All Time Low – Wake Up, Sunshine: a refreshing departure
In releasing their newest album, Wake Up, Sunshine, All Time Low present their typical brand of youth-oriented pop punk but also offer a modern edge that results in some of the band’s best tracks since Don’t Panic. Moving away from its more heavily poppy predecessors, Wake Up, Sunshine is a welcome throwback to the early sound that fans have no doubt missed.
Across its fifteen tracks, Wake Up, Sunshine oozes optimism. When paired with some of their more sombre songs such as Summer Daze (Seasons Pt.2), this positivity makes for a relatively diverse album, but still delivers a generally fun and engaging experience. Hook-oriented melodies and catchy choruses showcase Alex Gaskarth’s maturing vocals, especially in surprisingly creative tracks such as Melancholy Kaleidoscope and Clumsy.
However, Gaskarth struggles to open All Time Low up beyond their target audience, with the band’s trademark youthful lyricism coming across at times as awkward and at others as dreadfully naïve. Despite this, tracks such as Getaway Green and Monsters prove highlights of the record, not only striking out with memorable guitar work, but also evoking the nostalgic qualities that the 16-year-old band are clearly eager to live up to. Through well-grounded songwriting, inclusive of all band members’ best creative sides, Wake Up, Sunshine is a refreshingly positive release in All Time Low’s recent discography.
The album does feature some missteps though, and it’s evident that the group struggle to fully embrace the modernity they only semi-successfully incorporate. Rapper Blackbear’s feature on Monsters lacks the charisma needed to make his spot worthwhile, fading into the album’s often overblown instrumentation. Likewise, The Band Camino fail to make an impact on Favorite Place, one of the album’s better tracks, remaining an underutilised asset. The band here achieve their lowest number of filler tracks since Don’t Panic, but finish off with disappointingly uninventive final track Basement Noise.
All Time Low present their most promising record to date and prove their ability to still produce the well-practised pop-punk that garnered their reputation from on Wake Up, Sunshine. However, they struggle to modernise fully, with some awkward choices marring an otherwise decent record.
Wake Up, Sunshine is released on 3rd April 2020. For further information or to order the album visit All Time Low’s website here.
Watch the video for Getaway Green here: