By All Time Low
Just in time for a slice of summer pop punk action, All Time Low release their second album 'Nothing Personal.' Hyped up on certain blogs and by fans who loved 'So Wrong, Its Right,' you would think there would be pressure on the band to deliver. In truth though, the younger generation of music fans were likely to lay praise on this album whether it was good, bad or indifferent. In reality, it is all of those things mixed together to produce an album of some good songs, some alright ones, and some terrible ones.
Labelled as a pop punk band, All Time Low veer way over into pop territory with 'Nothing Personal' and leave all of their 'punk' behind them. Although they were labelled as the 'new Blink 182' of the pop punk scene, it seemed a bit unfair to burden them with such a heavy tag as many older Blink fans may have a preconceived negative view of the band, thinking that no one can live up to the legacy of Blink 182.
First single from the album, 'Weightless,' does not sound promising when led in by a tinny-sounding electronic drum. Thankfully, this is the worst part of the song, as an irresistibly catchy chorus blows away any debris of the intro. This is actually the highlight of the album for me, as it is everything that a pop punk band should be rolled into one song and polished off with the perfect chorus.
'Lost in Stereo' is another good track, very much in the same mould as 'Weightless.' When All Time Low retain their rock edge with guitar-based choruses and catchy melodies, they are really good. But when they ditch guitars for electronic samples, such as those in 'Walls,' the songs are automatically ruined and all the catchy choruses in the world couldn't save them.
'Break Your Little Heart' plays like a homage to the pop punk of five years or so ago when The All American Rejects wrote memorable pop punk songs and the likes of Sugarcult were still around making a decent career from the genre. The last three songs on the album do recover some sense of credibility for 'Nothing Personal,' sounding like they could have fit perfectly on the debut album. Maybe this is the problem, pop-punk is a fairly one dimensional music genre, and the fans of it know this. If All Time Low had stuck to the formula which worked successfully on 'So Wrong, Its Right,' the album would have been much more solid than this release.
There is no doubt that this album will be successful, but after hearing 'Weightless' as a preview a couple of months ago, I had hoped for more from All Time Low. Maybe they're just holding back for the return of Blink-182 and their next album...hopefully.