Love, Angels & Airwaves' third album, appeared out of the blue as a free download on Valentine's Day weekend 2010, but its sudden materialization belies its long gestation. A&A began work on Love early in 2009, long before leader Tom DeLonge reunited with blink-182, a reunion that put Angels & Airwaves' future in question which, in turn, made Love seem almost like an afterthought, particularly when it was released to no hype on a holiday weekend. But as far as Angels & Airwaves go, it's difficult to differentiate an afterthought from a masterwork because this is a band that's running to stand still, mining the same Cure-U2 hybrid as they did on their debut, never quite following through on DeLonge's stated Pink Floyd influence despite the closer "Some Origins of Fire" being constructed around a lift of the pre-chorus keyboard from "Comfortably Numb." This is what constitutes a hook on the spacy Love, an album where whatever marginal, melodic feints of I-Empire are abandoned in favor of the churning monochromatic drone of We Don't Need to Whisper, but that's a subtle shift, one that only fans may notice. To the layman, all the Angels & Airwaves albums sound remarkably similar, all offering texture over structure, all treading lukewarm water, with the only thing distinguishing Love from its predecessors being its method of release, something that doesn't say much about the content within.