All Time Low's 'Future Hearts' Doesn't Get Universal Seal Of Approval
The Maryland pop-punk kings All Time Low have returned with their sixth album, ‘Future Hearts’, which saw the boys back in the studio with producer John Feldmann. As of today, it is officially the number one album in the UK - proving to any skeptics that the band have in fact got what it takes to make a mainstream popular record.
And if I’m completely honest with you, I was one of those skeptics after hearing the first single off the album “Something’s Gotta Give”. It’s not that it’s a bad song, it’s a classically catchy delivery with punchy lyrics and everything you’d expect, it just wasn’t anything to write home about. “Kids In The Dark”, the empowering anthem second release, faired a bit better with a chorus that will get stuck in your head regardless of whether you want it to or not. However they were definitely made for the live scene, as both songs when down an absolute storm at the sold out Wembley show last month!
This album certainly sees a more mature side of the band lyrically; less songs about strippers and more songs personal relationships, growing up and moving on. Whilst the boys have clearly upped their game lyrically, musically the album falls a little flat. It doesn't sound like an All Time Low album. At one point I actually had to check I hadn't left my music on shuffle - all the songs sound like they belong on separate albums.
“Runaway” and “Cinderblock Garden” stick to the classic All Time Low singalong formula, but it’s the verses in “Don’t You Go” that got me confused, sounding like a pop friendly Good Charlotte track. The country-esque mid track “Missing You” kind of skews the whole album off course a bit. Lead singer Alex Gaskarth tones his vocals down a notch or two from his standard higher pitch, trying something a little new and with a surprisingly successful outcome, I have no doubt this track will become the “Remembering Sunday” of this album. At the other end of the scale, pure pop-rock “Dancing With A Wolf” is a tune and a half and definitely a firm favourite personally.
Guest vocals from Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus (“Tidal Waves”) and Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden (“Bail Me Out”) both sound like matches made in heaven on paper, but in practice… not so much. Neither work as well as they potentially could, and I feel that’s the best way to sum up the whole album.
There’s nothing wrong with any of the songs per say and I’m sure the album will be the soundtrack to many people’s summer, it just feels like there’s something missing and it’s a bit all over the place - that little All Time Low spark the long time fans are used to is lacking slightly this time around. Having said that, it is in no way the worst album we’ve received from the boys and given the success it is already showing, they must be doing something right! It’s definitely the type of album that get better the more you listen, you’ve just got to give it the chance it needs.
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Words by Liss Parkes