Words By: Alexia Kapralos
Release Date: April 3, 2015, via Hopeless Records
It’s been a decade since their first release; now All Time Low has just released their sixth studio album, via Hopeless Records – Future Hearts. If you’re a fan of pop-rock or pop-punk, this is definitely the album for you. But if you’re hoping for it to be more on the punk rock side, that’s not the case; it’s a little less punk and a little more pop in comparison to their earlier works, which contained much more of the punk influence. This 13-song album also features two pop-punk heavyweight vocalists/icons of the early 2000’s: Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden and Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus.
Future Hearts starts off with “Satellite.” This is a nice song to start with because it’s easy-going with a sound that’s not intimidating to the ear. It’s catchier and more contagious than a child with pink eye, and it’s all because of the harmonious “na-na-na’s” and easily memorable lyrics such as: “Wishing on a star that’s just a satellite/Driving in a car with broken tail-lights /Growing up with eyes glued shut.” It’s instrumentally simplistic; not much guitar, with mainly the sounds of drums and ambient background synth. This song flows smoothly into “Kicking & Screaming.”
“Something’s Gotta Give” is definitely a notable tune on Future Hearts. The song lyrics seem to be about a person who wants some sort of change in their life, but it’s quite vague. This is a useful took for giving the listeners an opportunity to place themselves into the song, making it more relatable – and people like music that they could relate to. It’s one of the more pop-ier sounding songs off the album so because of that, the random f-bombs sound out of place. This isn’t middle school where you’re awkward, pimply, and prepubescent with the need to prove your status as a tough jock or cool popular kid; All Time Low has nothing to prove so why bother?
Anyway, “Kids In The Dark” isn’t a track that stands out in particular, but it’s reminiscent of what this generation’s version of “Kids In America” could be. It comes off as a song meant to inspire a younger generation into creating change or to shake up the world a bit, even when people doubt you. It’s also heavily influenced by a pop sound rather than an edgier sound that listeners might find on an older All Time Low album.
A highlight off the album is definitely “Missing You.” This song’s lyrics make it lovable; it has a positive message that pulls on the listeners’ heartstrings. This is evident with lyrics such as “And if you need a friend/I’ll help you stich up your wounds” or “Now don’t lose your fight kid.” The warm strums of an acoustic guitar could also be heard in the background, adding to the endearing vibe of the song. It’s almost comparable to a campfire sound, but much more refined.
Moreover, “Tidal Waves” is the first song on the album to feature a musical collaboration: Mark Hoppus, the bassist and one of the vocalists of Blink-182. Hoppus’ part comes during the middle portion of the song and this brings and air of Blink-182’s style to the song (minus the filthy hilarity). The song is quite dull, however Hoppus’ part gives it a facelift and an air of familiarity with his distinctive voice (most pop-punk fans have probably listened to at least one Blink-182 song in their lifetime). But he isn’t the only guest vocalist on Future Hearts.
Joel Madden, the vocalist Good Charlotte (a.k.a. that band you used to rock out to in middle school but probably still do in secret) sings in “Bail Me Out.” He actually had a hand in writing this song along with fellow Good Charlotte member and twin brother, Benji Madden. This song is solid, yet it’s clear All Time Low played it safe, without risk. There’s nothing unique about this song aside from the guest vocals of Madden.
The album concludes with “Old Scars/Future Hearts.” This track is fast-paced and catchy, leaving the listener with a figurative good taste in their mouth after they’re done listening to the album. The song title is also part of the album title, which ties into the conclusion as a means of saying “the end.” This song captures more the punk/rock sound in the pop-punk/pop-rock genres, leaving the listener to remember that this is All Time Low after all, and not just any generic pop act.
All in all, Future Hearts is not a bad album by any means. It’s a departure from the band’s previous works and definitely lighter sounding. However, there isn’t any risk factor or anything daring in the music. If comfort is your thing as an existing All Time Low fan, then you will surely enjoy this album. Either way, it’s worth giving it a shot on your music playlists.
- Kicking & Screaming
- Something’s Gotta Give
- Kids In The Dark
- Missing You
- Cinderblock Garden
- Tidal Waves (Featuring Mark Hoppus of Blink 182)
- Don’t You Go
- Bail Me Out (Featuring Joel Madden of Good Charlotte)
- Dancing With A Wolf
- The Edge Of Tonight
- Old Scars/Future Hearts