CD Review: Angels & Airwaves, LOVE Part Two

One thing you can say about Angels & Airwaves is they have a distinguishing sound. LOVE Part Two, the follow up album to LOVE Part One, is due out November 11th and I don't think fans of AVA will be disappointed. LOVE Part Two is another very listenable album full of energetic drums, catchy hooks, and intensifying guitars that have all the characteristics of their previous albums. The music video for the track "Anxiety" is already receiving serious eyeballs online, and I expect that we'll hear more than one of the tracks from this album getting airplay.

Quick aside... what I find really interesting is the way the band is marketing this album. They're offering a number of different packages to purchase the album: you can buy it as a standalone album; as a two-album set; or along with their accompanying movie, LOVE, which DeLonge produced. They're even offering a package that includes an original comic. LOVE Part Two is obviously just the latest segment of their larger art project. Angels & Airwaves ventures beyond music into more than one artistic medium and they seem dedicated to producing interactive experiences. Given how accessible technology has made producing art and reach to fans, this is an approach I expect to see from a lot of bands in the future. The fact that AVA tapped into it early and is offering their extended product in a way that makes it almost fully customizable is quite telling.

Back to the album. AVA is really good at creating solid pop-rock that is polished but doesn't sound over-produced, and Tom DeLonge has just the right amount of angst in his voice to balance the polish. I think we'll hear a lot of "Surrender" and I also really like "One Last Thing". My personal favorite track is "Dry Your Eyes", which I don't expect to hear on the radio, unless they cut the minute-long intro. I don't think the lyrics overall on the album are terribly groundbreaking, but the choruses are catchy and they still work. There is a bit of a metaphysical element surrounding both albums and their movie (and also shows up as a recurring theme within their songs) that I'm not sure quite accomplishes what they're aiming for but I admire their ambition.

My biggest complaint of LOVE Part Two is that while the band does some interesting intros and effects on most of the tracks, once you get into the meat of the songs they are all very similar. At the same time, this is also evidence that they are consistently strong in their own singular sound. I just wish, with the number of risks that they're taking in other artistic media, that we would see some of that risk applied to their future albums. One of their recent press releases said that Angels & Airwaves was trying to be "more than just a rock band". However, I think there are the times when you don't reach for so much, you end up surprised with some really great rock songs.

To learn more about Angels & Airwaves, visit them at

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