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A Complete Review and Analysis of Blink-182’s One More Time


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When the announcement aired that the original Blink-182 line-up was getting back together (for the second time), I was elated… 


… and sceptical. This exact announcement happened previously in 2011, and even though the yearning for nostalgia forced the words’ decent album’ out of millions of loyal yet clenched jaws, the resulting album Neighbourhoods missed the mark. 


Fling a plectrum forward 12 years; it lands in nostalgia 2.0, a more potent yearning for simpler times made all the more alluring from the disruption seeping into every culturally sacred orifice.  


On go the oversized headphones. Up goes the volume. In comes the tingly anticipation. 


You suddenly remember what it is to be overwhelmed with an eagerness to hear something new and exciting, to listen to music that magically conveyed the confusion of puberty and adolescence. Your legs are tired from a day of throwing yourself down stair sets. Your cheeks hurt from laughing at your mates emulating Jackass. You spent the day talking about being in a band and touring the world… And your dad could still walk through the door at any moment.


I’m still emo, then.


A Complete Review and Analysis of Blink 182’s One More Time





Anthem Part III 


YES! What an opening. This is it. It’s ACTUALLY Anthem PT III. The syncopation. The aggression. The same staggered drum fills over filthy, catchy riffs akin to Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (TOYPAJ, 2001).


Did he just ‘ed’? I think he just ‘ed’d.’ *rewind* 

“When your dreams, they seem like they’re dead. Like a pounding deep in your ‘ed.”


He did! He just Ed’d! Deep breath. Keep calm.

“A new high. A new ride.” 


This song’s beauty is that it captures the tone of the whole album and the broader tone of what Blink represents. The whole pop-punk scene is here. The opening that Fall Out Boy dreamt of with 2007’s Infinity on Highs’ Thriller, the sound the Sum 41 chased (and nearly caught) in 2007’s Underclass Hero, the outro melody mirroring the bridge of Eyesore in New Found Glory’s 2000 self-titled album… It’s all there. All unexpectedly declared in a nail-on-the-head opener. 





Strong start.




Dance with me


Released before the album, complete with a perfectly Blinkesque video-ode to the Ramones, this song has already received the online praise it deserves.



There are loud echoes of Pathetic from Dude Ranch (1997) and Natives from Neighborhoods (2011) in the opening guitar riff. Except this time, a clever little finger shuffle higher up the neck demonstrates a mature understanding that popping off an under-key semitone at the right moment can stir some excitement. 



And there’s more. Another callback? Yes! Unintentional? Perhaps.  Do you care? Hells no!


Cast back your mind to when Fall Out Boy burst onto the scene in 2003. Pull out Dead on Arrival from the depths and listen to the bridge straight after the first chorus… What’s the musical equivalent of a homonym?



One of the big reveals so far is the quality of vocal production. They sound huge. Tom shouts, “Do you wana come dance with me,” into the centre of your ‘ed, and then the arena-pleasing chorus “Olé, olé, olé, olé,” fills any places he might have missed. 


The bridge drops and an Untitled album Blink appears from 2003; Mark’s melodic singing of ‘Dance with Me’ as everything but the bass drops out is an adult version of a Violence breakdown.



Dance With Me is an instant classic, complete with a parody music video. 


New pop-punk anthem, anyone?




Fell in Love


It’s no secret that Mark, Tom and Travis love The Cure. They collaborated with Robert Smith on their Untitled (2003) album hymn ‘I’m Lost Without You’.



Yet I’m not convinced that directly mimicking the exact drumbeat of The Cure’s ‘Close to Me’ is necessary. Maybe I’d be more forgiving if I hadn’t seen Tom try this with Angel and Airwaves’ Everything’s Magic. Robert Smith has been named in the songwriting credits though, so I guess everyone is happy.




A melody akin to the bridge of Dysentery Gary from Enema of the State (EOTS – 1999) floats through the chorus, reminding us of the late 90s, and there’s even some good old “Na-Na’s” in for good measure. 


It’s poppy. It’s catchy. And annoyingly, it’s an earworm. 






Any lacklustre felt in the previous song is forgotten within the first six seconds. Box Car Racer (BCR – 2001) has just shown up, catching everyone off guard. 


In 2001, Tom started BCR as a side hustle with Travis without a somewhat bemused Mark. His reasoning was to expand his musical horizons through sounds he felt inappropriate for Blink-182. That affair fractured the band, eventually leading to the ‘indefinite hiatus’ of 2005. Tom went on to start Angels and Airwaves, and after a brief stint as +44, Blink-182 continued with Mark and Travis bringing in Matt Skiba from Alkaline Trio fame to complete the new trio.


What’s ironic is that 20 years later, Terrified, a song that started as a Box Car Racer song, fits Blink-182 like a classic black-jean-white-tee combo. Moreover, the fact that they’ve even brought this to the table highlights considerable growth for the whole band. 



And the song? It’s All Systems Go (literally, that’s the song it sounds like from Box Car Racer – 2001). It has the hallmark discord resonance, the machinelike guitar distortion, and even the quiet atmospheric verses where you could be forgiven for counter-humming, “I left my fear behind me…”


Then the chorus kicks in with some of the most aggressive, distorted vocals I’ve heard since Finch’s 2002 What it Is to Burn. Production much? 

So gritty. So gory. So good! Instantly a new benchmark.




One More Time


Let’s stay with the Box Car Racer theme just a little longer. The guitar strumming pattern of One More Time is a carbon copy of BCR’s flagship ballad, There Is, complete with the same chord progression, only three semitones higher. 



Then there’s the callback to Untitled’s I Miss You, both in the direct namedrop and the repetitive drum loop that carries the song through a steady march of regret, remorse, and redemption.


Mark’s low and moody vocals under Tom’s high-pitched preppy singing remind us that they completely complement each other. Individually, the two never quite hit the heights of their partnership, but together, Mark’s darkness and Tom’s optimism create a chiaroscuro of genuine shade and light. And don’t forget Travis. He steps up to the mic midway to cement the sombre yet rallying cry, ‘One More Time’. If played live, I’d fully expect Tom to conclude the song with a squeal of “Let’s hear it for friendship.”


The video drives home the sentimental review of Blink’s career, time-hopping the trio through all their most famous video backdrops and stage setups. 


Dust off your scrapbooks from the loft, light a candle, pour a glass, and reminisce simpler times as you flick through the old photos. 


What’s interesting is that this song has replaced Dammit (Dude Ranch), one of their proudest creations, as the finalé of their live shows. They’ve pinned One More Time on the mast and declared their manifesto. This song isn’t just a stroll down memory lane but a statement piece. ‘We are absolved’. 




More Than You Know


Strap in. This one is a rollercoaster! (Favourite ride?)


The song opens with an Untitled album-style piano pulled straight from the Stockholm Syndrome Interlude that crashes into a Neighborhoods Ghost on the Dance Floor guitar riff before sliding into an existential Mark declaring, “Your bed is the last battlefield…”. 



Given Mark’s recent trauma, being bedbound with cancer, there’s a guttural rawness that bleeds across this album. More Than You Know attempts to work through all the contention and confusion over the past two decades that has crescendoed with Mark’s sickness. 


The song evokes the anger and aggression of their Untitled album with touches of When I Was Young from 2012’s Dogs Eating Dogs EP with faint synth textures tested in Neighbourhoods. There’s a second direct reference to Untitled’s Violence when chips of the wood block used in that interlude are thrown directly into this one.



The final masterstrokes are the Gatling gun bass drums that rattle the hinges of Spotify’s source code. It’s like being under attack from an unhinged helicopter! (An emo-hawk?)




Turn This Off


No Blink album would be complete without a fart song or two.


It’s like bumping into an old college friend with whom you would once happily swap beers, cigs and insults. This song has its place in and amongst the party of agony and ecstasy.


My only issue is the opening lyrics, “If you’re too sensitive, well, then turn this off. If you’re offended by these words, then please fuck off.” Which, presumably, is a dig at cancel culture. 


There’s an irony here, however. 


Blink is known for their not-give-a-damn attitude, with highly questionable banter peppered in every live show. Just how effective is a politically charged statement going to be when followed up with a premature ejaculation joke? I get the intention, but a whoopee cushion is a poor choice of weapon. I’m not sure that the People’s Front of Judea listens to Blink, do they? If you watch South Park, you can’t be offended by South Park. It’s why those who love them do. 


It’s subtle, but this statement is a defensive step away from the Blink of old.  


Short and to the point, the outro even sounds like TOYPAJ’s very own fart song Happy Holidays You Bastard, down to the last strum, where you anticipate the opening riff of Story of a Lonely Guy.



All in all, a decent fart song they needed to get that out of their system.




When we were young 


Aka, If Blink wrote TOYPAJ’s Give Me One Good Reason 20 years later(!) There is a heavy chorus and light delay effects on the guitar, vocals from Tom describing their youth, and a breakdown driven by a seventh-chord guitar solo. It’s a very literal cover of themselves. Yet, amazingly, it still evokes something new.



This whole album teeters on the right side of the distinction between being a parody of yourself and revisiting media to convey new emotions. Arguably, that’s the difference between good art and great art. The past 30 years have explored who they are artistically, and they’re now purposefully using their craft to evoke a desired response. This album isn’t merely ‘hit and hope’; this is calculated production.




The song is topped with a hint of Green Day’s 2000 hit Minority and Untitled’s song Asthenia. Is it too early to think ‘they might be pulling this off’? (Blink song title, if ever I heard one)






Edging, released a year ahead of the album, follows a basic Blink template: the whole song is in the key of C major, notorious for writing happy, upbeat songs (and makes things super easy to play on the piano – just hit the white ones). The whole thing consists of 3 chords; C, F, and G. It’s not a million miles away from the likes of Dammit (Dude Ranch), All the Small Things (EOTS), and First Date (TOYPAJ). It’s precisely how Tom describes their writing, “nursery rhymes on meth.” It’s simple, easy to play, and perfectly punk-rock, complete with swears.


The song comes complete with an Untitled ‘Feeling This’ style guitar riff and a good old call-and-answer between Mark and Tom in the chorus, taking their fair share of the verses. The drums are route one, but the beat has a great swing, like some new-wave punk shuffle. I get why they released this one first. It’s an instantly recognisable way of reintroducing themselves to the market before following up with all the feels later.




You Don’t Know What You’ve Got


If you were going to write a song about a near-death experience, you’d be pushed to find a better template than Adam’s song (EOTS). You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (’til it’s almost gone) starts with the same style rimshot peppered drum loop present in Adam’s Song, overlayed by a mellow cascading bass riff.



The riff appropriately pulls from a short bass refrain in TOYPAJ’s angsty and frustrated Anthem Part II. There’s even a distinct likeness to Pin the Grenade from Nine’s Pin the Grenade (2019) before Marks’s lamenting lyrics open a window to a harrowing recital of his recent cancer ordeal.



Given the innately cynical nature of Mark’s lyrics honed through years of writing, he has the skills to capture and share the brutality of illness in simple and relatable terms. “I begged for your forgiveness. I made a deal with god. I took you all for granted. You can write my epilogue.” It’s pretty dark stuff.


There’s a brilliant touch of magic at the end when Anthem Part II appears again deep in the mix via its twinkly guitar intro, bundling the heavy song into a profound, authentic package of repentance.




Blink Wave


Swing back into the Neighborhoods era with some synth and a cracking melody. What a tune. There’s another hint of Fall Out Boy’s Dead on Arrival in the repetitive lift at the end of every guitar line (again, probably unintentional), but more evidence that this album is about pulling on the fundamentals learned at their peak.


There’s an incredible Easter egg for the drum nuts when Travis plays the same ride-splash accent in the intro and verse drum pattern as what he played in the verses of EOTS’s Adam’s song.


A highlight of the song is Tom’s lyrics, ‘You are so inordinary. Seems so scary to be buried.” harks back to EOTS’s Aliens Exist outro ‘Dark and scary. Ordinary. Explanation. Information”, all the while directly lifting the melody from TOYPAJs Anthem PT II’s verse “Laws that rule the school and workplace. Signs that caution sixteen’s unsafe”. Again, it’s probably an unconscious decision and tropes he loves, but the familiarity is reassuring and sounds excellent.



Blink Wave is the first song that pulls in some of the techniques of Tom’s other side project, Angels and Airwaves, particularly from their 2021 album Lifeforms, where traces of the Rebel Girl and Automatic can be heard in the driving chorus founded on a straight 4/4 beat and some strong synth pads. 



It’s worth also noting that if you whack on a pair of good headphones and turn the volume to eleven, you’ll hear a distinct synth texture appear in the fade out, which is a very close match to that used in the EOTS’s Adams Song, to the point where you’d expect the opening double beat of All the Small Things to kick in. 




Bad News 


The opening stanza is Mark doing an impression of TOYPAJ’s Reckless Abandon. Complete with a good old ‘staring at the ceiling’ lyric. (See 2016 California’s Bored to Death and Here’s Your Letter from their Untitled album). 





From there, Bad News has a strong TOYPAJ feel (particularly the second half of TOYPAJ – Think Please Take Me Home and Everytime I Look for You). Then there’s a particularly nostalgic part in the breakdown when the interlude from Dude Ranch’s Josie is brought back to life, giving all the feels. 







Hurt (Interlude)


Hurt is I’m Lost Without You from their Untitled album, wearing a tight-fit Angels and Airwaves Dreamwalker album (2014). This interlude is the audification of squeezing into the old jeans you kept in the cupboard from your twenties.








Turpentine is precisely what I turned up for. Inappropriate lyrics, aggy guitars, thumping drums and an anthemic tune. An absolute banger. 


The drums are bouncing. Travis has built out an entire song from the small drum break before the second verse of Down on their Untitled album. There are lots of kick drums to get the blood pumping. 



The lyric structure is tremendously fun. Hitting on a rhyming structure that requires a three-syllable noun at the end of every line opens a door of endless possibilities. And it’s been used to maximum Blink effect:


“Like me like a trampoline

Stick your dick in Ovaltine

Snort a bag of Dramamine

Douse yourself in gasoline

Throw up in a limousine

Jack off to a magazine

Wash yourself with turpen… tine


Brilliant. Top that off with a bit of self-deprecation in Tom’s playful turpentine/turpen-teen pronunciation, and you’ve got a strong contender for the best song on the album.




Fuck Face


Was this taken from one of Travis’ anger management classes? 




Other Side


Aka, the second bridge of EOTS’s Dysentery Gary pulled backwards through Neighbourhoods. 



One benefit of Blink’s now-defined hiatuses is that each side project has laid bare precisely what aspects they bring. Other Side is a Mark song. 


Other Side could comfortably sit on California to the point where the listener can almost expect Mark to start singing Kings of the Weekend lyrics. 



The bass on the verse is perfectly Online Songs (TOYPAJ). The guitar is perfectly Going Away to College (EOTS). The drums are perfectly Go from the Untitled album. And they’ve even dropped in the classic punk rock acoustic breakdown. 







Cut Me Off


Added post-album launch, bonus tracks, Cut Me Off and See You bring new energy to the table. 


Cut Me Off opens with an unexpected drum machine and a bass line that, tonally, is one the best sounding on the album.


The cluster bomb of guitar chords in the chorus paired with Mark and Tom’s call-and-answer vocals are a refreshing switch up from other songs on the album, and there’s a great lyric dropped into the melee: “I’m a landmine, not a lifeline.” 


Two random beats of a cowbell and a lack of apparent references establish Cut Me Off as a surprisingly catchy addition.




See You 


The penultimate tune, See You, is the last nostalgia-fest of the album. With old song titles like After Midnight, Always and Down cutely hidden in the lyrics and a chord progression lifted from Untitled’s Asthenia that eventually morphs into Violence at the outro, See You is a warm reminiscence of old times.


The lyrics read like a letter from Tom to Mark reflecting on the complexities of their on-off friendship during the bleakness of his illness. The album would miss this if they hadn’t added it post-release; its unapologetic spotlight on hope and redemption is the deeper cut of One More Time. 


Still, even after lacing the song with old songs, there are strokes of Angels and Airwaves’ Lifeforms in the siren-like synths, and the chorus melody that should be concluded with the lyric “And the girl bites like a wolf” from The Wolfpack.







Starting any Blink song with a mellotron-esque texture will catch any fan off guard. With flanged and chorused guitars akin to 90s Britpop sandwiched between whirling synthesisers, Childhood is one of the most interesting songs on the album. 


With a rhyming structure borrowed from TOYPAJ’s Story of a Lonely Guy and a final reference to EOTS’s Adam’s song by repeating the opening line “I never thought…” Childhood is the end of their trip down memory lane. Lyrics like “Where did our childhood go?” and “2023, who the fuck are we?” leave both the band and the listener questioning ‘what’s next?’



And that’s the big question. 




While writing and recording the album, producer Aaron Ruben constantly repeated the mantra to Mark, Tom and Travis that they were making the album that was supposed to be after Untitled. Ignoring the subtle disregard of the last 20 years of side projects, I understand the sentiment of that approach. 


But this album is more than that. Mark, Tom, and Travis have achieved something remarkable and shown they can still be Blink-182, bottling up their gloriously flawed and authentic selves into three-minute noises. One More Time is quintessentially Mark, Tom and Travis 2.0 (cue a Mark, Tom and Travis Show Part II, Live Album next year). 


Whatever is next will come down to what it always has; the hiatuses, fallouts, and turmoil were driven by a desire to push the envelope outwards through the careless disregard inherent in rebellion. If this album has done what it set out to do and banded the trio together, then instead of kicking out fiercely at the world individually, Blink-182 have the potential to take their growth, disregard their insecurities, and, as a unit, use crappy punk rock to keep surprising everyone. 


I guess this is growing up. 

The children's book that makes you see the world differently

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