For Fans Of
Should it really come as a surprise that All Time Low would turn more pop with their first release on major label Interscope Records? It probably shouldn’t, but ‘Dirty Work,’ the group’s fourth record, is more pop than fans of the band could probably even handle.
For some reason the guitars have taken a real back seat throughout all of the songs which seem to all be trying their hardest to attract radio attention. The music is heavily produced and front man Alex Gaskarth clearly missed the memo explaining that auto-tune is no longer "cool" as his vocals reek of it.
Things don’t start out too badly with album opener Do You Want Me (Dead?), which is a catchy, melody heavy pop-punk track that is actually driven by the guitars, the only time on the whole record that they really shine. First single, I Feel Like Dancin’, was co-written by Weezer’s Rivers Como and ironically pokes fun at the radio pop wonders that this record seems to be trying so desperately to be apart of.
One of the best lyrical moments of the record is Guts, a synth-pop number that features a guest appearance from Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds and talks about youth being unique and not following the masses, irony once again considering the style of the song.
The lowest section of the record is Time-Bomb, a weak attempt at a dance number before things settle down for the piano driven Under A Paper Moon. The string arrangements and acoustic guitars in Daydream Away are a nice shift from the electronic sheen of the other tracks proving that pop music doesn’t always have to be drenched in synthesisers and auto-tune. The record ends with Heroes, the only song that is close to sounding like the band’s earlier works and the most rock sounding moment of the album.
The band has made the move that everyone probably expected them to but I struggle to use the word "punk" in reference to anything found on ‘Dirty Work.’ All Time Low are a pop band that are capable of writing up-beat songs that are catchy and fun but ultimately lack any real depth or soul.
1. Do You Want Me (Dead?)
2. I Feel Like Dancin’
3. Forget About It
5. Time Bomb
6. Just the Way I’m Not
7. Under a Paper Moon
8. Return the Favor
9. No Idea
10. A Daydream Away
11. That Girl