All Time Low
Don't Panic


3.0
good

Review

by arthurwontgivein USER (3 Reviews)
November 19th, 2012 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unalarming

We know by now All Time Low are capable of bashing out consistently catchy pop punk tunes at lightning pace. With only a year separating the sixteen songs of Dirty Work and Don't Panic, their latest saccharin soaked record, the speed at which they can release consistent material is impressive (though their last forty-odd songs have been so similar sounding they could have all been written in the same session for all I know!).

Since So Wrong it's Right, All Time Low have had heavy emphasis on the 'pop' in their music. This amount of polish may be a turn-off for some people, but from a writing and production perspective these guys are spotless. 'The Reckless and the Brave' is a testament to this. Heavily compressed, heavily harmonized, it's a very thick, full mix (which remains the same throughout the entire album) and the organized stutters, crescendos and sheer number of variations that occur, almost from bar to bar, is where All Time Low really, um, shine?

All Time Low's lyrics are a controversial subject (fortunately they don't have many, only two verses and a repeated chorus in most songs)and I sympathize with the haters as a lot of it is throwaway ("Say goodbye to the halls and the classes / say hello to a the job and the taxes / the weekends with old friends spilling into 9 to 5 routine", "looking out on a town called suburbia / everybody's just fighting to fit in"). But there is something about the immediacy of their lyrics that, coupled with the angsty power pop music, really is appealing. True, they reek of writing meetings (I'm not sure they've ever written a personal lyric between them), but that's beside the point. For music you can just jump in and out of whenever you like, these guys have nailed it. Take an example from 'If These Sheets were the States' (my favorite of the album, the catchiest of catchy hooks) - "This bed's an island made of feather down, and I'm stuck here alone / with little else but memories of you, on memory foam / visions of a brighter love, I'd kill for one more day / to pool my thoughts, and find the words to say // If these sheets were the states, and you were miles away / I'd fold them end over end, to bring you closer to me." I know using "memories of you" on "memory foam" is transparent, but it's this kind of accessibility that makes them so darn easy to listen to. Surely they should only be applauded for creating lyrics so befitting of their style?

This album features a couple of tracks with a heavier punk feel (faster tempo, more sporadic drum pattern), but these are some of the poorer songs ('So Long, and Thanks for all the Booze' being one of the exceptions). They don't function well as a more traditional punk song or as an All Time Low Song but thankfully these are few.

Overall it's a pretty predictable set of pop punk songs that never stray far from formula. It's not as good as Dirty Work or Nothing Personal (that being said, I think tonally and aesthetically the songs are pretty much interchangeable); there maybe aren't quite as many above average songs. And I don't think this will ever be your favorite album. But at least you know what you're getting with All Time Low. And sometimes, I'd prefer to know I can count on another familiar and comfy sounding dozen or so songs than wish for more and receive less (like an Android tablet owner). It's not progressive (with a couple of minor exceptions, like 'To Live and Let Go' which works well with its 6/8 waltz feel), does it have to be? I may tire of this, hell, I probably grew tired of pop punk a long time ago, but at least I'm not disappointed. All Time Low set out to make an almost mind-numbing collection of catchy rock songs, and boy did they achieve it!

If you're saddened with Green Day (remember when everybody loved them? Before everybody loved them) at least you can't say All Time Low became bad. Because they probably always were. And long may it continue.


user ratings (226)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • JamesRudhall (5)
    Arguably the best way the band could return to form after the mess that was Dirty Work, th...

    hylyxx (3.5)
    The boys from Baltimore are well and truly back in the game....

    ziyaadalawie (4)
    They just a moment so dont let them pass you by!...

    jammaking (4)
    All Time Low return to their roots with their best album yet...

  • tmagistrelli (3)
    While we got our genuine All Time Low back one can't help to think, that we had the result...

    Aaron CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
    Oh God, the hooks on this thing....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 19th 2012


19920 Comments


they're not that consistent though their last album blew so bad

Digging: Transit - Joyride

Calc
November 19th 2012


12250 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so is this band predictable with a lot of the songs sounding the same?

Digging: Milo - A Toothpaste Suburb

MiniatureHorse
November 19th 2012


908 Comments


Kind of. They're just too mediocre.

Cygnatti
November 19th 2012


21353 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

unalarmingly bad yeah

why does this keep getting reviews?

hmm reminds me....

skoopy48
November 19th 2012


1536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Worse than dirty work and nothing persanol? hmmmmmm

Sirob
November 19th 2012


2653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

band is very good live

GarlicBreath
November 26th 2012


149 Comments


Why are these tip suckers not doing life for crimes against music yet?????



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