“Future Hearts” by All Time Low: Album Review

Towards the beginning of this week this album was released after a very excited wait for it. I listened to it almost immediately, but haven’t had time to revisit it until today since my first listen through was rather peppered with an inability to stay focused. So this is a rather strange listen through that is both the first and second time I’ve listened to the tracks in question.

“Satellite” is the opening track on the album and starts us off with a dissonant radio sound that is quickly drowned out by a strong guitar and big vocals. The song seems to run on a subtle and sparse beat that slowly picks up as the song continues. It’s a rather slow song at first, but it does do the job of drawing the attention to the album. It does pick up a considerable amount towards the end of the song, but that only makes the cut off all the more sudden. “Kicking & Screaming” is the second song on the album, and it starts off a lot more harshly than the first song on the album. It’s fast and hard at first, but drops into a more melodic style as the vocals start in. There’s a lot of energy and after the initial shock of the song passes the song easily pulls you along with a quick pace and a steady amount of high energy. I like it a fair bit more than I do Satellite, and it seems to do a lot more in it’s time span than the first track does. I previously reviewed “Something’s Gotta Give” so I won’t be covering it with this listen through. While “Kids In The Dark” has been previously reviewed by Anna, I wanted to give my own thoughts on the matter since it’s still part of the album and using someone else’s review instead of my own feels like a cop out. This fourth song starts off with a higher guitar melody and easily flows into the vocals that compliment the opening notes perfectly. The song has a very deep emotion to it, but it’s the sort that can apply to just about anyone no matter what the basis of their struggles is. The song blends a wild mix of sounds and instruments with sparser areas carried solely by the vocals quite well and it’s certainly going to be one of the most popular songs off the album. “Runaways” opens with a quiet guitar that is quickly built up into a moderately paced melody that carries the song easily into the bigger sound of the chorus. This particular song is one of the few that really speak to me on the album, for reasons that people can probably guess at by this point.  The energy of the song never lessens even through some of the more interesting musical transitions, and the song is a beautiful mix of big sounds that somehow still have an element of silence in them. It slowly fades away in the end, standing out from some of the other songs with  more sudden cut offs.

“Missing You” begins with a quiet but quick melody. The vocals match the initial melody perfectly, and it makes the lyrics stand out a considerable amount. The song is very calming to listen to for me, and it helps me feel a little more centered. It builds as it continues to play, helping a small amount of energy to grow as it continues. It’s a nice song that really helps the listener step back and take a breath in my open. By the end of the track, the quiet and quick melody disappears entirely, and the song has grown to be something else entirely in the most beautiful way. “Cinderblock Garden” is the seventh song on the album and puts us over the halfway point. It begins with a quiet build before vocals overpower the quiet humming build in the background, cutting suddenly to strong vocals complimented by guitars as the song continues to pick up steam. The song has a decent amount of energy, but not because it’s noticeably quick paced or anything like that. The mix of sounds that litter the song give it the energy that keeps the attention on the song. “Tidal Waves”, featuring Mark Hoppus, starts off with a quick, electric build before immediately introducing the vocals of the song. Everything seems to build as song continues, but easily changes into a smooth, flowing sound that holds the attention. The smooth transitions continue, switching between the opening sound, a smoother flow, and a period of openness and big vocals.The song uses this pattern well, and it’s an incredibly beautiful song to listen to. The song continues to grow in a variety of ways, blending together the three unique periods of sound introduced by the initial entrance of the song. It’s easily one of my top songs off the album. “Don’t You Go” opens with stark vocals, and a quick pace that drags the listener along with the song, before exploding into a mix of big and loud vocals and a myriad of instruments playing on an equal level with the vocals. the instruments and vocals match each other perfectly, and there are points where it’s hard to distinguish the two. And yet, there’s not a period in the song that’s truly impossible to hear. The song uses a variety of different sounds to great affect, blending in a quick period of open vocals before exploding into a mixture of instruments and vocals. It’s an excellently balanced song.

“Bail Me Out”, featuring Joel Madden, starts with dissonant vocals that slowly pull in a more minimalist sounding backing of instruments that easily build up under the guidance of the vocals. It’s clearly a vocally driven track, but the instruments match the vocals styles with ease, and only grow from their simple beginnings as the song continues to play. It’s a nice song to listen to and really holds its own, but it doesn’t hold my attention beyond that. “Dancing With A Wolf” opens with a quick and almost theatrical builds that drops into deeper, quick paced vocals and instruments with an electrical vibe sprinkled over top. The song stands out from the previous track with ease, and really stands out from the rest of the album. The track moves along at a steady pace, driven by a rhythm that is strong enough to pull not only the song but the listener as well. “The Edge Of Tonight” begins with a bit more of a melody than the previous track, and the vocals return to a more middle ground note. the song easily flows, and seems to have a dissonant quality to some of it as well as a bigger sound compared to some of the other songs on the album. It’s easy to just close your eyes and flow along with the song. It’s another song that keeps the attention while simultaneous giving the listener a bit of breathing room while they’re surrounded by the song as it transforms and grows. “Old Scars/Future Hearts” is the final song on the album, and starts off with a quick build into a quick paced song with a slightly gritty sound. It pulls the listener along, and maintains it’s high energy and quick pace through out its length. It’s a great song to leave the album on both because of the lyrics and the way it stays resonating in your ears after it finally ends.

All in all, the album had to grow on me a little bit and remains far from being my favorite All Time Low album, but it’s certainly a great display of the band’s talent and a great album overall. I’ve got a few new favorite songs thanks to this album, and the album is completely worth the time it takes to listen to it. Over all, it’s a job well done and I’ll probably listen to it again sometime soon.

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