I used to think they were just like every other punk/rock band of the late 90's. I used to think they were just a bunch of boys whining about girls that dissed them. I used to think that "dissed" was a cool term. Only in the past couple of years did I realize that Blink 182 was a rare voice that knew and understood the angst of pre-teens, the cruelty of girls, the stupidity of boys, and the perspective of it all.
Moreover, I also used to think that what was arguably their most popular song, "What's My Age Again?", was just another catchy pop-punk chart topper. WRONG AGAIN.
Here are the five main ingredients of "What's My Age Again?" and how it bakes an all-around perfect song:
+ 1 tbs of Structure:
In perfect poetry, the boys tell a hilarious story with clever lyrics that are perfectly repetitive when needed, but never boring. Listen, I'm not trying to over-hype them on the brilliance of lyrics, okay? I'm just saying - they hit all the marks. If a high-schooler were to turn in these lyrics as a poetry assignment, they'd get an A. I appreciate that they don't repeat the same exact lines every stanza, but that the differences between them are not contrived.
"What the hell is ADD?"
"What the hell is Caller ID?"
"What the hell is wrong with me?"
+ 2 heaping cups of Mark Hoppus:
Obviously he gets the mad cred for writing the song, but the vocals are what sets this song apart from others. Not to say that he has the most unique, incredible voice of all time, but he sings with heart. He truly believes the words that he's singing, and he's singing them directly to ME. While DeLonge has the tendency to sound a tad emo and whiny at times, Hoppus sounds like my friend, and I trust him, and I feel for him, and I know what he's going through. And if he would like to call me sometime to talk about his feelings, I mean, I would be a friend to him as he has been to me, I mean, that's only fair, right?
+ A dash of The Feels:
Let's not beat around the bush, here, it's...really catchy. It makes me feel good. I turn it up and sing to it and don't think twice when my fellow commuters are staring at me through my open window. Maybe they're just staring at my shattered side-view mirror but ERRONEOUS! If a rock/pop song isn't catchy, then WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? And the breakdown at the end where I turn my volume up all the way? Yeah, I like that part.
+Mix in The Music Video for about 2 minutes and 27 seconds:
Ahh, the good old days of MTV. (Golly, if you asked a kid what MTV stands for they'd have NO idea.) It's not a video of a band standing with all their instruments playing the song (well, heh, not clothed anyway...), and it's not a hot girl drenching herself in water wearing some weird chain-mail outfit (I think I just made this video up, but just go with it), and it's not some random costumes and puppies in outer space, and/or artsy filmography trying to trip you out and give you deeper meaning, blah blah blah. It's just some rowdy boys streaking through LA. That's all - simple and absolutely perfect. They take the most immature, yet lovable, and timeless prank of all time, and symbolically match it with this Peter Pan-Complex story. The fact that it's in my hometown, and that they really did run through the busy streets, is just an added bonus. Like I said, Mark, if you need to talk, I'm HERE FOR YOU.
+And the most important - let Reality set in, until cool, then serve:
When I was listening to this as a teen, I laughed at how funny this dude was. He's watching TV while um....yatta yatta yatta, and then he's got the stones to prank call her mom, and majorly diss (there's that word again) her dad? He's the class clown and the loser rolled into one! And I grew up thinking he was pretty cool and that 23 would be pretty cool and that growing up is pretty cool. And I couldn't WAIT.
Now that I'm here, I had never realized how much he "got it". His immaturity was just a reflection of his inner child and his yearning for all things fun in life. And growing up SUCKS, and 23 SUCKS, and responsibility sucks, and parents suck, and in order to counter-balance all of that, you need to enjoy yourself.
Yes, he's childish, but he also knows that there are more important things in life than being grown-up and sophisticated. 23 is that perfect age where you think you are grown up, and yet you are still clinging to your inner child. You're starting to get tainted by people in general, and you desperately want to keep fresh in your mind how it felt to just be free and not give a crap about anything. And DGAFing feels good at any age. And when those haters called "friends" 'say I should act my age - what's my age again?' - it's really whatever you want it to be. You for sure have 23 years worth of wisdom and no one can take that away from you, but "acting your age" is the most infuriating term, and I will always find prank calls funny.
"No one should take themselves so seriously
With many years ahead to fall in line
Why would you wish that on me?
I never wanna act my age"