infused melancholy of +44. The band may tease with classic 2001-era Blink vibe on opening track "Parking Lot", but the rest is drenched in the aforementioned melancholic pop punk sound rather than the happy-go-lucky material of Tom DeLonge days. "Don't Mean Anything", for instance, is a solid collaboration between Mark Hoppus' lower range and Matt Skiba's high-end croons, resulting in a slightly schizophrenic track that balances Blink, Alk3, and +44 in a carefully calibrated love triangle.

Compared to the main album, the deluxe edition songs are slower and definitively more melancholic in their nature. "Last Train Home", for instance, sounds sadder than any Blink song to date stylistically. There are exceptions, of course, such as "Wildfire", which is a polar opposite to its predecessor with an upbeat, cheerful style that echoes "Take Off Your Pants & Jackets"-era almost to the note, and the 34-second "Can't Get You More Pregnant" is lightning speed in comparison, drawing parallels to the silly songs that Blink have always been known for.

So what to make of it? The songs are decent but that's about it. They aren't particularly memorable nor standout tracks, which is probably why the band didn't want to release it as a separate album. It's a nice bonus for those buying the record for the first time, but hardly warranting a repurchase given the quality on offer. And just a reminder - this rating is for the deluxe edition disc only, ignoring the main "California" tracks.


Download: Parking Lot, Misery, Wildfire
For the fans of: Alkaline Trio, +44
Listen: Facebook

Release date 19.05.2017

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