We Don’t Need To Whisper is the debut album of Tom DeLonge's band Angels & Airwaves. Tom had started working on material during Blink's final tour in 2004, and after spending half of 2005 working alone in his home studio, he started adding musicians to the band. With the addition of Box Car Racer guitarist David Kennedy, drummer Atom Willard and Ryan Sinn on bass, Angel & Airwaves was ready to record their first album.
From the first bars of 'Vakyrie Missile', it’s evident that We Don't Need To Whisper is a huge and very brave step away from Blink-182's pop/punk sound. Opening with sweeping pipe organ that draws the listener down the rabbit hole, we're suddenly treat to electronic drums and a hit of eighties style arena rock guitar. There's an entirely different feel to this album than Tom achieved with Box Car Racer, which had a heavy punk feel to it. We Don't Need To Whisper is lighter, catchier, more exuberant. Tom's statement that the underlying concept of the album was of the pointlessness of war and the hope of a utopian future is certainly echoed in the buoyancy of the tracks.
For the best part this is essentially a melodic rock album, with Tom taking lyrical and musical direction from huge names such as The Police, U2 and Peter Gabriel in order to create the kind of music that reaches a global audience. The hand claps and upbeat intro to ‘Distraction’ draws us further into the concept of the light progressive rock vibe, leading into ‘The Adventure’ which has a definite U2 feel to it. Whilst the musical influences on this album may be obvious, 'Start The Machine', with its plinky plonk toy piano intro is one of the highlights of the album, with Tom's vocals laying the dark lyrics thickly over fuzz laden guitar.
We Don’t Have To Whisper was released in May 2006 and made the top ten in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. The lead single 'The Adventure' - arguably one of the best tracks on the album - failed to place high in the charts, but the album has since gone gold in the states, selling over half a million copies. The critics received it with mixed reviews. Whilst many applauded Angels & Airwaves for stepping away from the sound associated with Blink, others found it over indulgent and dull. When Tom finally made a press release for the album, he stated it would be "the greatest rock n roll revolution for this generation", wanting the album to be bigger and better than Blink's finest work. But whether Tom achieved his own personal Joshua Tree with this album, only he really knows.
[poll qs="How would you rate Angels & Airwaves debut album?" as1="Excellent" as2="Good" as3="Average" as4="Poor"]