New(ish) Music Tuesday: Love Parts One and Two by Angels & Airwaves

Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Angels & Airwaves - Love Album Parts One & Two
Hey, as far as I'm concerned, it's still Tuesday for another hour. Two if you're on the West Coast. Not that it excuses the additional fact that I'm presenting an album that was released in November, making this three months old. Ah well, it's new for me, and new to all of you who either don't know anything about Angels & Airwaves or, like me, didn't realize that their two part, third and fourth studio album was released in November in a handsome, two-disc for the price of one package.

I've always thought that doing two-part albums is risky. On one hand, it's good for listeners who get 22 songs for the price of one album (though granted, parts one and two of Love were released individually a year apart, with part two coming out in November bundled with part one as a complete album), but on the other if only one part is good, then it'll bring down the whole effort if the other isn't. Sadly, this is the case for Love. Part one is... amazing. Part one of the album is hands down the best Angels & Airwaves album ever recorded. I try not to throw out praise without tempering it with criticism, but the first 11 songs of the Love album are pretty damn good, especially as far as synth-pop rock is concerned.

But the "new" part of the Love album is part two, and that is technically what I'm reviewing. And by comparison, it isn't great. The smooth synth-rock rhythms that drive part one along so nicely are lost, leaving part two feeling dis-joined. Most of all, part one has a clear tone and message from song to song, dealing with loneliness, human connection, and losing your faith, and while lyrically part two tries to build on that, it doesn't seem as natural or poignant. Love part two tries really hard to deliver a message of enduring love, but that message is handled haphazardly and comes out repetitive and lost. This makes me sad. It makes Angels & Airwaves' Love album conflicted: It is both their best and their weakest albums, back to back. I'd give part one a solid A, but part two? It maybe squeaks by with a C-, but only because of DeLonge's surprisingly moving lyrics and a few solid songs. Since this review is of the albums as a finished whole, it forces me to bring the album down to only two stars, maybe two and a half: A solid C+.

Anyway, here are a couple of music videos for you from Love, Part One and Two:



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