All time high for All Time Low
All Time Low never quite reached the same level of stardom as Fall Out Boy or Blink-182. But on April 6, the Baltimore-based quartet released its sixth studio album, Future Hearts and proved that they are well on their way to obtaining that stardom. All Time Low definitely showcased their talents, but also expressed a more mature side to their music.
The opening track “Satellite” already puts the listener in the mood for a concert. Lights are out, the crowd is screaming with excitement. This song just builds with anticipation and electricity. I personally love when albums go in order the same way a concert would. It makes the whole experience even more enjoyable and that is exactly what happens in this album.
Next is the song “Kicking and Screaming,” which really shows off the vocal range of the lead singer, Alex Gaskarth. It also highlights an amazing guitar riff in the middle of the song provided by lead guitarist Jack Barakat. This fast-pacing track would get anyone up and moving within seconds.
The next two songs were the leading singles off the album, “Something’s Gotta Give” and “Kids in the Dark.” It definitely makes sense why these songs were chosen as the singles because they’re the only songs that resemble very closely to their album “Don’t Panic” that was released back in 2012. They’re catchy, yet predictable, but then again, that’s what works for All Time Low.
A song later is “Runaways,” and it is another classic catchy tune. This song absolutely falls in line with All Time Low’s signature empowering anthems. However, when the album falls into the next track, “Missing You,” it changes the tone of the album from pop punk to twanging guitars and a country inflection that definitely caught me by surprise when I first gave it a listen. What is even more shocking is that it ended up being one of my favorites from the album. It is so out of character for the band and is undeniably one of the most diverse songs they’ve ever recorded. I wouldn’t be surprised if this came from the band Plain White T’s, but coming from All Time Low was a pleasant surprise. It is very apparent that All Time Low has grown up in the past three years since its last album release, and you can hear it in the lyrics of this song. I certainly like the risks and direction All Time Low is heading in.
They might have never reached the same level of fame as Fall Out Boy, but their next song “Cinderblock Garden” sounds just like it would be a Fall Out Boy-style pop-anthem. Also, the beginning started off similar to Bastille’s iconic song “Pompeii.” This track is like a pop rock fairytale, just like “Somewhere in Neverland,” off of their album “Don’t Panic.”
As for the next tune, “Tidal Waves,” it features Blink-182’s bassist Mark Hoppus. This is an intense ballad that focuses on the harmonies between Hoppus and Gaskarth and surely tugs at your heartstrings. It is quite similar to “Therapy” from the album “Nothing Personal,” released in 2009; it’s just not going to be as memorable.
Another instant sing along song is “Don’t You Go.” It’s an easy song to learn and reminds me of Good Charlotte’s “The Anthem”. Coincidentally, the next song, “Bail Me Out,” features Good Charlotte’s lead vocalist Joel Madden. It sounds more pop than punk, but it is still a fun song about having your friends’ back no matter what they do. This is one of my all-time favorites on the album. It is definitely one of the catchiest songs off the album, and I love the way Gaskarth’s and Madden’s voices mesh so well together.
The next two tracks, “Dancing With a Wolf” and “The Edge of Tonight,” are again catchy songs, but compared to the rest of the album, they slip under the radar and become forgettable.
The last song of the album is “Old Scars/Future Hearts,” and this is where you can hear the theme of the whole record, the band simply saying that they are still here and they won’t be forgotten. I have to commend the band for choosing this song to end the album because it sums it up perfectly. The song is full of energy from start to finish, and it reflects the past sounds of the group, but also introduces new ones. I firmly believe that this will be the next hit off the album.
Overall, I am incredibly pleased with “Future Hearts.” It has a little bit of everything from classic All Time Low to amazing collaborations. All Time Low has definitely crafted another crowd pleaser. Watching the band grow from when they first started out in 2003, I would’ve never thought they could’ve lasted this long, but I am glad they stuck around. “Future Hearts” was exactly what All Time Low needed to prove that they have grown up and that they are here to stay. “Future Hearts” is a great album and is positively one of my favorites.