Angels and Airwaves “Loves” Again

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Studies show that leather jackets improve a band’s sound by 74%. These guys have two. That’s like 148%.

Lauren Effertz, Staff Writer

Sweeping, cinematic, and indicative of the music one might imagine for the year 2100, Angels & Airwaves’ fourth album, “LOVE Album, Part II” is just as ambitious and out-there as followers of this Tom DeLonge side-project would expect it to be.

Angels & Airwaves––also known as AVA–– was established by former Blink-182 frontman Tom DeLonge in 2005. The band’s other members include Matt Wachter and David Kennedy. “LOVE Album, Part II” is the last AVA album to feature the drumming of Adam “Atom” Willard, who has been replaced with Ilan Rubin following Willard’s “amicable departure” from the band this October. The band’s members are all well-established, highly gifted musicians known for their work with other big-name bands like 30 Seconds to Mars, Nine Inch Nails, and Box Car Racer.

“LOVE Album, Part II”––also called “LOVE, Pt. 2”–– is the second album release in AVA’s LOVE project, which also included the free Valentine’s Day 2010 release “LOVE”–– now known as “LOVE Album, Part I––, and the “LOVE” feature film, directed by William Eubank and premiered at the 2010 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

“Anxiety,” the first single from the album, captures the echoing, layered tone AVA has all but trademarked in their music. This track is perfect for playing way too loud in the car on the way home (bass and treble mixers up) after a stressful day or when studying for a particularly brutal test.

“Surrender,” which DeLonge considers to be the “flagship” song on the album, is a continuation of the song “Some Origins of Fire” from “LOVE Album, Part I,” with clear recollections of the melody and lyrical theme of “Origins.” “Surrender” is a song very connected to the plot of the “LOVE” film, which tells the story of astronaut Lee Miller, who is stranded with no contact to Earth on the International Space Station and must fight to retain his sanity and life alone.

“One Last Thing” speaks to the troubles of living in an nonstop, restless world and the search for something more to believe in, featuring sound bites from the film to reinforce its message.

“Behold a Pale Horse,” one of the closing tracks, pulls it lyrics from the Book of Revelation. Though hardly a religious band (as anyone who’s heard the irreverent DeLonge speak would know), AVA has always had a focus on symbolism and epic storytelling, which DeLonge has found inspiration for in the Bible.

While the album features many great tracks and singles, to fully be appreciated it has to be listened to from start to finish in order. The greatest mark of AVA’s artistry is their focus on the album not as a collection of singles that are loosely related, but as one great story that can’t have chapters missing. When listened to from start to finish, every AVA album plays seamlessly, with each song melding into the next with no gaps in the music, creating one mega-song to tell a story.