If you went through any kind of pop-punk phase, you can recognize the sound of All Time Low. Even just two years ago, their Future Hearts album still held onto their original sound. Their latest album, Last Young Renegade, takes their sound in a whole new direction with more piano, synth, and maturity, a common thread between their new labelmates: Panic! At The Disco, Paramore, and Twenty One Pilots.
The order of the tracks is clearly intentional, as it tells a story about the progression and experiences of the band, leading the listener through their transitions song after song. The center of the 10- song album is where the band really begin with their new sound. Concluding the album is “Afterglow,” the song that differs the most from their previous pop-punk sound, yet the lyrics reaffirm the listener that the band still has a long road ahead of them.
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Even though the songs bring in a new sound, they are still All Time Low. As seen on the album cover, the half-hidden Future Hearts shirt references their roots, emphasizing the fact that though they are changing and growing as musicians, they are taking their roots with them.
The first song on the album and, coincidentally, the first song All Time Low wrote, “Last Young Renegade” sets the tone for the entire album. As people, the band has grown up, and through lyrics it is very noticeable. The lyric “You were my last young renegade heartache” shows how much they have matured, no longer writing about teenage heartbreak—good thing, since they’re nearly 30 years old.
“Nice2KnoU”, concludes the first portion of the album with a lyrical and musical farewell to the old All Time Low. It begins with well-known pop-punk guitar chords as well as lyrics like, “Can’t go back to yesterday” and, “One more time for second chances”, both signaling that they are moving on. On the other hand, lyrics like, “This night is far from over” act as a transition to their new sound, implying that they’re not done being All Time Low; the band is just switching things up a bit. This song acts as a final tribute to all that they accomplished thus far.
“Life of The Party,” is where their new sound is completely developed, beginning with an EDM vibe and continuing with EDM undertones throughout the song. With this new sound comes lyrics that are much more mature, talking about their experiences as professional musicians growing alongside the music scene, hence, “Somewhere in between who I used to be.” The band exposes their ‘lessons learned’ as they have grown as musicians, singing about their nights on tour and mornings after.
Last Young Renegade is a triumph as while it steps into new territory for All Time Low, it successfully showcases their musical talents and ability to work in several genres like EDM and folk.
Last Young Renegade is now out on Fueled By Ramen Records. The full track-listing for the album is as follows…
Last Young Renegade
Drugs & Candy
Life of the Party
Dark Side of Your Room
Ground Control (feat. Tegan and Sara)