Friday, December 3, 2010

Music Review: Angels & Airwaves

I love it when songs have long intriguing intros. And nothing is more disappointing than for the intro to end only to discover that the singer is awful. Angels & Airwaves start a lot of their songs with great intros and the singing is only mildly disappointing. They sound a lot like Blink-182 (actually the lead singer of Angels & Airwaves, the weird-looking Tom DeLonge, left Blink-182 to form this band, so that explains why).

So far Angels & Airwaves has three albums out: We Don't Need to Whisper (2006), I-Empire (2008), and Love (2010), with a fourth album due to come out in 2011, called Poet. The theme is generally love, with a smattering of anti-war songs. Surprisingly, there are a few Biblical references. And several songs (or sometimes only the titles) touch on astronomy and/or space travel, which is in keeping with their cover art.

"Star of Bethlehem", "Jumping Rooftops", and "Et Ducit Mundum Per Luce" were probably the best songs—simply by virtue of the fact that they're strictly instrumental. The rest, as I said before, had pretty good intros, but always fell short once the singing started. Tom DeLonge just has an unpleasant, somewhat whiny voice. And he doesn't seem to realize that he can try singing outside his standard five notes, so none of the songs are very catchy.[1] None of Angels & Airwaves' songs were as good as the only Blink-182 song that I like, "All the Small Things".

My verdict: Angels & Airwaves have a lot of potential, but they really need to find a different singer. Some of the songs have profanity [2], so if that bothers you, proceed with caution.


[1] To learn more about the "catchiness" of songs, see my post Brain Damage.

[2] The following tracks have profanity, including taking the name of the Lord in vain. From We Don't Need to Whisper: "Valkyrie Missile", "Do It for Me Now", "The Gift", "It Hurts", and "Good Day". From I-Empire: "Rite of Spring" and "Heaven". From Love: "Flight of Apollo", "The Moon-Atomic (...Fragments and Fictions)", and "Clever Love".
      If you want to remove profanity from a song that you otherwise like, I recommend using Audacity. It can be downloaded for free here. It is available for both PCs (Windows) and Macs (Unix). If you want to export your final product as an .mp3, then you'll also need the LAME .mp3 Encoder. It can be downloaded for free here. It is available for both PCs (Windows) and Macs (Unix). Be warned, though, that you'll have to listen to the offending word(s) many times while editing it/them out.

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