Review Summary: This album truly feels like a band of guys nearing their 30’s and less like the teenage pop punk band they were in the past.
All Time Low recently changed labels (Fueled by Ramen) with their seventh studio album “Last Young Renegade.”
With the label change comes a huge sonic change as well. Gone are most of the guitars and in their place are nice swift synths and electronic drum beats that take this bands formally pop punk hooks in a whole new direction. This is a trend that has been happening to a lot of rock bands recently, most notably Linkin Park with “One More Light“ and Paramore with “After Laughter“. One could see why they would reach for this sound, but it does seem a little odd that all these rock bands from the early to mid-2000’s are now putting out pop material. Now is this record any good?
Surprisingly, yes. This album is one of All Time Low’s best, from the catchy hooks, to the vocal performance and the lyrical content, Last Young Renegade shines bright like a star. However, not every song is a hit; “Dirty Laundry” drags on a little too long with unimpressive synth lines, “Good Times” feels a tad bit bloated with its lyrical content about nostalgia and the generic music behind it, “Drugs and Candy” finds itself in an odd mix between alternative pop and some indie rock sound that doesn’t do it’s job well at all, and album closer “Afterglow” is a drag to listen to that holds no candle to “Old Scars/Future Hearts” off their enormous 2015 release, “Future Hearts”. However, songs like “Last Young Renegade”, with a hook that will get into your head for weeks after listening, and “Life of the Party” with it’s in depth lyrical content about partying all the time and losing yourself to it both work well.
Another highlight, “Dark Side of Your Room”, is a song that mixes their old style and their new style extremely well having a nice synth line mixed with a soaring chorus that really sounds like it could’ve been on one of their earlier albums but still fits extremely well on this one. One of the absolute highlights on the album is the song “Ground Control”, which features indie pop duo Tegan and Sara whose contributions actually put Alex Gaskarth to shame as they lead this fantastic song. In my honest opinion, this song should’ve been the closer. Now some songs aren’t bad but they aren’t great or don’t fit on the record. “Nightmares” comes to mind with its haunting opening and nice beginning, the song slowly turns into a lackluster song about having trouble with nightmares and anxiety. “Nice2KnoU” is another song that harkens back to their old sound, but in a way that makes it sound completely foreign to the record which leaves it standing out like a sore thumb.
Another thing I have to give this album is it’s asthetic because, wow is it good. All of the music videos have this nice aura to them and the album feels like it’s got a world being built throughout every song.
Overall the album is one of my favorites from the band. The lyrics for the most part are great and offer new perspectives than older songs. This album truly feels like a band of guys nearing their 30’s and less like the teenage pop punk band they were in the past.
Dark Side of Your Room
Last Young Renegade
Life of the Party
Least favorite tracks:
Drugs and Candy