Blink-182 – Enema of the State: #877 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Blink-182 - Enema of the State

A great balance of pop and punky alt rock.

The notion that a band is “pop punk” can maybe be taken the wrong way in certain contexts. That’s because people who either play or who are into music that’s punk-ish in some variety typically like to think of their punk-ish music as punk rock, pure and unadulterated and free from such defiling influences that might crossover to mainstream appeal and acclaim by the (presumably) uncool, un-punk rock masses.

But it cuts both ways, right? Just as watered down “punk” that’s trying way to be hard to “radio ready” can be a boring, embarrassing slog, “uncompromising” punk rock that deems such niceties as musical dynamics, hooks, musicality and so forth as “unnecessary” can often end up being an ear punishing exercise in musical misery.

That’s all to say that there can be a happy balance between pop and punk that is ear pleasing and pop but with enough punk influence to have a legitimate and unfaked edge to it.

And that, as you may have surmised, brings us to Blink-182’s Enema of the State, which is a great pop punk record because it strikes the exact right balance.

“All the Small Things” was a massive song in 1999 across radio and MTV, and it makes sense from the standpoint that it has a great hook, it’s catchy as hell, and is that perfect blend of pop and punk-infused alternative rock to send it zooming up the charts. It got way overplayed back in the day, but that’s not the song’s fault, so it’s good to revisit it with some distance and recognize it as the pretty great song that it is.

The dynamic is very similar with the nearly as popular in its day, “What’s My Age Again?” And throw in some coming-of-age I-don’t-want-to-grow-up stuff. Why mess with a formula that works, right?

Songs like “Adam’s Song” and “Going Away to College” point out that Blink-182 has a knack for catchy and pleasing melodies, and that’s a reason for their success as much as anything else. Here’s “Adam’s Song.”

I fully admit that when I was in my twenties, an album title called Enema of the State – replete with an album cover featuring an attractive woman in a (saucy) nurse’s uniform – wouldn’t have bothered me, though I’d like to think that I wouldn’t have found it all that amusing, either. All I’m saying is that my current take is while it’s not the worst thing in the world, it’s not the greatest thing in the world either, you know?

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Pop Punk, Alternative Rock
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating4 out of 5 stars
  • When was Enema of the State released? 1999
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #877 out of 1,000

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.