All Time Low: Future Hearts Album Review
On April 7, All Time Low released their latest album, Future Hearts. This marked the band’s sixth studio-album release.
All Time Low is a pop punk group from Baltimore, Md., being in the music game for 12 years. They started from small beginnings and have worked their way to the top of the alternative genre. Their first highly-recognized single from their album So Wrong, It’s Right, “Dear Maria, Count Me In,” recently went platinum, a big deal for this band from humble beginnings.
Their new album, Future Hearts, is really for anyone. It definitely leans more toward pop music than their last album, Don’t Panic. However, when Don’t Panic released, the band felt they had to prove they were still the same sound they have always been, after the release of their album Dirty Work caused some talk over how it seemed the band had changed with their album and new found status on Interscope Records. Previously, the band had been signed to Hopeless Records and made that transition because they thought it would be helpful career-wise. Unfortunately, due to issues with the label, the band did not get that and after one album, went back to Hopeless Records to release their next album Don’t Panic. Dirty Work had more of a pop-feel, Don’t Panic mainly had more alternative/pop punk music.
Their new album has a fair mix of both. Compared to their last album, I find every song on this album is a favorite in some way. The album opens with the song “Satellite,” which is relatively short but definitely makes it a good intro song. Following that is “Kicking & Screaming,” probably my least favorite from the album, but it is one of the songs that stick with the band’s roots by having a very rock and punk sound.
Following these two songs are the band’s released singles from the album, “Something’s Gotta Give” and “Kids in the Dark.” These also define the band and their sound, from the lyrics in “Kids in the Dark” for listeners feeling alone, to the guitar riffs in “Something’s Gotta Give” making you want to rock out. The music videos for both singles are awesome. In fact, if you are a fan of The Walking Dead, I would highly suggest you check out the music video for “Something’s Gotta Give.” You may like it.
Many of the songs on this album have a similar sound to other songs, as the band has admitted to being influenced by other artists’, but hasn’t specifically said which songs are influenced. Personally, the beginning of “Kids in the Dark” reminds me a lot of the beginning to Lifehouse’s song “Halfway Gone,” and the band’s bonus track on one of the exclusive store album buys, “How The Story Ends” sounds similar to beginning of “The Anthem” by Good Charlotte. Ironically, there is a song with Joel Madden on the album, “Bail Me Out,” that has a lot of Good Charlotte vibes other than the obvious factor. So it’s probably fair to say that that band was an influence for All Time Low on this album.
“Missing You” is definitely a different sound for the band, sounding what only can be described as very Hawaiian-like music, having a calming vibe and sounding like they used the ukulele (disclaimer, I’m pretty sure they did not use one). And it is definitely an anthem of sorts for the album, along with the title track “Old Scars/Future Hearts;” fellow fans highly praised “Missing You” as their favorite as soon as they heard it.
Now onto my favorites. My absolute favorite would have to be the song “Cinderblock Garden,” which I dub as ‘the sweet song,’ and while you probably have no idea what I mean by that at the moment, you will as soon as you hear it. It can only be described as something you would picture played in the credits of a rom-com, and I just adore it. While this, again, goes past the band’s traditional sound, I think it works, and unless you’re strictly a fan of alternative music, you will enjoy. As a lover of all things music, I think this is why I love each song; they don’t stick with just one sound, but instead, have multiple.
Another favorite is “Dancing with a Wolf,” a very spite-y song. But I specifically love how the tone of Alex Gaskarth’s voice matches the mood of the lyrics, which is what ultimately sells this song. It is an angry love song that even if you have not been in a similar situation, you can still feel for anyone who has by hearing it. They do a great job of making you relate to it even if you have not personally been through it.
Overall, this album is definitely a success in my book. While it does not stick with All Time Low’s typical sound, I think that is a good thing because it will draw in more fans. If you have yet to purchase this new album, I highly recommend it while also checking out the rest of the band’s music. They have come a long way, but have still remained humble with their success.