Picks and Pans Review: Blink-182

updated 01/12/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/12/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST



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It's finally happened: blink-182, the San Diego trio best known for bratrockers like "What's My Age Again" and the potty-mouthed "Happy Holidays, You Bastard," is growing up. Although the band showed signs of maturity on 1999's suicide note "Adam's Song" and 2001's divorce-themed "Stay Together for the Kids," guitarist-vocalist Tom DeLonge, bassist-vocalist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker still came across as overgrown adolescents until this, their sixth studio disc. While three-minute thrashers like "Always" and "Easy Target" maintain the rollicking punk-pop intensity of blink's earlier work, the group successfully emerges into new musical territory with the multitextured chorus of the hit single "Feeling This" and the quiet mope-rocker "I Miss You," on which DeLonge declares, "Don't waste your time on me/ You're already the voice inside my head." But the standout is the love-weary "All of This," a stunner on which DeLonge's expressive tenor is matched by Cure frontman Robert Smith's plaintive baritone.

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