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Angels & Airwaves - I-Empire Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 3.5
Musicianship 7
Lyrics 4.5
Production 7
Creativity 4.5
Lasting Value 2
Reviewer Tilt 2.5
Final Verdict: 44%
Member Ratings
Vocals 6.26
Musicianship 6.83
Lyrics 6.29
Production 7.24
Creativity 6.57
Lasting Value 6.09
Reviewer Tilt 6.19
Average: 65%

Angels & Airwaves - I-Empire

Reviewed by: Tony Pascarella (11/29/07)
Angels & AirwavesI-Empire
Release Date: November 6, 2007
Record Label: Geffen Records

Following the unfortunate demise of seminal pop-punk stars, Blink-182, bassist Mark Hoppus, drummer Travis Barker and singer Tom DeLonge went vastly different ways. Hoppus and Barker returned with +44, an electronica-themed band that seemed at times an extension of Blink (for better and for worse), and DeLonge traipsed across Larry King Live, proclaimed himself the second-coming of everything except John Lennon, and released Angels & Airwaves' debut, We Don't Need To Whisper. With WDNTW, DeLonge preached in favor of his newfound style, thrusting his maturity at anyone who would listen; to his chagrin, few did. The album sold relatively well in the mainstream, but many longtime fans had trouble embracing both the frontman's attitude and his gloomy tunes.

Simply put, DeLonge's newest effort, I-Empire, is a disappointing disc that drags on far too long, in part because emphasis is placed in all of the wrong spots. “Call to Arms,” the album's opener, starts off with the frontman sounding like he's singing with a mouthful of cereal, with drummer Atom Willard (Rocket from the Crypt, The Offspring) pounding away for all he's worth to little avail. The song is a microcosm of why I-Empire falls upon deaf ears—for as much work that seems to go into the music, the vocals destroy the replayability of the track as a whole. Blink fans will let out an anguished scream at DeLonge's electronica-laced beatdown of “Anthem Pt. 2” in a song called “Everything's Magic.” Robotic handclaps and distortion can't hide the opening riff ripped from Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, and frankly, this is still one of the more entertaining tracks you'll hear on I-Empire.

“I do this from time to time, where I like to watch you as you sleep,” DeLonge glibly delivers on “Sirens,” one of the more lyrically visual songs on the album. It's introspective but decidedly bland musically, relying on a weak and clichéd chorus to keep listeners awake. Angels & Airwaves create a blissfully entertaining atmosphere on “True Love,” which if it was only the first half, would be I-Empire's standout track. Instead, you'll get the chorus beaten into your brain, with the phrase “the stars in the sky” popping up no less than 14 times in the last three minutes. Shimmering guitars back Atom Willard's full-bodied drumming, which shines during the song's interlude, but again it fails to reach its full potential.

I-Empire will no doubt leave you longing for the glory days, back when summers lived and died with Blink-182. We listeners see progress made musically, but vocally, Tom hasn't added any range, nor been able to mitigate the harsh nasal tone of his voice, which grates roughly against the above-average tunes behind it. The addition of Willard and former 30 Seconds to Mars bassist Matt Wachter (who replaced Ryan Sinn of The Distillers) has helped to give I-Empire some rather lush soundscapes, but DeLonge simply cannot hold up his end of the bargain.
Track List01. Call to Arms
02. Everything's Magic
03. Breathe
04. Love Like Rockets
05. Sirens
06. Secret Crowds
07. Star of Bethlehem
08. True Love
09. Lifeline
10. Jumping Rooftops
11. Rite of Spring
12. Heaven
13. It Hurts (Live)
Listen to Angels and AirwavesAP.net Profile | Myspace | Official Site | Buy Angels & Airwaves' I-Empire on iTunes
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 433
04:25 PM on 11/29/07
#2
adozenroses
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this review is spot on...AVA is absolute shit and tom is douche-bag
04:32 PM on 11/29/07
#3
mattybobviously
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Hit the nail on the head here
04:39 PM on 11/29/07
#4
TSLROCKS
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I actually really enjoyed this album
05:08 PM on 11/29/07
#5
Blakebear
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to be honest I think this is a little harsh percentage wise. Its definitely not great, but relatively speaking, it's better than its rating.

nevertheless, good review, you definitely told it like it is.
05:11 PM on 11/29/07
#6
anchorandhope
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"starts off with the frontman sounding like he's singing with a mouthful of cereal"

great mental picture. I get "Everything's Magic" stuck in my head all the time for some reason, and when I went to Walgreens today they were playing it over the loudspeakers.
05:15 PM on 11/29/07
#7
hipvee43
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ava has always been a good idea on paper but doesn't really work in practice

both mark in +44 and tom in ava don't reli work as lead vocalists because there's always something missing


hahah the members ratings
05:25 PM on 11/29/07
#8
checkitfool
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Good review.
06:19 PM on 11/29/07
DI Pistola
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Very harsh by comparison. And in all honesty, I think Willard's drumming is one of the highlights of this record. Granted, while little has changed from their debut, there are still some good AVA tracks on here.
Sure Tom may be a douchebag, but I don't think AVA is entirely deserving of his ego.

This record is at least 65% good.
07:01 PM on 11/29/07
avafan2189
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this is the most retarded review ive ever read. no way can this album be that low compared to some of the shit that gets good here. fucking in rainbows 98 percent are u fucking kidding me. i know this review is basically biased towards delonge for leaving blink. i hate it when he gets so much shit and negativity since he quit blink. i bet if mark and travis left tom instead of the other way around, this band wud be loved and this album wud be praised.
07:20 PM on 11/29/07
joshy hizzle
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Really terrible review.
08:00 PM on 11/29/07
airik625
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Anyone reviewing an album w/ a reviewers tilt of below 5 should not be reviewing the album. I'm not saying that I liked the album and I'm not saying that I hated it. Why review an album that you already know your going to hate, because whatever you say will come off biased.
08:00 PM on 11/29/07
ihavechappedlip
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this is the most retarded review ive ever read. no way can this album be that low compared to some of the shit that gets good here. fucking in rainbows 98 percent are u fucking kidding me. i know this review is basically biased towards delonge for leaving blink. i hate it when he gets so much shit and negativity since he quit blink. i bet if mark and travis left tom instead of the other way around, this band wud be loved and this album wud be praised.
The review for In Rainbows was by a fan. It was not by a staff member.

Tom leaving Blink 182 doesn't have much to do with it. Anybody who, seemingly, claimed that they can make something so amazing and clearly does not live up to that would also get a 44% review. Maybe a little better, because most likely the percentage should have been higher anyway
09:04 PM on 11/29/07
Blake Solomon
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this is the most retarded review ive ever read. no way can this album be that low compared to some of the shit that gets good here. fucking in rainbows 98 percent are u fucking kidding me. i know this review is basically biased towards delonge for leaving blink. i hate it when he gets so much shit and negativity since he quit blink. i bet if mark and travis left tom instead of the other way around, this band wud be loved and this album wud be praised.



I could care less who left whom or whatever your lame excuse may be. This album blows hard.
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