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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 10, 2006

My view: 'Greatest Hits' by blink-182

By Justin L. Tanoue
Special to The Advertiser

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5 Outstanding: Add it to your collection now. A must-have.

4 Great: Buy it or rent it definitely listen to it.

3 Good: Worth listening to despite some flaws.

2 Fair: Unless you're a fan of the group or singer, don't bother.

1 Poor: Save your money (and your ears).

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CD: "Greatest Hits" by blink-182; Geffen Records

Release: Nov. 1

Style: Rock

My take: Originally known simply as Blink, guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Scott Raynor (later replaced by Travis Barker) have come a long way since their self-released EP debut "Fly Swatter" back in 1993. Blink-182's entrance into the mainstream can be attributed to 1999's "Enema of the State," which produced hits such as "Adam's Song," "All the Small Things" and "What's My Age Again," all featured on "Greatest Hits."

This album truly showcases the essence of blink-182's evolution, from its humble beginnings in Southern California to its current artistic maturity. "Greatest Hits" takes you on a musical journey, generally in chronological order, that is nostalgic and pleasant at the same time. Unfortunately, because of an unexpected announcement of the band's indefinite hiatus last year, "Greatest Hits," the first major release since November 2003's self-titled "blink-182," may very well be the end of this journey.

"Greatest Hits" starts off with an amateurish, college-band sound with tracks such as "Carousel" and "M&Ms." This turns out to be a good thing because it provides musical and vocal variety to an album in which many of the songs can be accused of having a similar style. The middle of the album is filled with hit after hit singles many of us should be familiar with. The album ends with tracks that are a little less upbeat. Before listening to "Greatest Hits," I was unable to name more than three blink-182 songs. Afterward, I recognized more than half a dozen tracks such as "Rock Show" and "First Date." As a treat, the album ends with two songs "Not Now" and "Another Girl Another Planet" that were not previously released in the United States.

Overall, the band continues to hold true to its punk-rock roots throughout the album by offering a musically playful sound. As for vocals, you are able to witness firsthand the transformation of the band, starting with average vocal performances and evolving into more polished productions. There also comes a time in the album when the band grows up lyrically. Starting with lines about being too drunk to drive, to thinking about the future, to reflecting on the past, it is quite clear the band takes a more serious songwriting approach as each track goes by.

This is definitely an album I could play over and over again, never tiring of it. For this reason, "Greatest Hits" holds a place in my car CD player to help ease my daily commute through rush-hour traffic. I also brought this album with me while traveling and it helped to make the plane ride more enjoyable.

With 15 of the 17 tracks on this album previously released in the U.S., those with a large blink-182 collection may find "Greatest Hits" unnecessary. For those missing a couple of albums, this is a must-have. For people like me who have never owned a blink-182 album, it took playing the CD three or four times, but in the end I must admit it turned out to be a great purchase.

Justin L. Tanoue has a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Hawai'i-Manoa and is an agent at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties.