Review Summary: All Time Low return to their roots with their best album yet
When I heard All Time Low were returning to Hopeless Records I had mixed feelings, as I'm more a fan of their most recent albums than their earliest, but as soon as I heard the anthemic opener "Long Live the Reckless and the Brave" it was clear that All Time Low were returning to their home. Alex Gaskarth himself says "Looking back at a life on the other side/I realize that I didn't fit in/Didn't hate it but I didn't quite relate it", and it's obvious to all that at Hopeless All Time Low are allowed the freedom to be themselves.
Unlike in previous effort "Dirty Work", from the start you can tell the band is enjoying every second of it, and you can't help but enjoy it with them. Lyrically, it is far more complex and original than anything previously written by the band, and throughout the album Alex Gaskarth proves himself to be a more than capable lyricist, especially on stand-out tracks "The Irony of Choking on a Lifesaver" and "Paint You Wings".
When I first saw the tracklist and saw that 3 tracks would have featuring artists I was fairly aprehensive, but now after the release I can see that all 3 of the featured artists add something to each song, notably Cassadee Pope on "Backseat Serenade" who adds tones to Gaskarth's voice that simply didn't exist before. The only other outside influence on this album is on the track "Outlines", which was co-written by Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy. Stump's songwriting experience most certainly pays off on what is undoubtably one of the strongest tracks on the album.
The entire album is laden with catchy pop-hooks, notably on "Somewhere in Neverland" which has one of the best choruses on the album. Musically, All Time Low are strong as ever. The drums are impressive throughout, especially on punky track "So Long Soldier" and Jack Barakat creates catchy as ever riffs throughout the album, although the bass does tend to hide in the background a bit, as it generally does in the genre.
When Alex Gaskarth spoke about this album, he said they'd taken the finest aspects of each of their previous releases and mashed them all together, and although this is something often said by artists in the lead up to an album, All Time Low back it up with their finest album to date.