After celebrating 10 years of Nothing Personal in 2019, fans were ready for new music from the artist, so, let’s dive in, and see if all the hype was worth it. From the jump of the record, it is heard that All Time Low is edging back to their previous sound. This is surprising to hear, for their last several releases have taken listeners to a more modern version of their beloved sound. When diving into this record, it seems that the band is providing content that rides the middle lane between both sounds. This mixture of sound allows for the band to span a bigger spectrum in terms of musical genres utilized in the release. Throughout the record, the band utilizes instrumental techniques that are native to the pop punk and alternative pop music scene: accented, simple instrumental riffs, simple but interesting grooves, and catchy lyrical hooks. Having that as a baseline, the band then includes more modern moments that turn the band towards a more contemporary flair. The shining moments of this are the tunes that feature blackbear and The Band CAMINO. Including these artists as well as infusing various musical genres throughout the record allows for musical exploration within the realm that All Time Low normally presides in. This exploration gives the old listeners the original sound that they cherish, while also appealing to the new, fresh audience that the band has acquired. Overall, I would give this album a 4 out of 5 stars. I am giving this record such a score, for the music that falls on the inside is catchy and has relatable content in it. The album isn’t the most inventive record that the band has put into motion, but it is still a phenomenal crossover of their previous and ever-changing sound.
“Some Kind of Disaster”, “Monsters (feat. blackbear)”, and “January Gloom (Seasons, Pt. 1)”
Although All Time Low provides a lot of heavy hitters with their latest release, these are the tracks that stick out amongst the pack, and these are those tracks. As one listens to this record, it is apparent that All Time Low is paying homage to their older sound while also toying with the new wave sound that drove their most recent works. Having this blended style provides the audience with moments that are nostalgic as well as innovative. This will help to keep their newest fans invested, while also reeling their older fans back to the table. In general, each work that made the make embodies this approach, but these are the selections that ring the loudest. Therefore, if you want a taste before you jump in: start here.
When looking at the artwork at first glance, it can be said that the band is keeping their original look with an innovative twist. The image screams the brand that All Time Low generally operates with through their releases; however, it has a bit of modernism tied to it, which is what keeps the band pushing forward through each release. The primary note to take away from the cover art is the color scheme, and the aura that it creates. The main color presented on the cover is yellow, which pairs with the title “Wake Up, Sunshine”, perfectly. Keeping all of this in mind, let’s dive in and see how this relates to the tunes that fall on the inside. The majority of the selections that the band places on the inside resonate with a light, airy feeling to it. This pairs well with the idea of summer and the bright tones of the season (yellow). Additional to the tone color of each piece, several tracks embody the idea of summer through their lyrics and their song titles. Relating to the previous point, these additional nods to the overall theme help to drive the lively nature that is apparent throughout this album. In general, the artwork isn’t overly strong on its own, but the two do work well together.
*”Wake Up, Sunshine” was released on April 3rd, 2020 through Fueled by Ramen.