For Fans Of
All Time Low could release an album that was literally just silence and their fans would buy it. It’s not a false claim and it’s not a dig; it’s just true. We’re happy to inform you that ‘Future Hearts’ is worth attaining, not because you’re dedicated, but because it’s an impressive goddamn album.
The cover is off putting, and so is the title. A heart? How innovative. But it’s not as bad as it looks. In fact, it’s not bad at all. ‘Satellites’ kicks the LP off with an odd edge to its vocals that sounds like a consequence of production, but it’s endearing. Its drums facilitate a clap along, and even though its na na’s are probably unnecessary, you can hear how they’d work if a stadium of adoring fans were repeating them back to the band. ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ is likewise unsurprising, but its pessimistic pop rock queues for stomps and claps will make it a live stunner.
‘Kicking & Screaming’ isn’t lyrically thrilling (also see ‘Cinderblock Garden’) and its song structure is, to be concise, typical. But its chorus redeems it, topped off with a cute reference to the closer of All Time Low’s last LP ‘So Long, and Thanks For All The Booze’. ‘Kids in the Dark’ also drops an allusion that well versed hustlers will pick up on; “state of the art” appeared on ‘Art of the State’, an unofficially released track from way back when.
Speaking of ‘Kids in the Dark’, it’s a true indication of how well All Time Low write their choruses. It’s the sort of poppy track your metalhead boyfriend will abhor, but it won’t leave your head for days. Aside from that, its lyrics are representative (never mind the fact that these songwriters are fully grown adults) of the band’s fanbase. On the note of inclusion, ‘Missing You’ is by far the best song on the record, and one of the most well-written songs of All Time Low’s career. It embeds what the band try to do for their fans: empower them. This sparkling acoustic is listener-focused, epiphany-inducing and about to cement its place alongside the five top songs crowds are begging these boys to play.
‘Runaways’ is a ‘Born to Run’-esque bundle of cheesy and adorable, and we’d like to say it’s overdone but frankly, its starry-eyed lyrics are way more optimistic than dull radio tunes about drunk texting. ‘The Edge of Tonight’ will disappoint you, however, if autotuned radio songs are what you’re trying to avoid. It’s overproduced, but not unenjoyable; just unoriginal. ‘Don’t You Go’ has Good Charlotte vibes, but even though it’s immature in its proposal of however-many-night stands, it’s fun. Funnily enough, ‘Bail Me Out’ features Joel Madden, but we recommend skipping that one unless you’re enthusiastic about redundant guest vocalists.
Mark Hoppus’s guest vocals, on the other hand, are anything but worth ignoring. Featuring the Blink-182 legend sees All Time Low literally showing their influences, but it feels sincere and like an accomplishment.
If you’re disillusioned by the record, ‘Dancing With A Wolf’ and ‘Old Scars/Future Hearts’ are guaranteed to pick you up. The former is biting, divergent and risky – it’ll make you wish the whole album was written like it. ‘Old Scars/Future Hearts’ has the same function; it’s aggressive, steadfast and to wrap up, phenomenal. Its lyrics include the slightly desperate plea of “don’t blame me/don’t hate me”, and despite All Time Low’s sometimes-monotonous tendencies, we could never.
This record is a grower – you’ll hate it during your first listen, tap your foot during your second and pretend that you don’t love it by the third. It’s not a masterpiece, nor a disappointment, it’s just another catchy record that you’ll call a guilty pleasure and won’t stop listening to. Same here.
2. Kicking & Screaming
3. Something’s Gotta Give
4. Kids in the Dark
6. Missing You
7. Cinderblock Garden
8. Tidal Waves (feat. Mark Hoppus)
9. Don’t You Go
10. Bail Me Out (feat. Joel Madden)
11. Dancing with a Wolf
12. The Edge of Tonight
13. Old Scars/Future Hearts