Sound — 8
I feel like due to a culmination of guitar tones, drum sounds, and grinding bass tones, this album is very dark and depressing to me. Songs like "155" and "Weatherman" are two standout sonically dark and despondent songs on the record. I love the consistency in the tones of the bass and guitar, and I feel like a lot of the vocal harmonies add to the "empty" feeling this record leaves me with. As always I love Travis' versatility from behind the drum kit, he always manages to come up with inventive and complex beats that stay in my head for days. The hi-hat beat on "155" is very much a standout track, as well as the nice steady beat on "Little Death".
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are possibly the most moving part of this record for me. It seems like Mark has revealed to a large extent how the end of blink-182 has affected him personally, and to a large degree changed him as a musician and a writer. I love the personal connection in the lyrics, something I felt Angels and Airwaves lacked very strongly. I have always been a fan of Mark's lyrics and these do not change my opinion at all.
Overall Impression — 10
I personally love this album very much. I feel like it has the ability to connect with the listener on a personal level, again something I felt like Angels and Airwaves strived to do but fell short terribly. I like that there are electronic elements, in fact so much so that I wish there had been more of that. It seems "When Your Heart Stops Beating" started out as something totally different that the ability to really alienate a lot of previous Blink 182/Boxcar Racer fans but sort of organically evolved into a slightly more standard project. I love the difference between this and Mark's previous writing, and I look forward to hearing more in the future from (+44). I bought four (count 'em, four) copies of this record and every one was worth it. Great cd, looking forward to more.