All Time Low will always have a place in my heart, and I think they’ll always be one of my favourite bands. I didn’t have the biggest expectations for their new album, Future Hearts, however after listening to it, was pleasantly surprised. This album is probably the biggest album the band has released to date. It’s incredibly arena friendly with insanely catchy choruses. It’s a step in the right direction for the band, although there still will be elitists that are forever stuck in the mid to late 2000′s thinking that All Time Low are sellouts and, “don’t you DARE call them pop-punk because they’re NOT,” internet snobs who are self proclaimed critics. This album showcases their roots, but goes beyond to explore new aspects that they haven’t necessarily done yet, even if other bands have. This band will never reinvent the pop-punk wheel, but they can definitely spin it in new directions.
“Satellites” starts the album off, and it’s an arena friendly anthem which seems to follow the similar trend nowadays of being incredibly drum heavy. It’s a song that you could picture the band whipping out some extra base drums to play along with, Imagine Dragons style, or any of the other seemingly hundreds of bands who follow in that fashion nowadays.
“Kicking and Screaming” sounds like the All Time Low of old- the one that most fans have a significant attachment to, however showcases the growth and talent of lead singer Alex Gaskarth’s voice. This track sounds incredibly nostalgic, as if it’s a reject off the band’s debut album, So Wrong, It’s Right. Next on the album is the lead single “Something’s Gotta Give,” which has grown on me significantly. For me, this single is what all of the singles on the band’s previous album, Don’t Panic, lacked. Perhaps its the echoey “woahs” in the chorus that remind me of how All Time Low is one of my favourite pop punk bands. This album has restored my faith in still lumping them in with that genre.
“Kids In The Dark” follows, and it’s probably my favourite off the album, or that they’ve ever released. To me, this is the song that defines the album. This is the song that I wish they would’ve put out two years ago. This song is sure to be a setlist regular, though, as it’s probably going to be the next “Weightless” for the band. “Runaways” is a more pop/rock influenced song, with a chorus that does sound painfully familiar. To me, this song picks up where “Somewhere in Neverland” leaves off. It’s got a really similar sound to Don’t Panic.
For fans who have been longing for a song that will touch them as emotionally as “Therapy,” the next track, “Missing You” will surely do that. Gaskarth stated that this album was for people who feel lost, or don’t know what they’re doing. This is really the song for people who feel that way. It has a catchy melody and really cute acoustics that sound like a song your high school boyfriend could cover- only, All Time Low definitely do it better, because of the emotional attachment their fans mutually share with the band.
“Cinderblock Garden” has got catchy guitar riffs that grabbed my attention immediately. It’s another song on the album that utilizes “woah-ohs,” as if to remind the listener, incase they have forgotten, that All Time Low are still a pop-punk band. They use those harmonies well though, and it doesn’t feel forced or thrown in whatsoever.
“Tidal Waves” is the perfect song for a collab with none other that blink-182′s Mark Hoppus. The song highlights both Gaskarth and Hoppus’ vocals. Instrumentally, it could easily be a mellow blink-182 song, and lyrically you can pick out that it sounds like All Time Low. Combine the two, and you get one of All Time Low’s best collaborations ever. “Don’t You Go” sounds like early 2000s pop punk, and has a Good Charlotte vibe to it. There’s something about it though, that it sounds familiar but also new at the same time.
“Bail Me Out” is quite pop friendly, despite featuring Joel Madden from Good Charlotte. Personally, I think that his vocals would have really added something to “Don’t You Go” opposed to this song. “Dancing With A Wolf” is a guitar and percussion heavy song, and while it’s not my favourite off the album, I think it’s leaps and bounds ahead of what I’d ever expect the band to put out. It’s almost like “Heroes” in how it really solidifies the album. “The Edge of Tonight” slows the pace of the album down, with the same arena sing or air drum along to song.
“Old Scars/Future Hearts” ends the album in a way that I didn’t expect. I thought it would follow in a similar fashion to “Satellites”- be a bit slow and distant. This track conceptually ties together the album. It’s fast paced and perfectly closes the album, with the last line being “we never look back.”
This album is consistently good. All the tracks have huge choruses, and there’s not really a song that I want to skip. Future Hearts shows significant instrumental and vocal growth for All Time Low. Stylistically? It’s creative, however I know a lot of people will disagree and complain about how unoriginal it sounds. There’s just something about All Time Low that always make me want to keep listening. This is a solid album, and probably their best and most consistent release since 2008. One thing is for sure, All Time Low are making music that will give them a bright future, and they’re not looking back.
Go download: “Kids In The Dark”, “Missing You”, “Tidal Waves”