Album Review: Angels And Airwaves - 'Love: Part Two'

24 December 2011 | 1:13 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

The sound the band were searching for all along.

I think by now people know what to expect from Angels And Airwaves. The band is essentially Tom Delonge attempting to be as epic as he possibly can and exploring some of his wildest artistic fantasies. To his credit, the group has been around for a lot longer than many thought it would essentially proving that this is no side project, and will be around for a while.

The 'Love' project consists of two records and a feature film which has been shown in various film festivals around the united states. 'Love: Part Two,' an obvious extension of the first 'Love' record, features music used heavily in the film, and as Delonge himself admits, is “better than the first album.”

Whether it actually is or not is up for debate as with most Angels And Airwaves records, the differences in the sound and style of music are minimal, that being said this is a solid rock record. Opening track Saturday Love will sound familiar to those who have seen the preview for the film as it is the main track used in all of the promo. It sounds exactly like what a film score would sound like if it was performed by Angels And Airwaves. The song is made better with the beautifully shot accompanying images of the film and when it gets past its scene setting introduction, explodes into a driving rock song which surprisingly is fairly straightforward in comparison to past AvA ventures. By this I refer to the lack of swirling effects on both guitars and vocals, but fear not, there are plenty of them to come as the album progresses.

The first single Anxiety, is one of the standout tracks on the record, it is also one of the finer AvA songs ever released. Most of this is due to its slightly aggressive yet catchy chorus and altogether well round sound and structure. It is a solid track which is well written and not too wanky, with Delonge scaling back his arena style U2 attempts.

This single in a way represents the 'Love' albums quite well, as it seems like the band have finally moved past the bullshit expectations and hype of their first two records and are in some way close to creating the type of music that was initially promised. This fine line between overly epic and the respectable is balanced well on 'Love: Part Two,' keeping in mind it is part film score, as the atmospheric but powerful tones of the music play the lead, with Delonge's vocals there for support.

The record is really a solid piece with no further stand out moments, rather an enjoyable collective journey. The closing tracks Behold A Pale Horse and All That We Are are a bit drab, which may just be due to the fact that you are listening to the same thing over and over again.

The 'Love' project has been executed slowly but efficiently and is the type of thing that many artists wish they could pull off as well as AvA have. The records, which make more sense in conjunction with the images of the film, actually stand alone quite well, which is a challenge that all movie inspired records face. AvA seem to have settled into a place which puts ego aside and as a result the solid rock music this band are capable of is able to shine through.

1. Saturday Love

2. Surrender

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3. Anxiety

4. My Heroine (It's Not Over)

5. Moon as My Witness

6. Dry Your Eyes

7. The Revelator

8. One Last Thing

9. Inertia

10. Behold a Pale Horse

11. All That We Are