Moving forward, growing up.
Considering this album features two former members of Blink-182 finding their feet again after a long absence, it's mostly a different kettle of fish. Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker joined by newcomers Shane Gallagher and Craig Fairbaugh, have created quite a different sound here; they're not trying to shake off their past as such, but they have taken a step forward and moved away from the playful, puerile, teenage edge of their previous band and taken on a much more serious tone with +44. It's good to see they haven't tried to be the god awful embarrassment that is Angels and Airwaves and it's also nice to see that they've grown up a bit.
The album does have some moments that hark back to their past (but without Tom's horrible whiny voice luckily): 'No, It Isn't' is a more upbeat, catchy and danceable tune that you can imagine filling dance floors on a Saturday night, and sounds a lot like Blink. Some of the album has an electro feel; 'Make You Smile' and 'Interlude' are much slower tracks and have an electro beat. And some tracks, including 'Interlude' and 'Weatherman', have grumbling bass-lines that are reminiscent of The Cure. 'Lycanthrope' the opening track is one of the best tunes on the album; it's catchy and anthemic, but shockingly it's also pretty good.
'When Your Heart Stops Beating' is a much more adult album, assured, more experimental than you might expect, and with an abstract slant to the lyrics. Unfortunately it doesn't have enough energy to keep you interested for a long period of time, and it does start to feel pretty long after 50 odd minutes. There isn't a massive amount of variation either; there are many variations of the same track for a lot of the album. At times the record feels too restrained and serious, as if they are making so much of an effort to be taken seriously that they've forgotten how to have fun and let loose. Overall though, even though there are a few gripes, it's not a bad start to +44's career, it's not groundbreaking or particularly exciting, and they haven't completely cut the apron strings yet, but there are probably enough Blink fans floating around to keep them in fast cars and mansions for a while longer and if they're lucky, the more serious approach will win them some new fans.