(+44): When Your Heart Stops Beating

Released: November 13, 2006

When blink-182 went on an indefinite hiatus back in 2005 Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker went one way and Tom Delonge went another. This was a dark time for fans of the well established pop-punk trio but looking back at it now it’s nice to know that we got some unique music that we otherwise would not have gotten. Of the two bands that sprung from the break up of blink-182, +44 was the one that held most of the similarities while Tom Delonge’s Angels and Airwaves broke away into new musical territory that I personally didn’t think would come from him.

When Your Heart Stops Beating is an album that blends a similar feel from blink-182 with an almost 80’s pop and dance feel to create a really fun and unique sound. While the songs naturally have a sound of influence from blink-182, they all exist in this other dimension of musical ability from Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker. The upbeat hit, “When Your Heart Stops Beating” has the feel of a blink-182 track with 80’s dance-pop thrown into the mix making for a catchy song that is still great to this day. Other then this song and Cliff Diving, the songs of this album have a dark, bitter feel to them. This is especially felt in songs such as “Little Death”, “Weatherman”, and the song that sounds as if it was directed personally at Tom Delonge, “No It Isn’t”.

While most of the songs sound like they deal with relationships in the realm of dating, I think most of this was based on the break up of blink-182 and the bitter emotions that where experienced at the time. This is an album full of pain, frustration, anger, and confusion and it all boils to a head with the deep cutting ballad “No It Isn’t”. With the lyrics; “curse my enemies forever, let’s slit our wrists and burn down something beautiful. This desperation leaves me overjoyed with fading lights that lead us past the lives that we destroyed. Please understand, this isn’t just goodbye, this is I can’t stand you”, the bitterness of blink’s breakup ran deep. While this album represents a dark time in the legacy of one of my favorite bands, it serves as a unique project that stands out and reminds me how great it is that blink is back.

Grade: B


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