Admittedly, I’ve never been an All Time Low fan. Their overproduced music seemed teeny-bopper tailored, which was also reflected in their uncomfortably young, girl-heavy crowds. Now the value in that is huge; it attracts a crowd of “normies” to pop-punk that would likely otherwise stick to Ed Sheeran and the like. But it’s a scene probably unattractive to typical blink-182 or Green Day fan, and definitely doesn’t draw anyone from, say, the Buzzcocks generation.
All Time Low was the Smirnoff Ice of pop-punk until their recent release of Wake Up Sunshine. Each track is nuanced with the opener “Some Kind of Disaster” being an absolute standout. While its first verse leaves listeners believing they are in for nothing original, the catchy chorus provides more substance while the bridge kicks the song into high gear before a stellar finish.
“Melancholy Kaleidoscope” is the catchiest song on the album while “Drive” is nicely layered tune perfect for blasting on long, summer road trips, uplifting enough to make you forget about that face mask you’ll have to wear upon arrival. “Getaway Green” and ‘Wake Up, Sunshine” have a cozy 90s pop-punk feel to them. “January Gloom’s (Seasons, Pt. 1)” is maybe the best written song on the album, which includes a pair of nice collaborations.
There really isn’t a skippable song on Wake Up Sunshine. Even the atmospheric interlude is worth the repeat button. While the album drops in quality a smidge as it approaches its end, “Basement Noise” is a feel-good closer nodding to the band’s humble, Maryland roots.
Lyrically the album excels; there aren’t any cringeworthy tunes to speak of. The production is excellent and each track is distinctively different from the other. Wake Up Sunshine is All Time Low’s most completely album. It exemplifies how pop-punk bands should develop. It also dropped during the onset of the coronavirus shutdown, providing a much-needed uplift for the fanbase.
There’s nothing to complain about here. Wake Up Sunshine isn’t going to change the world, but it’s an excellent album and should attract new fans to All Time Low.