Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Enema of the State [MCA, 1999] A-
  • Take Off Your Pants and Jacket [MCA, 2001] A-
  • Blink-182 [Geffen, 2003] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Enema of the State [MCA, 1999]
Ignore the porn-movie cover except insofar as it conveys terror. These guys are so frightened of females that they turn down sure sex from one hussy on grounds of name-dropping and reject another for being too quick with the zipper. There's no macho camouflage--girlophobia is their great subject. And boy, have they worked up some terrific defenses. If preemptive jealousy doesn't do the trick, there's always suicide, or abduction by aliens. Yet note it well--because they're out front about their little problem, "Going Away to College" is the love song the Descendents put Green Day on earth to inspire. A-

Take Off Your Pants and Jacket [MCA, 2001]
Aware that their commercial base is teenage girls who know real boys are meaner than 'N Sync, as all teenage girls do, they play up the fears that afflict mean boys at least as much as any other kind. They pine, they get tongue-tied, they wait by the phone, they curse their stupid haircuts. Way too old in real life to stop at kissing, and also way too horny, they assume the persona of guys for whom kissing and even holding hands are a big deal, which even for mean, old, and/or horny guys they often are. Yet they also rail against know-it-all grownups in general and warring parents in particular, and make obscene suggestions about their girlfriends' moms. All to the fetchingly whiny airs of the universal punk tunebook. Commercial calculation--it has its uses. A-

Blink-182 [Geffen, 2003]
Mature enough to understand how vulnerable youth is, but not how grueling maturity is ("Feeling This," "Go"). ***