You almost certainly know who this band is by now, so consider this introductory paragraph over.
This album is All Time Low’s third full-length, and it’s pretty confusing to listen to. It’s confusing because it’s really obvious what’s going on; this is a release consciously targeted at the huge Fall Out Boy / Hellogoodbye / Avril Lavigne market of pop-punk, as opposed to the more indie pop-punk vibes of bands like Broadway Calls.
The strange thing is that this album is pretty close to being good. Some of the compositions, harmonies and compiled melodies are excellent and often highly infectious. Most of the tracks have a good upbeat vibe and are well-executed. This is not ‘bad’ pop-punk by any means, and there are a number of moments where you can’t help but say ‘damn, that’s catchy.’
But, there is a massive problem. This album is horribly over-produced. As a result, it doesn’t just sound like bubblegum pop; it almost tastes of it. It also suffers from following the the terrible trend of containing massive power-pop ballads, making tracks like “Lost in Stereo” and “Too Much” pretty much unlistenable, which wrecks the album as a listening experience. Furthermore, the lyrics are bog-standard at best and pretty forgetable, which puts a massive downer across the whole release.
The track that sums up the album best is lead single “Weightless.” It’s quite a good song and certainly catchy. But after just one or two listens you start thinking, “Damn, this would be much better if…”
And maybe thinking like that is just a matter of taste. But personally, I think it’s more than that. This band could be a very good pop-punk band on their own merits, but instead, listening to them, you get the feeling they are casually slotting into an already established groove and sound that has been done many times before.
Maybe, one day, they’ll break out of their cage and release something really worth listening to.