Angels & Airwaves

The Dream Walker

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AllMusic Review by

Tom DeLonge brought the ongoing Love project to a close in 2013, opening the door for his next complex multimedia project, The Dream Walker. Accompanied by comics and films, among other things, The Dream Walker is by every recognizable measure an Angels & Airwaves record, containing the same level of DeLonge ambition paired with an enduring love of synthesized '80s college rock. Texturally, there's not much of a surprise but The Dream Walker does have its own distinct momentum, opening up in a dark place before progressively moving itself into the light, ending on a bittersweet acoustic coda. In between, DeLonge does indeed ramp up the angst quotient -- something he promised to do in the promotional interviews for the record -- and he manages to broaden the sonic horizons of A&A, incorporating a healthy amount of Smashing Pumpkins' guitar surge on "Paralyzed." Such grace notes go a long way in livening up The Dream Walker, giving it more texture and dimension than Love and, ultimately, it's that expansiveness that gives the album character instead of the convoluted cross-platform narratives.

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