Angels and Airwaves – I-Empire

Angels and Airwaves – I-Empire / 2007 Suretone / 12 Tracks / / /

While my post-Blink bands loyalty was in the +44 court for a while, I found out about Angels and Airwaves after procuring for myself a copy of their last album. “It Hurts” was an amazing track, and it swing my loyalty over. “Call To Arms”, the first track on “I-Empire”, puts me more firmly into Angels and Airwaves’ camp. While there is not necessary a radio track to be find in “Call To Arms”, the intricacies present in the arrangements will draw individuals in.

Between “We Don’t Need To Whisper” and “I-Empire”, Angels and Airwaves have continued to evolve. This means that the sound of a track like the aforementioned “Call To Arms” ties together not only the sound of Blink 182, but of U2, Pink Floyd, and more timeless rock bands. This evolution of sound allows Angels and Airwaves to come forth with a dance-club ready song in “Everything’s Magic”. During “Everything’s Magic”, a punk-influenced bass line links up with an emotional, eighties-sounding set of vocals as well as canned clapping and an decidedly earlier brand of guitar arrangement. The detached, cold approach to “Breathe” provides a different style for fans of Angels and Airwaves to chew on; while things warm up slightly, there is still a sense that DeLonge is hurting, is aching, and the situation in which ey is in will never change. This depth of emotions is what proves most compelling to me on this track, and ensures that individuals will be sticking with the album for a long time to come.

While the case for this comparison does not seem easy to make, the finality of the compositions during the aforementioned “Breathe” and those that continue during “Love Like Rockets” have a stylistic cousin in the final track of the Insane Clown Posse’s “The Wraith”. This is not because the two albums sound alike, but that there is a sense that both acts have accepted where they will ultimately go at the end of the album, and that they should focus on the present rather than the future. It is this feeling that makes “I-Empire” into such a solid album, one that will continue to have legs well after Angels and Airwaves have released later albums. Give the disc a go if you like your rock mature, were a fan of Box Car Racer or Blink 182, or just want to hear a different approach to rock music.

Top Tracks: True Love, Lifeline, Heaven
Rating: 7.8/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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