Props to Tom DeLonge! He has been a busy dude. A month after releasing the excellent new Blink-182 album (see the RCB review of their single “Up All Night” here), he presents listeners with a solid new Angels & Airwaves album, Love Pt. 2. If you didn’t get last year’s free download of Love Pt. 1, both parts are packaged together if you buy the physical CD.
With Love Pt. 2, the bottom line is if you like Angels & Airwaves, you’ll be pleased with this record. In some respects, Angels & Airwaves are like AC/DC where listeners can expect a very consistent sound from record to record. Angels & Airwaves’ music continues to fuse 1980’s U2-ish musical soundscapes with synthesizers and punk rock. And like AC/DC, some albums are better than others. Love Pt. 2 is one of the Angels & Airwaves best records and is probably their best record since their fabulous 2006 debut, We Don’t Need To Whisper. 2007’s I-Empire had some standout songs, but the disc was ultimately weighed down by the long extended techno-beat synth intros that killed the record’s momentum at points. Love Pt. 1 was a strong album, but Love Pt. 2 is better. There is more “meat” to the music. DeLonge and co. keep the synthy intros in check and the album rocks harder. DeLonge and guitarist David Kennedy pull tricks from their experience in Box Car Racer and make the guitars a little heavier with a punkish punch, enhancing the records momentum without distracting from the bands key identifying sonic elements. The track “Inertia” is a prime example of this. Also, there is an overall sense of romantic optimism in the album’s lyrics, making Love Pt. 2 more uplifting than its predecessor.
Overall, Angel’s & Airwaves fall into the category of an “albums band” versus a “singles band.” Each track flows into the next to create one complete listening experience. Therefore, the best way to appreciate the band is to listen to their records all the way through (not on shuffle!). However, for you single song purchasers, the biggest highlights are the opening three songs “Saturday Love”, “Surrender” and the Muse-like single “Anxiety” as well as “Behold A Pale Horse.” Check this record out; it’s in the running for being one of Rolling Clone Blogazine’s top five records for 2011.