Blink-182 – Dude Ranch

Blink-182 - Dude Ranch

Blink-182 is a band with whom one grows up.1 “Dammit” is a fun four-chord pop punk single, but it hits a different note upon that first romantic break-up. The necessity of being alone – as hard as it may be – is outlined in “Waggy;” and adolescent tribulations between parents are discussed in “Dick Lips.” Dude Ranch is curious; other than Green Day’s Dookie, it’s one of the few albums that demonstrate how adults are really just kids who are faking it. The immense sing-along appeal certainly aids in this regard.

Dude Ranch shows a side of the boys that gets lost in their teenage appeal: they’re really scared of girls.2 Over half of the tracks detail issues with approaching women, doubting oneself in the pursuit of romance, and exchanging awkward glances with a former significant other. It’s no wonder that this album was – and still is – popular among teenagers and twentysomethings alike.

Although thematically superior, Dude Ranch is inferior to Enema of the State in terms of musicianship. Every song is fast-strummed power chords, which primarily contributes to Dude Ranch‘s severe mid-album slump. Very few songs stand out at all due to lack of variation, with exceptions of the single “Dammit” and the other cut “A New Hope.”3 Fifteen tracks is a tall order for pop punk. Additionally, Tom DeLonge’s voice is as its nasal-ist; Mark Hoppus’s songs are stronger in vocal quality.

There are plenty of good individual songs, but the monotony is real. As with Paramore, here is a suggested tracklisting that cuts some of the filler in Dude Ranch‘s runtime:

1. Pathetic – (2:27)
2. Dammit – (2:45)
3. Boring – (1:41)
4. Dick Lips – (2:56)
5. Waggy – (3:16)
6. Emo – (2:50)
7. Josie – (3:19)
8. A New Hope – (3:45)
9. Degenerate – (2:28)
10. Lemmings – (2:38)

The new runtime is 28 minutes; the old, 44: minutes. Short, but average for a pop punk album, and cutting 16 minutes negates Dude Ranch‘s slump. There isn’t too much of a problem in the way of flow with this album, so the tracklisting doesn’t need to be switched up. “Voyeur,” “Enthused,” “[Untitled Track],” “Apple Shampoo,” and “I’m Sorry” were cut.

And here is the full tracklisting with starred ratings:

1. Pathetic – (2:27) – ★★★★☆
2. Voyeur – (2:43) – ★★☆☆☆
3. Dammit – (2:45) – ★★★★★
4. Boring – (1:41) – ★★★☆☆
5. Dick Lips – (2:56) – ★★★★★
6. Waggy – (3:16) – ★★★★★
7. Enthused – (2:47) – ★★☆☆☆
8. [Untitled Track] – (2:46) – ★★☆☆☆
9. Apple Shampoo – (2:51) – ★★☆☆☆
10. Emo – (2:50) – ★★★★☆
11. Josie – (3:19) – ★★★★☆
12. A New Hope – (3:45) – ★★★★★
13. Degenerate – (2:28) – ★★★★★
14. Lemmings – (2:38) – ★★★☆☆
15. I’m Sorry – (5:37) – ★★★☆☆

Overall: ★★★☆☆
Revamped tracklisting: ★★★★☆

1Poop jokes are always funny.
2Although perhaps that’s not all too surprising.
3Cute ode to Princess Leia, right there.

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