So somewhere inside of all of us is a pop punk kid. The genre was pretty much made for young people, by young people. It’s got some of that catchy pop that kids love to dance to, yet has that rock sound and attitude that most adolescents can relate to wanting/having. For the past couple of years the band, other than Fall Out Boy, that has ruled the pop punk scene has been All Time Low. Now, the group has just released their newest album: Future Hearts.

Now, I’ve always had a mixed relationship with All Time Low. Partially because I was expecting them to sound closer to Blink-182 and New Found Glory (who’s song “Head On Collision” inspired the band’s name) but found that they were a little more pop than punk. As the years have passed and I’ve grown a little more in my musical understanding I realize that their style fits Alex Gaskarth’s vocals more than a harsher punk sound would. Unlike their predecessors, ATL has always been softer and played at a slower tempo. Which, unfortunately isn’t always my cup of tea. The band’s last two albums (Dirty Work and Don’t Panic) especially have carried slower tempos and more pop styled songs than previously and I found myself really wanting more out of them.

All Time Low. In case you didn't know.

All Time Low. In case you didn’t know.

So, I was a little worried about the new album. That was until I heard the first single, “Something’s Gotta Give“, which had a catchy rhythm and same energy that originally got me listening to ATL. I hoped that Future Hearts would have more songs like it on the album, possibly following New Found Glory’s lead with Resurrection and bring the punk back to pop punk.

To be fair, I really was just setting myself up for disappointment. That’s not to say that this album is bad, I was just expecting more of a different sound. If I had based my expectations on ATL’s previous albums then I probably wouldn’t have been as disappointed. But then again, maybe not.

Future Hearts has some good songs on it. They even have a few that feature pop punk legends Mark Hoppus and Joel Madden (on separate tracks) which actually works really well in mixing it up. However, there is still a majority of the album that feels like…fluff. Meaning that it feels like the songs are there just to create spaces in between the songs the band really wants you to listen to. Whether that was actually the case, I don’t think I’ll ever find out.

They're pretty popular.

They’re pretty popular.

It’s not that the songs are bad per say, they just feel lacking. It almost feels like the band members came up with a cool rhythm or line and then tried to build a song around it. There’s no spark to the fluff songs unlike the singles or the collaborated songs which had more of a chemical reaction that you can just feel. In fact that’s how I’d describe the last couple albums by All Time Low, a few chemical reactions amongst a field of forgotten experiments.

Despite All Time Low’s popularity and relatively large fan base I don’t think they’ve really hit the highest point they can yet, either in notoriety or in potential. I truly think ATL can create a great album that is full of great songs all the way through but Future Hearts is still only mediocre at best. I’m sure fans will appreciate the album but if you’re like me then you might be left wishing there was a little more (which is saying something considering the album is thirteen tracks long.)

 

Future Hearts can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon.com and at your local retail stores.

 

All Time Low

Future Hearts

Hopeless Records

April 7, 2015

Overall Score
75 %

This album had a few good songs but not enough to really stand out from their previous albums.

Vocals 80%
Instrumentals 75%
Lyrics 72%

About The Author

René Rodriguez is a writer and reviewer for this lovely site. He tries to do reviews as frequently as possible but if there's something that piques his interest and he also thinks you should read it...well he'll probably review it. Mostly music and Spider-Man though.

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