All Time Low’s new album Future Hearts is good not great, which is disappointing after their last album Don’t Panic – possibly their strongest release to date. Future Hearts, while having its bright moments and solid songs, is all over the place. The cohesive identity they carved out for themselves in Don’t Panic is all but gone as each song on Future Hearts jumps all over the place.
The strongest tracks on the album include the first two singles released “Something’s Gotta Give” and “Kids In the Dark” as well as album track “Cinderblock Garden.” All three tracks have strong melodies and interesting lyrics that will ensure their place as concert staples on the upcoming tour. “Kids In the Dark” stands out especially as a new pop-punk anthem.
The album also features two collaboration tracks: “Tidal Waves” featuring Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 and “Bail Me Out” featuring Joel Madden of Good Charlotte. I had high hopes for “Tidal Waves” considering the high profile collab, but frankly it is one of the weakest tracks on the album. It has awkward pacing and every time Alex sings “Say I’m your filthy little, filthy little…” without finishing the thought, I have to ask myself, when did All Time Low become the band that refrains from saying the word “whore”? “Bail Me Out” on the other hand is one of the stronger tracks of Future Hearts. It is a good rock tune with a matured sound without losing that classic All Time Low flair.
At the end of the day, the songs on Future Hearts work better separately rather than together as a cohesive album. Whatever direction All Time Low found with Don’t Panic, they have lost with Future Hearts, but that doesn’t mean the album isn’t worth listening to. There are definitely gems that will quickly become fan favorites but All Time Low is very obviously in an experimental phase of their careers.