Angels & Airwaves: Love

Track-by-track reviews are great for me because it usually means that I have to listen through an album at least twice, familiarizing abandoned tracks. I download a lot of music that artists put out for free: a) it's free and b) I'm introduced to lesser known bands. Somehow I managed to neglect this album- by a group I actually listened to- until now, half a year later.

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Release date: February 14th, 2010
Genre: progressive rock, space rock

Although the least known, Love is easily my favourite of Angels & Airwaves' three albums. It's the most progressive, a decent stride from the alternative punk they used to release. Oddly, I was never a fan of Blink-182 and had no idea Matt Wachter had left 30 Seconds To Mars three years ago when I bought a few tracks off I-Empire; those realizations came after.

"Et Ducit Mundum Per Luce": (latin) "and he leads the world by light". Starts the album off with a symphonic sequence built around a very simple chord progression. The set and other instruments join in, creating a natural anticipation of a solid final chord, but the listener is left with a single ending note.

"The Flight of Apollo": One of those driving, in-your-face songs- probably the heaviest on the album. Somehow DeLonge manages to make it sound mellow, still.

"Young London": A very upbeat song; it's got the adolescent party vibe that reminds me of Boys Like Girls.

"Shove": I love the lyrics on this track:
she said, show me the world that's inside your head...
tell me the secrets of life and death...
cause sometimes it comes with a shove
The final minute of the song is an instrumental transition to the next; with muffled, indecipherable vocals around 6-minute mark.

"Epic Holiday": To be honest, I'm concerned with the use of the word "epic". I love this (slang) term, but it sounds lame in the song. Especially after saying "let's start a riot" and "life's just a game". Makes for a very amateur piece that I wouldn't expect from the group.

"Hallucinations": This was my immediate favourite; mostly for the line that asks "do you believe in hallucinations". The drumming is exquisite there going into the chorus, riddled with poly rhythms and syncopation.

"The Moon-Atomic (...Fragments and Fictions)": I'm a big fan of the beginning of this, it's really sweet as the harmonies layer. There's is one unison melody, and the accompaniment is based around it. I generally wouldn't like that, but its soft nature makes the song an exception. My favourite part of the entire album is the transitional ending.

"Clever Love": I haven't mentioned the obscurity of Tom DeLonge's vocals yet, have I? It's the reason I started listening to AVA. It's not an accent or lisp, but he just naturally has a unique way of annotating words. Their song "Secret Crowds" from I-Empire really showcases this. His singing "desire" is like a drug, haha.

"Soul Survivor (...2012)": For future reference, theVibeGirl and apocalyptic space rock songs are basically the same thing. Besides the intro, this is the shortest song on the album, and incorporates melodic ideas from almost every other track.

"Letters to God, Part II": Flies by me every time; I don't know what happens when this plays, because I don't remember a single lyric or the melody line.

"Some Origins of Fire": I'm really enjoying the percussion on this album, and "SOoF" is the best for it. The syncopated rhyming interesting, as well. Props to A. Williard.

(from left to right: David Kennedy, Tom DeLonge, Atom Willard, Matt Wachter)