Album Review
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(+44) - When Your Heart Stops Beating Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 8.75
Production 7.75
Creativity 8.25
Lasting Value 7.5
Reviewer Tilt 8.25
Final Verdict: 81%
Member Ratings
Vocals 6.25
Musicianship 6.04
Lyrics 6.29
Production 6.25
Creativity 4.75
Lasting Value 5.96
Reviewer Tilt 8.67
Average: 63%

(+44) - When Your Heart Stops Beating

Reviewed by: jtresk26 (07/21/09)
(+44) - When Your Heart Stops Beating
Record Label: Interscope
Release Date: November 14th, 2006

While one side of the Blink-182 breakup plugged his band, Angels and Airwaves, as the best band on the face of the Earth or something ridiculous to that nature, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker were hard at work on (+44). Originally slated as a more electronic project with original member Carol Heller, who can still be heard on tracks, "Weatherman" and "Make You Smile," the musical direction of (+44) was changing from the electronic side to a more alternative rock sound. Guitarist Shane Gallagher, formerly apart of The Nervous Return and now Mercy Killers, was brought in before Heller had left, but because of Heller's departure, Craig Fairbaugh, guitarist of the Mercy Killers and formerly The Transplants, was brought in to fill backing vocals, as well as guitarist.

When Your Heart Stops Beating is a record of rediscovering yourself when you have been betrayed by the people you trusted the most (i.e. Blink-182). "Lycanthrope," the first song on the album, starts off with very personal lyrics right off the bat. "I wake up at the end of a long, dark lonely year/it's bringing out the worst in me," just shows you the whole ordeal Hoppus and Barker had to go through, and it shows how personal Hoppus's lyrics are in the record. "When Your Heart Stops Beating," the title track and first single off the album, shows the evolution of the raw and hard-edged sound that was established on Blink-182's Untitled record and how it transferred over to (+44). "155," my personal favorite, shows the wonderful mix of the electronic side of (+44) as well as the raw, hard-edged an sound of (+44). "Cliffdiving," regularly billed as the happiest rack on the album, shows the roots of Blink-182's pop punk sound, but infused with an alternative rock sound that is regularly present in (+44). "Weatherman" is a track that sounds it could have been developed by The Cure. The lyrics make the song the most depressing on the album and features creepy and distinguishable keyboard and guitar sounds. "No It Isn't," touted as the song about the break up of Blink-182, is about, well, the breakup of Blink-182. The personal lyrics show all the emotions Hoppus had when Blink-182 was breaking up. With words like, "I listen to you cry/ A cry for less attention/ but both my hands are tied/ And I'm pushed into the deep end/ I listen to you talk/ But talk is cheap/ And my mouth is filled with blood/ From trying not to speak," shows you the frustration Hoppus felt when Delonge was making all the ridiculous statements that were even sometimes directed towards Hoppus and Barker, which definitely had an impact on the song. The song turns from somber into a raw, pissed off sound of as Hoppus vents to the end of the song. The last track, "Chapter XIII," is the album's most epic song, filled with the crunchy sound of guitars, yet beautiful clean sounds throughout the verses. The drumming on the song may be when one of the best on the record, as Barker makes the most simple drumming patterns into a work of art.

Lyrically, Hoppus is as personal as ever and makes up from the position left vacant by Tom Delonge. Words like, "The past is only the future with the lights on," couldn't be written on a record that wasn't like this. Hoppus shows himself as a vulnerable human being through each and every song, but at the end of the album, it shows how he's grown stronger than ever. Vocally, as well, Hoppus sounds better than any other album he's produced. Establishing a cool, heavy voice with a high, breathy voice works out well in his favor. Barker, like every record, keeps outdoing himself when he is behind his drum kit. Gallagher and Fairbaugh bring to the table great guitar work that is consistent through out the album. Hoppus and Barker, with the help of Jerry Finn, produce the record and put the electronic sounds to good use.

(+44) make a very solid debut album that is nothing special, except for the very personal lyrics evident throughout many songs, but it's an album that vents all the frustration held within. No clever disguises, just an in-depth look of how to find yourself after everything around you has broken down.
Displaying posts 1 - 7 of 7
07:22 PM on 08/02/09
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gr33ndayfr3ak's Avatar
Too tired to read this right now, but this album is one of my favorites..I definitely agree with the line in the last paragraph about the lyrical content..this came out at a perfect time for me, when I needed something like this..therefore this did a lot more for me than anything blink ever did..
sorry haha I'll actually read the review later..though I'm sure it's fantastic :D
09:43 AM on 08/08/09
I'll buy you a raincoat
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Yellowcard2006's Avatar
I love every part of this album. One of my favorites actually. Every song has something unique about it. "Chap. 13" is pure awesome. Overall it's not a bad review. You may want to try to diversify your description phrases. You used "show" 9 times.
10:50 AM on 08/08/09
Tambourine Jamboree
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jtresk26's Avatar
I love every part of this album. One of my favorites actually. Every song has something unique about it. "Chap. 13" is pure awesome. Overall it's not a bad review. You may want to try to diversify your description phrases. You used "show" 9 times.
Haha I thought I used it a lot of times. Oh well.
11:55 AM on 08/19/10
Registered User
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No Avatar Selected
Like the review says, I love how the album lays all the feelings right out on the table. The Tom Delonge break up and relationship strains are out in the open. I like this album because the lyrics aren't camoflaged.
06:12 PM on 04/07/11
Bob Calwell
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I like the review, but unfortunately, I couldn't really get into this album.
12:25 PM on 02/09/13
Registered User
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Bananahamic22's Avatar
i wish they would have made one more album
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