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Album Review: Angels & Airwaves – The Dream Walker

Tom DeLonge seems to always be searching for “what’s next?” Whether it is with the duo of Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker as Blink-182, or with his other outfits Boxcar Racer and Angels & Airwaves, DeLonge has always been able to create music that impresses the masses while fulfilling his need to be an artist. That’s what the whole Angels & Airwaves sound is about. It’s about being something bigger. A man who was already in one of the most iconic bands on the planet wanted something larger. He wanted a sound that was able to rock stadiums instead of arenas. DeLonge and company may have finally found what they were looking for on the bands fifth LP titled The Dream Walker.

As far as songwriting is concerned, it’s hard to argue against DeLonge as one of the best hook writers around. His antidotes are precise, catchy and always something worth mimicking. While the four other LP’s from Angels & Airwaves have had their share of blissful moments, The Dream Walker is almost like a culmination of the entire project. From the opening track “Teenagers & Rituals”, the guitars sound more in sync than on previous releases. Instead of getting so caught up in making a big sounding record, the band simply made the record sound big. It seems to have happened naturally through their existence as opposed to it being forced and this is truly something that the band and their fans should be proud of.

The lyrics are darker and the subject matter is heavier than on the preceding Love and Love: Part Two. DeLonge has completely grown out of the toilet humor from Blink-182, which will leave fans of that band a bit teary-eyed, but true fans will recognize that this maturity in writing will make both bands stronger in the long run. Stand out tracks on The Dream Walker include “Paralyzed” with its funky bass line, lead single “The Wolfpack” and the extremely personal “Tunnels.”

As a collection, this is the strongest outing for Airwaves.  They seem to have conquered whatever shadow they may have been surrounded in and are becoming the band they are capable of being. The Dream Walker will be an excellent barometer to see where the band and DeLonge’s writing goes next.

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