Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Blink-182: Take Off Your Pants and Jacket [MCA, 2001]
Aware that their commercial base is teenage girls who know real boys are meaner than 'N Sync, as all teenage girls do, they play up the fears that afflict mean boys at least as much as any other kind. They pine, they get tongue-tied, they wait by the phone, they curse their stupid haircuts. Way too old in real life to stop at kissing, and also way too horny, they assume the persona of guys for whom kissing and even holding hands are a big deal, which even for mean, old, and/or horny guys they often are. Yet they also rail against know-it-all grownups in general and warring parents in particular, and make obscene suggestions about their girlfriends' moms. All to the fetchingly whiny airs of the universal punk tunebook. Commercial calculation--it has its uses. A-