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Sounds Like: MTV all grown up, or trying to grow up
See Also: Boxcar Racer
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, December 4, 2003
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(Geffen Records)

"I've been here before a few times, and I'm quite aware we're dying," sings blink-182's Tom Delonge on "Always," a track from their new self-titled LP.

And blink-182 had been around the MTV block a few times, seeing what pop punk had to offer. But their comedy schtick was dead; even my 11-year-old brother didn't like them anymore because they were too "immature."

This is a more mature album, as all self-titled albums must be, with zero rants about making love to dogs.

Is their growing up fake? Not exactly. They don't have the talent to pull off a masterpiece of an album on their first try at critical success, but they show some great promise.

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sounds Like: Umm ... The Chili Peppers
See Also: 311

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Greatest Hits And Videos
(Warner Brothers)

The Chili Peppers are the American Dream.

Four fuck-ups who somehow managed to become one the greatest success stories in the history of rock; they overcame the death of an original member. They got through guitarist John Frusciante quitting the band, becoming a hermit-heroin addict, and then re-joining the band later to make their best record in years, Californication.

Now here comes this collection of radio hits, which almost completely shuns their early work, circa '84-'90. "Higher Ground" is the only song from this period, which was made for Christmas sales, and to possibly help curb guilty online downloaders who just want certain songs.

It's a tamed, easy-listening Chili Peppers collection. No "Fight Like A Brave" or "Catholic School Girls Rule." This is for the fair-weathered rock fan who counts both Creed and Avril Lavigne in his or her music collection while cruising along in his or her late-'90s model Saturn.

And that's fine, because this is still a fine bunch of singles.

Without the accompanying greatest videos DVD, however, this might scream rip-off.

Thankfully, the Chilis have made some satisfying videos, and for the most part, they are all here, each arranged by album, complete with the space cowboys' commentary.

The video that was left out, however, was the low budget trip-tastic voyage they did for "Breaking The Girl" in the early nineties. You can almost catch a heroin buzz from watching it.

- Kevin Smith

"I Miss You" is one of their finest ballads, and it doesn't stink of cliche like former attempts ("Stay Together For the Kids"). "Violence," "Stockholm Syndrome" and "Easy Target" show much darker tones than anything on their previously sunny albums.

And then we have the two gems that make the album worth the purchase. "Always," a heartfelt love song with brilliant beats by Travis Barker, the whore of the drumming world. Barker has recently helped lay down Pink's phat new release.

Finally, there is "All of This." Robert Smith of the Cure sings lead and Delonge backs up. The result is a haunting arrangement that may not be a realistic assessment of blink.

But the song and album show this is a realistic assessment of where they soon will be.

- Nate Buchik

Sounds Like: Other U2 stuff, only live
See Also: The Joshua Tree

U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle
(Universal Music)

In front of 80,000 screaming Irish fans, Bono and U2 put on a concert in the same venue where the band put on its first concert almost 20 years ago to the day.

And Bono managed to keep politics out of it - almost.

The CD/DVD, U2 Go Home was recorded in Slane Castle in Meath, Ireland. Bono, of course, had the crowd in the palm of his hand the entire evening. The band played all its hits, with the curious exception of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" from The Joshua Tree .

The concert features a bit of irony, in that it took place 10 days prior to the 2001 terror attacks on America. Had Bono prior knowledge of the event to come, he and the band might have thought better about inserting their anti-war political views into the song "Bullet the Blue Sky."

As the song began, words on the big-stage screen read, "The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council: USA, UK, France, China, Russia," followed with, "The five biggest arms traders in the world: USA, UK, France, China, Russia."

Five months later, Bono would sing "Beautiful Day" at halftime in Super Bowl XXXVI. He flashed an American flag inside his jacket as the song ended.

Regardless of U2's unwitting

practice of poor timing, the band's two-hour performance was outstanding.

The DVD version also features a bonus track ("Mysterious Ways"), as well as a documentary of events leading up to the gig.

Diehard U2 fans must pick this disc up. Those impartial to the group may want to keep their personal politics in mind before doing so.

- Shane Dale

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