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Rock opera for a new generation

We Don't Need to Whisper
We Don't Need to Whisper
By Angels & Airwaves

Geffen Records: 2006

This review first appeared in Turbula in July 2006.

Tom DeLonge, formerly of blink-182, deserves kudos for trying something different with his new band's debut outing. But his stated aim of melding Pink Floyd's opus attitude with punk and alternative forms may have been too far a leap for a single recording to make.

Listening to the album makes clear what DeLonge and the rest of the band were trying to achieve – the operatic grandiosity, the wall of sound arrangements are all present. And the 10 songs' lyrics are all tied together visually with paintings that have a theme of some alternative World War II reality.

The playing is solid, the production first-rate.

So they have the vision, they have the musicianship.

What they don't have to make this a prog-rock classic for the current generation is a hit song or two – that killer track is missing from "We Don't Need to Whisper," and without it, DeLonge's effort to forge a new kind of rock opera remains an intriguing work in progress.