Angels and Airwaves: “LOVE”

February 18th, 2010

Amidst rumors that Angels & Airwaves (AVA) was disbanding upon Blink-182’s reunion, Tom DeLonge, AVA’s guitarist and vocalist, posted in a blog on Modlife, “Angels and Airwaves is never going to go away.”

Well, they’re back.

AVA, which formed in 2005 after Blink-182 went on hiatus, released their third studio album, “LOVE” on Valentine’s Day for free. The band consists of DeLonge, David Kennedy (guitarist), Matt Wachter (bassist) and Atom Willard (drummer).

Known for their melodic, outer space type riffs and sounds, “LOVE” attempts to capture the true essence of love and how it should be a universal concept accepted by all.

Overall, the album was pretty decent, but I don’t think it lived up to DeLonge’s statement that this was the crowning moment of his career and creativity.

What’s interesting about this album is the way all the songs flow together. It’s almost as if there is only one song, as there is no way of knowing when one track ends and another begins.

With their previous albums, “We Don’t Need to Whisper” and “I-Empire,” they had a variation of tunes and mixed up the beats to keep the listener engaged and interested. This album struggles to distinguish between their good and bad songs. Most of the songs sound too similar.

However, there are three songs that do ultimately rise above the mediocrity of the others. “The Flight of Apollo” strays away from their innocent, smooth melodic jams and wanders over to the harder edge.

The lyrics are the typical DeLonge style, illogical and hard to follow, almost as if he is trying too hard to be mystical. Yet, there is one line that illustrates, along with the sounds, why this is one of the better songs: “Please don’t look at life, look at me so sadly. Life shouldn’t hurt, doesn’t hurt so badly.”

“Hallucinations,” the band’s single that was released on Christmas day for free, stands out for its unique melody and resonating lyrics. Just like “The Flight of Apollo” this song varies from their usual tunes and ventures into a more AC/DC style of rock. Its lyrics depict what this album is all about, love. A man, who isn’t sure if he’s dreaming or hallucinating, but knows one thing for certain that the other person is the one he wants to be with.

DeLonge, along with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and Kennedy, started a band Box Car Racer. One of their songs, “Letters to God,” was a major hit and one of DeLonge’s favorites. In “LOVE,” DeLonge and crew decided to record “Letters to God Part II” and, upon reading the lyrics, it’s a rather fluid transition.

Although the two songs sound nothing alike, because AVA created it using their own style, the lyrics are awesome.

The original “Letters to God” from Box Car Racer has the person subjecting himself to God and promising not to lie or sin.

In AVA’s part two, the person in the song discovers that life is an entire lie and a big scam.

“LOVE” is an acquired taste and for the most part pretty polarizing.

It definitely captured the idea of love, but maybe a little too innocently and didn’t have much depth.

I would have liked to see them really expand their musical capabilities on some of the riffs and go out on a limb.

The album can be downloaded for free at their Web site