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Monday, July 18, 2011

+44 -- When Your Heart Stops Beating

Blink 182's famously bitter breakup is old news not only because it happened six years ago, but also because they are now back together, soon to release a new album. In the six year gap, dueling frontmen Tom DeLounge and Mark Hoppus each fronted new projects. Tom's was the extremely over-indulgent, deadly serious, over the top U2-worship, Angels and Airwaves. Mark, however aimed far lower with +44. Many, myself included, hoped he would continue with the old Blink-sound, especially considering he brought Blink-drummer, Travis Barker, along for the ride. The title-track lead single insinuated this as well.

And this is Blink...without the speed, energy, attitude, or life. Oh, and Tom doesn't sing on every other track. Song to song bleeds together in a joylessly Delounge-free melange, well-suited to a vigorous nap. Almost every song is mid-tempo, as mercilessly low-reaching as Angels and Airwaves' were far up and out of Tom's grasp. That said, the title track is fun, and the electronically augmented "Make You Smile," a track left-over from +44's first incarnation as a more drum-machine led and female-fronted band. The closing track also oozes out some badly-needed good vibes (even though the lyrics are still downers-ville). Hopefully the re-united Blink-182 will find Tom and Mark in a happier place, again making music that is actually fun to listen to.

2006 Interscope
1. "Lycanthrope" 3:57
2. "Baby Come On" 2:46
3. "When Your Heart Stops Beating" 3:12
4. "Little Death" 4:05
5. "155" 3:29
6. "Lillian" 4:38
7. "Cliff Diving" 3:44
8. "Interlude" 1:12
9. "Weatherman" 4:33
10. "No, It Isn't" 3:32
11. "Make You Smile" 3:44
12. "Chapter 13/Non-Musical Silence" 5:07

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