"A whistle-stop tour through the best-loved parts of the band’s storied career, marked by the inescapable turbulence of life": the reunited Blink-182 return older, wiser and stronger for their scars on One More Time...

Guess this is growing up: Blink-182's classic line-up prove exactly why they're pop-punk royalty, and better together, on first post-reunion album

Blink-182, 2022
(Image: © Blink-182)

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Their first new music with guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge in 12 years, Blink-182’s ninth studio album proves that with near-tragedies come new perspectives.

After stepping down from his duties in 2015 to pursue his work in ufology, DeLonge - who co-founded the band with vocalist/bassist Mark Hoppus in 1992 – was replaced by Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba. A new iteration of the pop-punk trailblazers followed, the trio scoring their first number-one album in 15 years with 2016’s California.

However, following Hoppus’ diagnosis with a rare form of lymphoma in early 2021 – the bassist undergoing extensive chemotherapy before being declared cancer-free - a secret meeting between Hoppus, DeLonge, and drummer Travis Barker took place. And so, having overcome past differences and reunited their best-loved line-up, One More Time… brings the long-anticipated return of the Mark, Tom & Travis show.  

That warm familiarity hits just a few bars into opener Anthem Part 3, with Barker’s light-speed drumming giving way to DeLonge and Hoppus’ duelling vocals. The guitarist’s iconic nasally delivery harmonising with the bassist’s sweet notes, the track calls back to the opening riff of the song’s previous instalment found on 2001’s Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, twisting it into a brighter, more cheerful form.

Embracing a positive, forward-thinking mindset, it’s the first of a collection of songs across the album with one central focus – fun. Recent single Dance With Me sees Hoppus and DeLonge trading lines back and forth before a joyous – if slightly corny – singalong of, ‘Olé, olé, olé, olé’ dominates the chorus, whilst interludes Turn This Off! and hardcore-influenced You Talk To Much (Shut Up) hark back to the boyish humour of the band’s Enema of the State era. 

Understandably though, nostalgia dominates Blink-182’s comeback, the album deriving its title from a heartfelt piano-driven ballad - featuring rare backing vocals from Barker - that addresses the band’s journey head on. Pop-punk anthem When We Were Young and pensive closer Childhood see the band reminiscing on rebellious pasts and first loves, whilst melodic cut Fell in Love – co-written with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder – pays homage to one of the trio’s long-time favourite artists with an interpolation of The Cure’s 1985 hit Close To Me.

That’s not to say that the album is without its curveballs though, with ‘80s-inspired synth-led Blink Wave undeniably influenced by DeLonge’s work with Angels & Airwaves and 83-second interlude Hurt dabbling in a similar atmospheric alt-rock space. Two of the album’s more reflective moments, this is where the magic of Blink-182’s latest chapter truly shines through, most notably on mid-tempo Hoppus-led track, You Don’t Know What You’ve Got - a poignant cut directly tackling the bassist’s cancer diagnosis. 

A fitting summary of the journey Blink-182 have embarked upon since their 1992 formation, One More Time… feels like a catch up with an old school friend. Certainly familiar, yet noticeably marked by the inescapable turbulence of life, its a whistle-stop tour through the best-loved parts of the band’s storied career – guided by the trio who catapulted the project to stardom. Welcome back gentlemen.

Freelance contributor