They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, which is perhaps a life lesson blink-182 wish they were a little less familiar with. And yet, here in 2023, the infamous trio of Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker have once again united in the face of could’ve-been-tragedy to create an album that glances back fondly over their years as a band together. Granted, to approach ‘ONE MORE TIME…’ without even a whiff of nostalgia is sort of missing the point; the band’s ninth album - and first with Tom since 2011’s ‘Neighborhoods’ - understandably comes steeped in reflection, both of their own friendships with one another, and the band’s place in the wider world at large. As such, the record comes peppered with reflective Easter eggs; opener ‘ANTHEM PART 3’ picks up with the same infectious energy of 2001’s ‘Anthem Part Two’, while ‘TERRIFIED’ (a former Box Car Racer demo) feels more akin to the dark turn of their 2003 self-titled album than any of their earlier output. What’s more, things do - for the most part - feel tonally different. While the band aren’t exactly well-renowned for their sincerity, here, they wear it well, with the likes of ‘YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT’ and the title track striking particularly poignant chords (whichever way you spin it, the latter’s line “Do I have to die to hear you miss me?” will always be devastating). It doesn’t all quite click though; the brilliant breakneck punk of ‘FUCK FACE’ explodes out of nowhere but dissipates all too quickly, while the starry synths of ‘BLINK WAVE’ get lost around the album’s mid-point. Sure, if you’re after something revolutionary, this one’s not for you; but ‘ONE MORE TIME…’ instead succeeds in its mission to reinvigorate the trio’s alchemy, and gives the band a much-needed chance to reflect and celebrate for at least one more time.
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