Angels & Airwaves - I-Empire
Bigger. Stronger. Faster. Still stuck on young love. Or are they? AvA impressed more than a few skeptics and drew in the expected tons of bright young things with their debut "We Don't Need To Whisper", where they took the mentality of bands like The Cure and just threw in their own passion, almost like using someone else's basic blueprint of a 3-story building to begin creating a skyscraper. Indeed their sound has always towered, it's grand nature and pretentious leanings sticking the band just outside of pigeonhole distance. "I-Empire" aims to further the gap, and it almost does the trick.
Only problem is, the 'trick' is so oft-repeated, it grows tiresome sooner than it should. None of us should have expected any drastic change in direction from AvA, but they lean more on the electronic side this time around, sometimes coming off more like a young Depeche Mode than anything. Opener "Call to Arms" demonstrates both the band's experience adding to their ability to pen excellent, if repetitive, songs and also Tom Delonge's next evolution in vocal confusion; where he was once the underdog singing from the gutter to the stars, he now sounds as if he's far above everything and everyone, sweating every ounce of energy from his oft-neglected and criticized pipes. I've always been a closet Delonge fan...for the first 3-5 songs of any album he's ever done vocals for.
Like any well-oiled, primed and prepared machine, the glitz and glamour and ease of execution all tend to leave the observer bored rather bored. "I-Empire" goes on for far too long, includes maybe 3 or 5 songs that simply could have been cut or added on a special edition. Tracks such as "Breathe", "Sirens" and "Secret Crowds" save "I-Empire" from falling short of my own expectations. This is a very good album, so good you might find yourself slightly sick to the stomach with enjoyment...
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on 2008-03-02 hstisgod Said:
I gotta say I had dismissed them as well, but after checking out their live show.... as robotic and cocky an entertainer Delonge is...he's still mesmerizing. Of course the lighting was half the emotion, but hey whatever floats your boat!
on 2008-02-28 digitalbath Said:
I've dismissed them because Tom Delonge is a douche and has a terrible singing voice. I'm not supposed to hate any music =P
on 2008-02-28 dscanland Said:
OK, you know there are those bands you are just supposed to hate. You don't know why but for some reason the indie community shuns a band because they've sold out or they head down a mainstream path? Angels and Airwaves are one of those bands but I, like Solitary, am hooked on. I just downloaded I-Empire and finally got an opportunity to listen to it. I'm sold. Seriously! These guys have pulled it off once again. This is a large production feat but it really works for their pseudo stadium rock. My only complaint is that they need to work on their lyrics. Sometimes they get severely cheesy. A little too much love going on. Maybe that's what it takes to get them into the mood in order to write this catchy pop stuff. Give Angels & Airwaves a chance if you've dismissed them because you're "supposed to hate them".