Album Review: ‘Future Hearts’ spells out a big future for All Time Low

Owen Meadows, Staff Writer

It’s been three years since All Time Low released their last album “Don’t Panic,” a pop-punk staple. But their new album “Future Hearts” has topped the charts and is shaping up to be one of the band’s most popular albums so far.

Mostly playing pop-punk and emo pop, genres not often found in popular circles, All Time Low have gone mostly unrecognized in the mainstream. All Time Low was formed in 2003 by Baltimore locals and high schoolers Alex Gaskarth (vocals), Jack Barakat (guitar), Rian Dawson (drums), and Zack Merrick (bass). In their twelve years together, the band has only seen one top five appearance with their 2009 album “Nothing Personal.”

“Future Hearts,” their sixth studio album, which was released on April 7, 2015, broke this record, peaking at number two in the United States

The most notable aspect of this album is its professional quality. When compared to their previous albums, “Future Hearts” is much more polished. It is quite obvious the band was more meticulous in their songwriting this time around.

The album opens with the anthemic “Satellite,” a break from their normal tone. The song is very simplistic and features a low-key, repetitive chorus new to the band’s sound. While the song is interesting and presents a new direction for the band, it is easily the weakest part of the album.

Thankfully, as the album progresses, this weakness is made up for with an obvious return to the band’s pop-punk roots. Songs like “Something’s Gotta Give” and “Runaways” return to the more upbeat, guitar-filled style found in previous albums.

Taking it even further, the band presents a new, intense, and serious tone in the closing songs “Dancing With a Wolf” and “Old Scars/Future Hearts.” This may present a new direction for the band. Perhaps they will begin to produce more of this style in their future albums.
Personal favorites off the record include “Cinderblock Garden,” an upbeat love song with a catchy chorus, and “Missing You,” a reassuring acoustic about reaching out to a friend in need.

Importantly, “Future Hearts” features two popular artists who have made headlines in this genre. First, the song “Tidal Waves” a heart-break filled ballad, features Blink-182 bassist and frontman, Mark Hoppus. Blink-182 essentially defined modern pop-punk and is often cited as one of All Time Low’s most important inspirations. The second artist to feature on the album is Joel Madden, performing vocals on the track “Bail Me Out.” Madden is well known as the frontman for the band Good Charlotte, and as one of the most prominent songwriters within the genre.

Overall, the album is a step in the right direction for All Time Low. “Future Hearts” perfectly blends new and original styles, while also paying homage to their roots with songs reminiscent of previous albums. For fans of the genre, this album is another great addition to the realm of pop-punk. For those not as familiar with the pop-punk style, “Future Hearts” makes for a good starting place. All Time Low have truly released one of their best albums so far and look to be headed on to even more success.

Our Grade: A
Artist: All Time Low
Length: 46:56
Label: Hopeless Records