Let’s go back in time, to — perhaps a better time for pop punk — the early 2000’s, or 2002, to be exact.
Blink-182 was at the peak of their popularity, having made millions from Enema of the State and preparing to release their highly anticipated LP, Take of Your Pants and Jacket. The band had even thrown in a couple extra songs exclusively for the Japan release of the album (“What Went Wrong?” and “Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over”).
I’d like to argue that if “Hey I’m Sorry” — released on the band’s deluxe version of California in 2017 — were the third bonus track from TOYPAJ, it would not only have eclipsed the other two bonus tracks, but it would have found it’s way to pop-punk glory and be one of the most memorable moments of the album.
This song has everything that you could want from blink-182.
Travis Barker’s drums are mixed at the forefront. The cymbals keep your right ear preoccupied, while the piano lays underneath — as blink-182 does — to provide a stark contrast to the darker lyrical content provided by Mark Hoppus and Matt Skiba.
The prechorus serves as evidence for what Matt Skiba has brought to the band:
Everything you’ve ever hoped for
Waiting there outside your front door
Bleeding to death
Everything you’ve never wanted
Here to seem just like that haunted place
They say for everyones dying breath
Definitely harsher language than you’d come to expect from a blink-182 song. This dark imagery rivals that of Hoppus and Barker’s +44, but it serves a purpose. If the song is a Disneyland ride, pushing and pulling on your emotions, this would be the moment before the final drop on Pirates of the Caribbean (roughly 10 years ago before they ruined it and made it less intense) — where you fairly expect a continued downward motion, but then, the chorus hits.
Hey I’m sorry I lost the melody
Hey I’m sorry I lost your memory
When we fall asleep I sleep all by myself
At the end of the day
The chorus has whoa’s and ah’s and oh’s, and compliments each singer’s abilities quite well. Mark provides the main lyrics, and Matt boosts the gaps in between with his higher range. A 10-year-old version of myself (and my current mid-twenties self) would be hooked. The lyrics here don’t necessarily provide depth in their meaning, but they’re fun. And that’s not really so bad.
Then, the best part of the song arrives: the bridge to the final chorus.
If not only for Barker’s drums, this would be an incredible sample to loop and jam too. Barker brings the most out of the toms and kick drum during this approximately 16-second phrase. For ideal results, I’d recommend throwing the song on during a morning commute to work and you will see that it’s very difficult to not drum along to.
The song’s lyrics reek of sadness, depression and desperate fighting, but akin to “Adam’s Song,” the mixing of the melodies tricks the listener into making this an ever so digestible tune. Producer John Feldmann deserves some credit here for combining these elements to make another classic blink song, one which reminds pop punk fans of what the band is capable of and why it still sets the mark for the genre.