All Time Low’s sixth studio album Future Hearts is shaping up to be their best release yet. Even if you’re partial to So Wrong It’s Right and the earlier days of ATL, this album is impossible not to love.
It’s been a few years since Don’t Panic, and in that time All Time Low has clearly evolved both lyrically and musically. With songs like “Missing You” “Something’s Gotta Give” “Tidal Waves” and “The Edge of Tonight” you can clearly hear the growth and strength they’ve pulled from their own music and influences of pop culture around them. “Missing You” is an upbeat ballad that tugs at the heartstrings of all fans, old and new, reminding them that no matter where you end up, All Time Low, and the music will always be there. With lines like “But if you need a friend/Then please just say the word”, you get the feeling of the family that All Time Low has worked so hard to cultivate over the past 12 years. The simple background music, and the emotional contexts in Gaskarth’s voice only add to the nostalgia while simultaneously introducing a whole new path for All Time Low musically.
Through it all, there is still a strong theme of their roots in songs like “Cinderblock Garden” “Kicking and Screaming” “Kids In The Dark” and “Don’t You Go”. The most prominent blast from the past would be “Cinderblock Garden.” With strong guitars, and a beautiful drum beat and bass line on “Cinderblock Garden”, you can’t help but feel the Put Up or Shut Up feels throughout the song. It’s an old sound done in a new way that will be stuck in your head forever, and if it’s not, it should be. “Old Scars/Future Hearts” is also a strong channel into the past. Being the title track, and closer of the album, its All Time Low’s strongest closing song to date. With the definitive statement “We’ve got scars on our future hearts/But we never look back/No we never look back”, and a pop punk vibe that can’t be beat, it’s one of the best songs on the album.
The most different and musically diverse grouping of songs on the album include “Dancing With a Wolf”, “Runaway”, “Satellite”, and “Bail Me Out.” All of these songs took a drastic turn from what we normally hear from All Time Low, but not one of them disappoints. “Dancing With a Wolf” is my favorite on the album. From the genuine rock guitar sounds, to the vocal range, and the lyrics themselves, it’s a true gritty rock song that I’ve been waiting for since the release of “Fool’s Holiday.” Specifically “No one to listen when you’re running your mouth /No one to hear you when your words seem worthless” reminds us that Gaskarth hasn’t lost his backbone, or ability to deliver chilling to the bone lyrics.
All in all, this is the best release All Time Low has put out to date. It is the most well rounded album, and it’s one that as a long-time fan of their music, I’ve been waiting to hear for years. There isn’t a single song on the album that doesn’t feel worth listening to, and it’s been since the release of So Wrong It’s Right that an All Time Low album has stuck with me so strongly. It’s definitely worth a listen, a buy, and a ticket to see any of these songs live. Pick up your copy of Future Hearts, and give a listen.
(by Shelby Chargin)