I-Empire - Angels and Airwaves
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 86 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 86
  2. Negative: 12 out of 86

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  1. Nov 26, 2011
    9
    Some hardcore punks might be disappointed but I honestly like the sound and its message, it really speaks to me and has meaning though I wish that the sound hadn't influenced the sound of the new Blink 182 album some much.
  2. May 5, 2012
    10
    AWESOME! Their best album. Call To Arms, Rite of Spring, Secret Crowds, AW MAN they're ALL great songs! Tom sounds so awesome on this. Of course the rest of the band does too, but Tom's voice is like......awesomely different than on WDNTW.
  3. Aug 12, 2012
    9
    Beautifully written and mind-blowing wonderful. The album is actually very simply made. Long songs, not much lyrics and this magical feeling that regrettably so many bands can give us. AVA is one of them and made another great album, a bit away from being perfect but really, really good! Wonderful and inspiring songs with the unique voice of Tom DeLonge make this album so good. I couldn't say it's better than WDNTW but it's definitely not worse - it's also a fantastic album that gives me chills everytime I hear it :) Expand
  4. Aug 24, 2013
    7
    Tom DeLonge is a defining artist to this centuries punk culture. A touching soothing album leaving you in oar with his voice and surprisingly catchy electronic tunes. An effort which isn't perfection but elements such as Secret Crowds or Everything's Magic proves that sometimes simplicity in music can create the greatest of songs.
  5. Jul 10, 2014
    9
    What I really love about Angels And Airwaves and hate about Blink 182 is that it just isn't simple guitar riffs and Tom Delonge whining about random stuff, it has a harmonic message to the listener and can really bring out the emotion in a person.

    Call To Arms (9.25) is the lead track on this album and has good guitar builds and gives the listener a motivational feeling. I feel this
    song is about love and telling the person listening to keep trying when you are struggling. The chorus hook is really appealing and the near ending of the song is very beautiful when he sings about how he feels his loves heart along with the change in the guitar riff.

    Everything's Magic (8) adds a element of unity I feel to the album with the clapping like an audience is getting involved with the music with Tom trying to connect with the audience by saying that he has struggled in his life and to try and stay positive. I feel a main message in this song is that life is just a wild ride and you need to just go with it and be the best person you can be and how your life is shaped by the choices you make.

    Breathe (8.5) This song slows down the tempo of the album and is obviously a love song. While the lyrics are simple, they are powerful when Tom states 'I'll love you, until the end of time.' I think the great use of calm electronica is incorporated well in this song to make it stand out much more than just some song that was made in the 1970's. My favorite part of the song is when the looping of the same message is changed at the end as well as the instrumentals.

    Love Like Rockets (8.5) This track changes has good instrumentals and good lyrics and I feel it really picks up when Tom starts singing about 'the stars in your eyes, light up the sky' as well as the riff right before hand and after. That all I really have to say.

    Sirens (8) This song has a good lyrics and interesting use of vocals with the whole 'la da dat da' thing. My favorite part of this song is when the whole pitch of the song changes and how Tom states how he left his first love go. The minor pickup of the guitar at the end of the song made me like the song a little better before it was over.

    Secret Crowds (9.25) This song really has great riffs in the beginning and a great message right the lyrics kick in. It promotes a Utopian society that everyone gets along in. Tom then starts to sing like he's talking to people he cares about and the instrumental gets alot better and goes into a great chorus hook. The whole message of making the world better and using religious overtones gives the track a positive flair. The song then goes into a more minimalist state and Tom states something that he feels is important. The song ends with the hook with great instrumentals.

    Star Of Bethlehem/True Love (9) I am putting both of these tracks into one section because I feel personally that Star Of Bethlehem is a build for True Love. True Love is one of my favorite tracks on the album because of the awesome instrumentals and powerful lyrics and how Angels and Airwaves is able to build the song very well for the listener along with the message of love.

    Lifeline (9) This track has always been a powerful one to me, it slows the album down from the last song and really talks about people desires for dreams. It really connects with the bands name I feel and the idea of prayer in all religious faiths. I kind of reminds of Breathe earlier in the album but is a more complex and dynamic of what Tom is singing about in Breathe (less obvious). I also really like how Angels and Airwaves pick up the tempo later in the song.

    Jumping Rooftops/Rite Of Spring (9.25) I am combining these two tracks as well because Jumping Rooftops kind of refreshes your brain from the last track before Rite Of Spring hits. When I listen to Rite Of Spring, it really is a synopsis to certain points of my life. The most powerful line to me in this song is 'If I had a chance for another try, I wouldn't change a thing it's made me all who I am inside. And if I could thank God that I am here and that I am alive.' I correlate this line to my suicide attempt in 2012 with a knife to my throat. The instrumentals are powerful and some of the lines remind me of the Boys Of Summer when they talk about people changing. Also, Angels And Airwaves does a great job building the end like usual.

    Heaven (9.25) I think this track on the album does the best job at showing of the ability of Angels And Airwaves to use positive melodic instrumentals. I think that's why they saved it for the end. The beginning of the song is very powerful when the guitar riffs hit. What really makes this song stand out to me is the amazing ending where Angels And Airwaves makes amazing instrumental work even better.
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Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 13
  2. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. I-Empire is an easier record to like than "We Don't Need to Whisper," as it marks a very small, very tentative progression toward DeLonge realizing that he can expand his sonic and emotional horizons without abandoning the pop songcraft that remains his greatest strength
  2. I-Empire is a sweeping conceptual piece with a message as big as its sound and just a bit more enigmatic.
  3. Tom DeLonge does have talent, and maybe one day he'll make an album that deserves all his self-proclaimed hype. This, however, isn't it.