It may start in a “Parking Lot”, but the Blink-182 Deluxe Edition of California does anything but stall. The double album from the punk trio is as expansive as the state itself, of which the record is named after. Upon first listen, the 11 new tracks embark upon a more decidedly layered direction than its 15 song predecessor. However, the hallmark choruses and tempos that make up the historical fabric of Blink-182 are deeply embedded within and become more transparent with each listen. It’s as if the group starts off in familiar San Diego territory with the aforementioned “Parking Lot,” then takes a trip up through lesser known parts of California with cuts such as “6/8” and “Last Train Home,” and then traverses back to more familiar territory through the complex and often conflicting concrete jungle of Los Angeles with tracks like “Long Lost Feeling;” arriving full circle with “Can’t Get You More Pregnant.”
“I don’t need anyone,” is echoed numerous times by Skiba on the song “Misery;” with the tumultuous past decade or so behind them, this is a band that seems energized and clearly on its own terms. Having John Feldman at the producing helm, has pushed the talents of Hoppus, Barker and Skiba to new levels of sonic exploration, all while still staying firmly within the harmonious universe that fans have come to expect over the groups 20+ years. California (Deluxe) is a sprawling addition to the bands collection, and is sure to spread like “Wildfire” across the fan base both old and new. 4 out of 5 stars.