Angels & Airwaves has remained busy during its relatively brief lifespan, issuing four albums of epic space jams since lifting off in 2006 with We Don’t Need To Whisper. (The band also has a couple of films under its belt, with more supposedly on the way.) Then again, being prolific gets easier when you’re just tinkering with a formula, and Angels & Airwaves has amassed a discography that, sonically speaking, is more or less interchangeable. But perhaps even more surprising than the band’s lack of evolution is the fact that it still exists: Born back when frontman Tom DeLonge didn’t have another band, AVA has been slipping out of the limelight ever since it gave away its third album, Love, for free. And judging from the recent Neighborhoods, DeLonge’s reunited Blink-182 mates are fine with him bringing his new direction to the old group. But AVA stayed the course with Love: Part Two, which, like its predecessors, reaches for the rafters with triumphant melodies, with guitars indebted to The Edge, dramatic keys, and we-are-the-world-we-are-the-children lyrics that are never as inspiring as they set out to be.
All that said, Angels & Airwaves has carved out a nice little spot for itself in the oxymoronic world of thinking-man’s arena-rock. (If only the band had enough fans to fill arenas.) Surprisingly little guilt goes along with the pleasure provided by the band’s arm-raising tunes, even for those singing along with lines like “When God falls fast asleep / the kids still dance in city streets / from the White House lawn to the Middle East” (from “Surrender”). Angels & Airwaves shoot for the stars, and continue to score.