I've been thinking about the Blink thing for a while and I know I posted a big thing a while ago about California, so I'm not sure if I'll repeat anything here.
It took me a while to truly enjoy the album, and while I stand by every comment I made about it being pretty mediocre, I just enjoy it now. However, I think a lot of people are kind of missing the point of it. People keep criticizing California for being simple with lame teenage girl lyrics, a step back from what Blink "should" be now, and mixed like All Time Low or other equally shallow popular bands in a relative scene right now. I don't think any of those points are wrong, but I think it's all exactly what Mark (and maybe Travis) has wanted for a long time. He wants to be popular like Blink used to be, but the scene has changed and he clearly wanted to change as well. Now they can get the All Time Low fans, they can be somewhat radio friendly, and they just write fun songs and be that "cool" band that everyone rejoices over for their big "comeback." If you pay any attention to Mark's social media, he's been a trendy guy in the music scene for a while, and he probably just wanted Blink to be as mainstream as possible again. The mixing on the album is as "perfect" as possible and that makes it easier to embrace for a larger audience, much like the lyrical content. Less language, simple concepts, and lots of lines about being sober (or not). It's also simple enough that a lot of longtime Blink fans are embracing it and happy to relive their younger days of mostly carefree music.
Point is, I think they're doing exactly what Mark wanted to do for a long time, but wasn't able to because of Tom. I enjoy the music for what it's worth, but I also long for deeper, more mature material like Neighborhoods at the same time. I wouldn't be at all surprised if their next album is much more interesting an experimental because Mark isn't a bad song writer and Skiba definitely isn't. It's just that they wanted to go purely vanilla and rebrand this time around, so they stayed as familiar as possible while embracing a new scene and image for the band.
Everyone has their opinion and I think a lot of them on this subject are completely valid. You don't have to love it or hate it, it's your choice. But I do think anyone who does nothing but criticize doesn't really get that having someone like Feldmann as producer to make "tweeny music for money" is missing that that's the whole point. And as far as getting back in the picture, they've done that extremely well. Another Neighborhoods type release would not have had the same result.
^ just my opinion, I could be dead wrong and blink sux without tom
"Tell me secrets, 'cause I know you're scared."