Last year, “All Time Low” won the inaugural Skully Award for “Song of the Year” from the Alternative Press Music Awards Show. To follow their most recent accomplishment, the band decided to release their first album in three years. “Future Hearts” has the overall pop-punk sound “All Time Low” fans know and love, but it also makes some questionable songwriting choices.
“Future Hearts” brings more of an acoustic guitar vibe than the band’s usual electronic sound. While both sounds clearly define the album as pop-punk, the electronic sound adds a small sense of diversity to the band’s previous albums.
“Future Hearts” has a pretty good sound, but there are times where the music could be improved. The album’s lead single, “Something’s Gotta Give,” is the poster child of this issue. Musically, the chorus feels like a hollow anthem, mainly because the guitars don’t sound strong enough in comparison. This song could have been performed better as an acoustic version. Musical decisions like this do not plague “Future Hearts,” but they show up enough throughout the songs to bring the album’s quality down.
Fortunately, the album has many songs when the guitars are strong and are as passionately played as the lyrics. “Runaway” will be one of those super catchy songs that will be stuck in your head for days, while “Old Scars/Future Hearts” is the grand finale the album deserves.
Overall, “Future Hearts” is filled with lyrics directed toward a younger audience, with strong guitar sounds for pop-punk lovers. Songs including “The Kids in the Dark” and “Cinder Block Garden” created a harmonious match between the music and lyrics and are awesome additions to the album.
Now that “All Time Low” has released its sixth album, they need to focus on pop-punk’s fear, Peter Pan Syndrome, a term used to describe the issue of lyrically maturing as the band ages. So far, “All Time Low” does a decent job of dealing with this musical syndrome. Hopefully, the band’s lyrics will mature even more as time goes on.
Mark Hoppus and Joel Madden, the lead singers for Blink-182 and Good Charlotte respectively, both make guest appearances on the album. Hoppus is featured in “Tidal Waves,” a softer song that brings back nice memories of “My Only One,” a bonus song on “All Time Low’s” 2011 album, “Dirty Work.” Madden lends his voice to “Bail Me Out,” a song that seems to be the most cheerful confession song ever written.
Even though “All Time Low” is starting to age as a band, “Future Hearts” doesn’t show it. 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the band’s full-length debut, “The Party Scene.” Lyrics aside, it’s easy to mistake the band as the next big thing.
Is “Future Hearts” a perfect album? No. Does it have flaws? Yes. Do those answers keep it from being an above average album? No way. “Future Hearts” is another great addition to “All Time Low’s” decade of albums.