Future Hearts: Hopefully Not The Future of All Time Low

Future Hearts: Hopefully Not The Future of All Time Low

Sarah Obermeyer, Junior Writer

Don’t you hate when someone else takes your leftovers after an amazing meal? You wait all day hungry and looking forward to it, but when you get home it’s gone. That’s the feeling I had after listening to All Time Low’s most recent album Future Hearts. I had such high hopes for their newest release, but just felt empty after listening to it in full. However, the album as a whole should not be overlooked.

All Time Low has a complicated history. The band was formed in 2003 as a Blink-182 cover band with Zack Merrick on bass and backup vocals, Rian Dawson on drums, Jack Barakat on lead guitar and Alex Gaskarth on rhythm guitar and lead vocals. They stayed with Hopeless Records, a small independent label,  for three years until they signed with major label Interscope Records. With Interscope they created one album, Dirty Work. This album was more pop focused, and the band asked to be released from their contracts after creative differences. In 2012, they independently created the legendary album Don’t Panic! and signed back with Hopeless. They have been at that label since then.

Future Hearts was produced solely by John Feldmann, but if you ask me, All Time Low would have been better off with no producer at all. This is because Feldmann did not stick to the original sound of All Time Low and pushed them a different route instead for this album.  Feldmann is more than capable of creating amazing albums with bands. Both The Young and the Hopeless by Good Charlotte and Symphony Solider by the Cab were produced by Feldmann and in my personal opinion, they are great albums. However, Future Hearts is a total flop. The entire album includes too much synthesizer, and the electronic noise is displayed more than the band’s actual musical talents.

The entire album Future Hearts sounds like a reprise of the mediocre 4th studio album from All Time Low, Dirty Work. Future Hearts is downright overproduced and the lyrics are trying to connect with a different audience than previous records.

The album starts slow and strong with the track “Satellite,” which showcases Gaskarth’s vocal ability. After this, the entire album is a roller coaster of inconsistency. The song “Tidal Waves” was painful to listen to. It seems as if the main goal of the song was to become the theme of a preteen girl’s Tumblr blog. The appearances on the album from Mark Hoppus (Blink-182) and Joel Madden (Good Charlotte) were strategically placed and one of the only reasons I continued to listen to the less-than-fulfilling album. The song “Runaways” is like any other stereotypical love song. Alongside the cliche of the entire song, the fact that one chorus says “run away” three times is repetitive and irritating. Track 3, “Something’s Gotta Give” is trying way too hard to be a top forty hit with the loud chorus and the unoriginal verses. The constant playing of that song on Sirius One should help prove my point. Before this album, All Time Low was never considered mainstream music that soccer moms driving kids in tech-savvy mini-vans enjoyed.

Despite my strong dislike for many tracks, a few songs displayed the sound I was looking for when I purchased this album. “Missing You” may be a widespread popular song, but still conveys the message that first drew me to All Time Low: you don’t need to be understood by everyone and if you’re struggling in life, you can find help. “Kids in the Dark” is another song that contains the message of All Time Low’s older songs.  This song is still in dire need of a rawer sound, but it still showcases Dawson’s drumming talents. If you can make it to number 11 and 13 on the album, the hidden gems “Dancing with a Wolf” and “Old Scars / Future Hearts” are tracks that show the previous sounds of All Time Low. Although the song still contains electronically produced sounds, Barakat’s lead guitar shines over all the other sounds in both songs. Alongside Barakat’s guitar, Gaskarth’s vocals and lyrics are phenomenal, making the songs triumph.

Overall, this album compared to other works of All Time Low is lacking in originality. Some songs are exceptional, but it pains me to say that a majority of the songs are just average. On top of that, the album is following the high that is Don’t Panic!, which is a hard act to follow. I wouldn’t ditch the entire album, but listening to some songs causes me distress. Until their next release, I will listen to the few songs off this album I like and their older material. I’ll patiently wait and hope their next record doesn’t leave me so hungry for better content.