Photo from alterthepress.com
By Lauren Fetter
I’ve been a fan of All Time Low since I was 15 years-old, seeing them countless times, even meeting lead singer Alex Gaskarth and eccentric guitarist Jack Barakat, too. Their music has grown and changed so many times over the years — they’ve truly gotten better with age. But with their latest album release of “Future Hearts,” I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it.
Sure, I could say that I’m happy with anything they released — who doesn’t love hearing new music from one of their favorite bands? But alas, I’m still in the undecided phase. Holistically, the band has grown from their original self-deprecating, emo lyrics circa 2007’s “Dear Maria, Count Me In” which put them on the music radar. Songs like “I Feel Like Dancin‘” and “Somewhere in Neverland” put All Time Low in a different genre, as pop influenced tracks you would normally hear on the radio, fuel the band’s new direction.
“Future Hearts” is a collection of both styles, surprisingly. But how exactly do the two mesh?
The album’s lead single, “Something’s Gotta Give,” released in January, prepped fans for a return to the original All Time Low sound. Since they hadn’t released an album in almost three years, this was a treat. The subsequent singles off of the album, “Kids in the Dark” and “Runaways,” can be seen as an ode to yesteryear, as they’re anthems that hundreds will belt out on the group’s upcoming 2015 U.S. tour.
Listening past those songs on the album, you may get confused by the placement of songs like “Bail Me Out,” which features Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden, and “Tidal Waves,” featuring Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus. Though I like both songs individually, I don’t understand why they’re included on the album. Both have a different sound to them, and both don’t flow with the albums’ general musical direction.
I get it — if a band doesn’t reinvent themselves as time goes on, they’re going to be irrelevant in due time. All Time Low’s been pretty good at keeping up-to-date with the times, but they’re known for consistency, and that’s what the issue is with “Future Hearts.”
Overall, the band has matured over the years and can now be taken seriously, albeit unexpected to some. The point of “Future Hearts” was to solidify the fact that the band is in their own niche now, Gaskarth said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“We’ve been a band for a long time, but with the last couple of records we became a much more realized version of ourselves. We know exactly how to do All Time Low now,” Gaskarth said. “I certainly feel like with this record, it was right place right time and we were in the right mindset to make this record — it feels very us.”
So maybe if All Time Low knows what they’re doing — and they’re doing it well — we should just wait and see what they have in store for the future. Until then, I’ll keep “Something’s Gotta Give” on repeat.