Monday, November 12, 2007

Angels & Airwaves, "I-Empire"

Angels & Airwaves

If "I-Empire" had come out as Angels & Airwaves' (AVA) debut instead of last year's "We Don't Need to Whisper," I think the reception to the band would've been much more positive. But Tom DeLonge's now legendary knack for hyperbole and ego has nearly eclipsed his post-Blink 182 band to the point that it's difficult to listen to their sophomore record without mocking them for attempting to be the next "U2/Police/R.E.M/Depeche Mode/The Cure/insert influential 80s band here." That said, however, "I-Empire" is surprisingly good.

There isn't much of a sonic difference between "I-Empire" and "Whisper" save AVA's newfound ability to shave minutes off of their songs, thus making DeLonge's nasal vocal styling much easier to digest. The first half of the album is hit after hit: "Everything's Magic," "Call to Arms," and "Love Like Rockets" are among the album's stronger songs. Towards the end, the album begins to lose steam and you have to wade through a few filler songs to get to some more decent tracks.

If "I-Empire" is any indication, Angels & Airwaves might be able to dig themselves out of the hole of self-publicized greatness to just be a good rock band.

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