Artist: All Time Low
Album: Future Hearts
Release: April 3, 2015
By: Andi Cantrell
I’m not even going to deny the fact that a few weeks ago, a friend had posted a joke on social media that went something along the lines of “Why did the pop-punk kid cross the road? To get out of town with his friends,” and I totally laughed. Years ago, when I was in high school, pop-punk was my favorite musical genre, and All Time Low were my favorite band. I’d probably spent hundreds on them all together, concert tickets included. But then I got older, and didn’t listen to them as much, mainly because I felt that they weren’t growing as a band as fast as I was maturing. I wanted new music, new sounds, and not to be serenaded with songs like “Six Feet Under the Stars.”
And then Future Hearts came along. I figured they’d still be stuttering out the same stuff, some Nothing Personal Part Two, but I was thoroughly impressed. The kids that had released So Wrong, Its Right and Nothing Personal had matured.
The first track on Future Hearts was completely unexpected. “Satellite” is full of bass, full of drums, and full of uncertainty that leaves one questioning the first lines, “Wishing on a star that’s just a satellite / Driving in a car with broken taillights.” It’s so simple, but the even tone it’s sung in gives it such life, and that I was just left thinking, “These lines are brilliant. Why did I not write that?”
Song three, “Something’s Gotta Give”, seems like a compliment to the opener. Like “Satellite”, its got a lot of bass, and both of these songs show the more Alternative side to the band. In a more interesting approach, this song also shows how conscious the band is of their position, and their determination to change how people see them as artist. They aren’t afraid to admit, “I’m a cliche, but I’m working on it.”
And then there are moments when you can see the high schoolers who originally started the band peeking through the folds. “Cinderblock Garden” rears its ugly head by taking a fad and applying that to a girl. Of course the girl is being chased by the guy. Of course the guy promises her that they can stay wherever she’s happy (the Cinderblock Garden). Of course this song is completely pop-punk with no elements that make it stand out from all the other pop-punk songs in the world.
Overall, the album is really hit-and-miss. You’ll encounter really good songs, and then you’ll encounter the songs that aren’t terrible, but could use some more work. While All Time Low have still hung onto their pop-punk roots and have intermingled these themes within the album, they’ve also experimented with newer sounds. Although they may not have yet tapped into their true potential, I definitely believe they’re on their way.