Not since Bart Simpson has immaturity found better spokesmen than blink-182. The twentysomething punk-pop trio reached the acme of acne rock with their 7 million-selling 1999 disc Enema of the State
and its infectious, relentless singles "What's My Age Again" and "All the Small Things." On their fourth disc the San Diego-based lads give listeners exactly what they expect: adrenaline-laced sonic gems reveling in blink's patented, potty-mouthed humor, recommended only for adolescents of all ages. "Happy Holidays" explores how many four-letter words can fit into 41 seconds, and it even rhymes. "Roller Coaster" is another update from high school confidential as guitarist Tom DeLonge examines how hard it can be for a teen to operate a telephone: "Breathing deeply, walking backwards/ Finding strength to call and ask her." More substantial are the divorce-themed "Stay Together for the Kids" and "Story of a Lonely Guy," which is sad and poetic enough to be a tears-in-your-beer country tune—except it rocks.
Bottom Line: Undressed for success
- Joanne Kaufman,
- Sona Charaipotra,
- Ralph Novak.