You were seriously disappointed by it? I've been consistently happier and happier with each of their new releases. Starting with Take off Your Pants, I feel as I grew up their sound kind of grew up with me. I absolutely had a blast with Neighborhoods, and saying 'if it wasnt blink nobody would listen to it' is pretty much a crappy argument lol. It was made by Blink, people did give it the time of day, and we don't live in a world that allows 'what ifs' or alternate realities. Sorry bud.
I think the album is a total step in the wrong direction, it's not a more mature sound, it sounds like it's been thrown together and the production is really not that great. Listen to self titled and Neighborhoods back to back and there is just a HUGE difference in quality as far as song writing, production and 'maturity' goes. In 2003 they definitely experimented in the right way.
I think a lot of people could see what was happening with Neighborhoods a mile off, especailly when After Midnight came out. It's just AVA & +44 put together. They need Blink! People would argue that's what you get when you put both bands together but i just think the band has to get fully used to each other again and record the album right, no 2 studios business, no mark recording guitars (even tho i think he kept things more grounded by doing so), no self produced effort. You could tell they were really missing the direction of Jerry Finn.
& the 'if it wasn't blink no body would listen to it' isn't really a crappy argument, You could find people not really familiar with the band but who have a decent musical knowledge and give them a few of their albums including Neighborhoods and see what they say.
I really do think the Blink name backed the record too much on it's own instead of the music, which is lucky for the band i guess.
Anyway, if you like the record that's great! Im glad you enjoy it.