Angels and Airwaves’ third album, LOVE, was released on Valentine’s Day of 2010 through the band’s official site. The album was supposed to be released simultaneously with the band’s movie, LOVE, but the film release was delayed.
Over a year later, on November 8, 2011, the film and the band’s fourth record, LOVE, Part II, were released in stores. You can purchase both albums together, or you can (as I did) buy the Deluxe Edition that has both albums along with the film.
In this review, I will talk about the music, saving the film for a later article.
I’m very excited to finally have a physical copy of LOVE, Parts I & II—especially because I now have the lyrics sheet. Reading Tom DeLonge’s actual words has helped me to understand songs like “Letters to God, Part II,” which confused me in the past—as I mentioned in my article on the first album. (Note that I wrote that article while the first album was still available for free download on the band’s website. It is no longer free.)
Since I already reviewed the first album, I’ll focus on the music of LOVE, Part II in this article. Then I’ll discuss the themes that unite both albums.
THE MUSIC OF LOVE, PART II
“Saturday Love” is a great opening to the record—it’s classic Angels and Airwaves (AVA). The intro builds to a burst of energy, filled with AVA’s stylistic chorus and delay. If the opening guitar part sounds familiar, that’s because it’s almost identical to the opening from “Heaven.” I’m not sure why AVA made this opening so similar.
The tune is about dreams, identity, and pain–sharing life and love with another person. The lyrics are brilliant and beautiful, and I recommend sitting down and reading them. DeLonge gave us a gem with “Saturday Love.” The dream references remind me of “Call to Arms” and “Hallucinations.”
”Surrender,” a catchy tune with a good beat, is about fighting through adversity. Don’t surrender. Even when you hit the wall, you can survive.
The upbeat music underlies darker lyrics about God being asleep while bombs fall all around us.
”Anxiety” is one of my favorite songs on the album. It was a good choice for single. Aside from an f-bomb in the first verse, I like the lyrics—especially how DeLonge personifies Anxiety.
“Don’t pressure us, anxiety.”
”My Heroine (It’s Not Over)” starts out as a piano-driven love song. The lyrics reference “memory,” a theme from the LOVE film. Memories, of love and human connection, are an important part of who we are.
I really like how “My Heroine” picks up the pace halfway through the track, with the guitar and drums overtaking the piano. I think that DeLonge tried to hit a note that too high for him (on the word “grin”), but overall the song is great.
”Moon As My Witness” is about blissful love in a troubled world. The song’s relaxed flow reminds me of “Breathe.”
The track ends with an instrumental transition, reminiscent of “Young London” and “Shove” from LOVE, Part I. I didn’t care for those transitions the first time around, claiming that it made it hard to listen to each song individually. However, the transitions have rubbed off on me. (What’s life if you can’t change your mind a bit?)
“Dry Your Eyes” is the first song on the album that I didn’t care for. I rank it with “It Hurts” as one of AVA’s worst songs. It had a promising intro, but the dissonant chords in the first verse threw me off. This song has two swear words.
“Dry Your Eyes” is the counterpart to “Moon As My Witness.” In this song, here is no bliss and love fell apart.
”The Revelator” builds on the religious theme that started in the previous album with “Letters to God, Part II.” This track is about dying faith and the coming judgment. Life is hard, but you probably shouldn’t worry about Judgment Day, because it’s not coming, and there’s no hell.
If cold humor, disillusionment, and irony were sounds, they would sound like “The Revelator.”