If you were anything like me, then Blink-182 were likely a huge staple of your childhood and adolescent years, with their angsty pop-punk tracks resonating with the all-too-common common trials and tribulations of teenage life.
In fact, I was such a fangirl of the trio (Mark, Tom and Travis at the time), that upon the soul-crushing announcement that Blink were going on ‘indefinite hiatus’ in February 2005, I had to excuse myself from class to cry in the bathroom with my equally-obsessed and devastated friends (hey, we were 15, alright?).
Now, 28 years since Blink-182 first formed, the group has undergone a slew of major changes in both their lineup as well as their signature pop-punk sound throughout the course of nine albums.
With each album having a distinct vibe – with much of this coming as a result of Travis Barker replacing Scott Raynor and Matt Skiba replacing Tom Delonge over the years – there’s often fierce debate among fans as to which Blink album reigns supreme.
So with no further adieu, I give you the definitive ranking of Blink-182 albums once and for all (in my opinion – so pls don’t come for me threatening to burn down my house or something).
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1. Enema of the State (1999)
Enema lands top on our list due to the fact that it was the album that well and truly catapulted Blink-182 into pop-punk royalty, and for good reason.
Each of the 12 tracks flows seamlessly into one another and brought us iconic hits like the upbeat ‘What’s My Age Again’ and the more serious ‘Adam’s Song’, both of which I still thrash on the reg.
It was also the first album to feature legendary drummer Travis Barker, whose inclusion tightened the band’s sound and solidified the trio as an unstoppable force.
While the pop-heavy ‘All The Small Things’ emerged as the biggest hit when it came to topping the charts upon its release, most fans will agree the album was chock-a-block with far superior tracks that better represented Blink’s sound.
In saying that, you can’t deny that the music video for the single – which mocked Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, ‘N Sync, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera – truly encapsulated the group’s cheeky persona.
Top tracks: Adams Song, What’s My Age Again, Mutt
2. Take Off Your Pants and Jacket
Coming off the major success of Enema of the State, Blink could have taken the easy route and dropped another album full of tracks that sounded like a bunch of Enema B-sides.
Instead, TOYPAJ solidified the band’s versatility while keeping the distinct Blink-182 pop-punk sound that fans had come to know and love.
While many of the tracks – such as ‘Online Songs’ and ‘First Date’ – once again dealt with the traditional adolescent subject matter, tracks like ‘Anthem Part 2’ ‘Reckless Abandon’ and ‘Story of a Lonely Guy’ gave us the first hint of the band’s musical maturity while giving us insight into the more serious songs we would go on to hear in future albums.
Top tracks: Roller Coaster, Online Songs, Anthem Part 2
3. Untitled (2003)
Of all the Blink albums, Untitled – the last album released before announcing their hiatus – arguably stands the test of time most flawlessly.
Veering away from their signature tongue-in-cheek tracks about teenage hijinks, the album instead dipped into darker territory while featuring some truly fantastic riffs, unique recording techniques, experimental guitar tones, and some major star power in the form of The Cure’s Robert Smith for the beautifully melancholic track ‘All of This’.
It was a risky move, but it certainly paid off. Rather than sticking with the tried-and-true pop-punk sound, Untitled gave us genre-fluid, experimental tracks that blended adolescent optimism with youthful angst, showcasing the trio’s newfound maturity when it came to their music.
The inclusion of more upbeat tracks – like ‘Feeling This’ – contrasted with the raw lyrical content and heavy riffing of ‘Violence’ and ‘Go’ truly made Untitled a near-unskippable album. I’m also going to put it out there and say Travis’ drumming on this album was probably his best.
Top tracks: All Of This, Feeling This, Here’s Your Letter
4. Dude Ranch (1997)
Before they found major success with Enema, the boys well and truly kicked things into gear with hit single ‘Dammit’, which would become the band’s first hit single, reaching number 11.
It was the first Blink album to be released from a major label, which was evident upon hearing the more polished production in comparison to Cheshire Cat.
It was also Scott Raynor’s final album as drummer for Blink before Travis Barker took over. Raynor’s drumming skills had also evidently improved on Dude Ranch since their previous record, particularly in tracks like ‘Voyeur’, ‘Enthused’ and ‘I’m Sorry’.
Dude Ranch is also notably more punk than their other releases, with Tom and Mark’s contrasting vocals, the catchy, simple riffage and hooks laying down the groundwork for the stratospheric fame they would later go on to see with Enema.
Top tracks: Dammit, Josie, Pathetic
5. Buddha/Cheshire Cat (1994/1995)
I know that Cheshire Cat and Buddha were released as two separate albums, however, I’m counting them as one due to the fact that Cheshire Cat is basically a remastered version of their first album.
While Cheshire saw Buddha’s tracks cleaned up significantly – though Tom and Mark were evidently still finding their feet when it came to singing – I’m going to put it out there and say that Buddha’s version of ‘Carousel’ takes the top spot when comparing to the remastered remake that would go on to feature in their Greatest Hits album.
While Cheshire’s 16-song debut had a lot of filler tracks, it introduced us to the guys’ goofy sense of humour and penchant for shenanigans through songs like ‘Does My Breath Smell’, ‘Ben Wah Balls’ and ‘Depends’.
And while both Cheshire Cat and Buddha are by no means the best of the group’s releases, they certainly have a special place in many Blink fans’ hearts.
Top tracks: Carousel, M+M’s, TV
6. Neighborhoods (2011)
Neighborhoods served as Tom, Mark and Travis’ long-awaited return from their eight-year recording hiatus, but most fans were left majorly disappointed after waiting so long for new Blink tracks.
Rather than the reconciliation seeing the group return to their iconic sound, the album seemed to be heavily divided into tracks that sounded like they’d be better off in Tom’s side project, Angels and Airwaves.
This could have been due to the fact that the boys recorded separately, with Hoppus and Barker recording their parts in Los Angeles, and Delonge recording his in San Diego. Whether it was intentional or not, the divide is certainly palpable throughout the album.
Top tracks: Ghost On The Dancefloor, Wishing Well, After Midnight
7. California (2016)
California was the first Blink album to feature Matt Skiba, lead singer and guitarist of Alkaline Trio, following Tom Delonge’s departure from the band in 2015 to focus on ‘non-musical endeavours’ (cough, aliens).
While the new lineup gave them an opportunity to give fans something fresh, the album instead seemed to force itself to replicate the formula of their earlier popular tracks without the same success.
As a result, the record as a whole comes off as lacking substance and a regression from the maturity we’d seen from the band over the past few albums. Could this be due to Tom’s departure? Quite possibly, though that’s not to undermine Skiba’s capabilities at all.
Top tracks: Misery, Cynical, Wildfire
8. NINE (2019)
The second album to feature Matt Skiba, NINE saw a major deviation from their traditional roots into a more beat-heavy sound that sounded somewhat generic and overproduced compared to previous Blink-182 records.
The formulaic lyrics on the album are likely a result of the fact that they enlisted a whopping 15 additional songwriters, which undoubtedly watered down the band’s distinct identity from the days when the group were solely responsible for penning their lyrics.
And while Matt Skiba’s vocals stand well on their own, much of fans’ love for Blink’s music came from the electric synchronicity and banter between Tom and Mark, something that’s, sadly, unlikely to return anytime soon.
Top tracks: The First Time, Heaven, On Some Emo Shit