Sitting in my dorm room, I realized, crap, people are actually waiting for this review from me. I didn't want to write it, because I know people wanted me to tear it apart or ramble about Alex being a genius. For the record, I did neither. It was hard to write this review, but I gave it my best shot.
The CD feels like it was released at the wrong time. It's very much a summer CD, as all All Time Low CDs are, but it has a different sound than all the other CDs. All Time Low used to stand out from the pop punk pack, but with the release of "So Wrong, It's Right" in all honestly, they sound like just any other band. Don't get me wrong, not a bad band, just nothing special. That spark that made All Time Low "Hometown Heroes" seems to be missing in their first full length on Hopeless Records.
The title of the opening track is obnoxious, "This Is How We Do," and the song doesn't make up for it. It has a fraternity party feel, with a simplistic chorus "Boys, raise your glasses. Girls, shake those... (Go, go, go!)." Thankfully it only runs at roughly 2 and half minutes, and is easily forgotten.
I'm not a fan of "Let It Roll" either. It's catchy, and not nearly as annoying as "This Is How We Do" but It just doesn't have that All Time Low punch I'm looking for. It's a cute friendship anthem, but songs like this have been done a lot better. This song sticks out though because of the line "But all I can think about is sex." No matter if you're paying attention or not you'll pick out that line, I promise.
"Six Feet Under The Stars" gets some points in my book for the hardcore shout outs to downtown Baltimore (Thames Street & Broadway Street). This is the second single of the new album, and the concept is creative, but it actually sounds a bit desperate and pitiful, "I'll take you out. Though I'm hardly worth your time," not to mention the line about checking ID, since the boys of ATL are class of '06 as we're all well aware.
"Holly (Would You Turn Me On)" creeps me out. I can't be positive of the meaning, but I got out of it that someone's trying to bed a girl named Holly and the way he propositions is a mixture between kind of flattering and just sketchy... "Just another pretty face. But I want one more taste," and "When're you gonna give it up?" Next song please...
The boys are really reppin' their roots with a song about what I could presume to be Ocean City, MD. The repetition gets very old very fast though. There's not too many songs specifically about "The Beach" so it was a great idea, but... the chorus kills the song for me. "Well, they can take, take, take the kids from the summer. But they'll never, never, never take the summer from me."
Warning: From this paragraph on, you'll hear a slew of ATL praising. I'm kind of in love with tracks six through ten.
Alex has a habit of throwing girls' names in songs, and he doesn't let us down with "Dear Maria." I feel like this song is the stand out track on the CD, because it sounds most like the boys we're use to, which is probably why it was the first single. This song is catchy as hell... no, seriously. I found myself anxious to listen to it as I went through the first five tracks.
"Shameless" has so many great one liners... "Tonight I'm finding a way to make the things that you say just a little less obvious," "Like a weightless currency your words don't mean shit to me," and my favorite, "You talk like you're famous. You're shameless." Through in an awesome guitar solo, and you've got my one of my three favorite tracks on the CD.
Now THIS SONG, "Remembering Sunday" saved this CD for me. Just sit, listen to the lyrics. You out did yourself on this one, Mr. Gaskarth, you can't fake a good voice with an acoustic guitar. Then, when Juliet Simms of Automatic Love Letter kicks in at the end, you'll feel like someone just ripped out your heart in the most beautiful way possible. I could listen to this song over & over and not get sick of it, and to be honest I did...
"Vegas" does the "I have awesome friends" song much much better than "Let It Roll." It's has a lot of passion. You can hear that in his voice & it's something you'll really appreciate. There's a lot of varying tempo, backup vocals, intricate lyrics, and a great line like "my friends are a different breed."
"Stay Awake (Dreams Only Last For A Night)" epitomizes the undertones in the CD of the pressure on the part of the boys to put out a great record. "Go to sleep with the pressure of everyone watching and waiting." It seems the realist of all the songs, and when it breaks into "YOU AIN'T THE ONLY ONES WHO WANT TO LIVE IT UP!" I definitely screamed FUCK YES! The added vocals are done by the boys in The Dangerous Summer, and more friends. The song is very vulnerable, as you can hear in the lyrics, even though it's still very danceable. One of the best tracks on the album, and it's just infectious.
"Come One, Come All" has potential, with an awesome opening chorus... "Come one, come all. You're just in time to witness my first breakdown cause there's a mile gone for every minute passed when I'm stuck in this town," but then it gets into the verses, and kind of doesn't make any sense. For the most part unless you're Gabe Saporta, if your song has the word 'DJ' in it... it probably sucks just a little bit and it kills the great song streak the album was having.
I think you have to be in the right mood to listen to "Poppin' Champagne." It'll probably great live, but on the album hearing Alex saying "Why don't you say so?" over & over again is pretty annoying, I wish they didn't end the CD with this song, but I guess it makes it a lot easier to not accidently listen to it...
I couldn't figure out what to give this album for a while, but I decided to bump them up a bit simply because every single time I see All Time Low live I'm never ever disappointed and even the songs I hate I can't help but to dance, plus in all honesty, I turn into a 14 year old girl when those boys are on a stage (sue me).
This CD could have been A LOT worse, and I have been mentally preparing myself for months for exactly that. I wasn't disappointed, nor was I blown away. I feel like the boy of All Time Low could have, for lack of a better phrase done better than that, but it gets better with each play, so that's says something. They're still young & have a whole lot of potential.
3.75 out of 5 [CO]