ALBUM REVIEW: All Time Low – Future Hearts
All Time Low have always been a band who have impressed me with their live sets but in the past have never been able to wow me with their recorded material. The four piece pop/punk band from Baltimore have just released their sixth studio album and it’s their most diverse release yet. “Future Hearts” sees them fusing their post punk sound from their early days with their pop influences they have adapted in recent years. Album opener “Satellite” was a lackluster affair. It drew you in with Gaskarth’s low vocals and continued to build with the addition of percussion and an amplifying mood right to the point where it felt like it was going to be this massive moment but prematurely finished at 2 minutes. I felt ripped off. That moment was going to leave me hooked for the rest of album but it left me wanting more and confused. But like any good reviewer I kept listening and hoping for the best. “Kicking And Screaming” went back to their old sound with a punchy hook that had me tapping my foot and bopping along. I continued to bop along with lead single “Somethings Gotta Give” and epic dance influenced follow up single “Kids In The Dark”. I was quite enjoying the album until the cliché songs began surfacing. “Runaways” sounds like every tragic love song released by a pop/punk band. I swear they already had a song about this exact storyline so I’m not sure why this song exists. But then I heard the very cliché and slightly tacky “Missing You” which you can’t help but cringe to when listening to it. The weirdly country tinged self-confidence song will appeal to the younger fan base that 5 Seconds Of Summer have introduced but for long term fans they’ve heard better from the band and will confidently press skip. “Now don’t lose your fight kid, it only takes a little push to pull on through. With so much left to do you’ll be missing out and we’ll be missing you”. The cliché and forgettable punk pop songs continue to roll out with “Cinderblock Garden”, “Tidal Waves” (Feat Mark Hoppus) and “The Edge Of Tonight” leaving no real impact. Saying that there are a few gems on the second half of the record including the dynamic “Dancing With A Wolf” which explodes with a strong hook and pure strength. Gaskarth’s vocals are showcased well as the grittier sound allows him to show a raw and powerful side to his vocal range. After a few snooze worthy tracks I was left very impressed and can’t wait to see how they work this into their live set. “Don’t You Go” was a throwback to their old sound and will no doubt be an instant fan favourite. Collaborating with Joel Madden from Good Charlotte I expected “Bail Me Out” to be a kick ass anthem but what was delivered was a messy pop song that sounds like it belongs on a “Madden Brothers” album. “Old Scars/Future Hearts” is the perfect album closer and has them giving fans an anthem about not looking back. “We got scars on our future hearts but we never look back, no we never look back”.
“Future Hearts” is All Time Low’s most diverse work to date as it sees them combining their punk and pop sounds together. There are a few dud tracks that you may need to skip but there are a few future favourites that make the cringing worth it and is a step in the right direction. So yes, I can finally say that All time Low have impressed me with their recorded music and while this is an album for long term fans it may even win over some new ones.