If you were to ask me what I thought about pop punk, I’d probably instinctively tell you that it wasn’t for me. If you were to find me in a slightly harsher mood, I’d probably tell you it was pish. However, the truth is that doesn’t make much sense. In the real world I am a pop music fan, someone who has Taylor Swift sitting next to TesseracT on their Ipod. So in an attempt to show a bit of fairness, I thought I would give the new All Time Low album, Future Hearts, a listen.
First things first, this album has one hell of a polished sheen to it. Produced by John Feldmann, it leaps out the speakers and songs like ‘Kids in the Dark’ practically sparkle from the production job they’ve been given. Obviously there are genres of music where this could be a problem, however here it makes perfect sense. It gives these big pop songs a gleam, which works perfectly with the music.
And don’t get me wrong, any problem I may have with this album doesn’t change the fact that it is full of big pop songs. Whether it’s the sugar sweet ‘Kicking & Screaming’ or the jangling ‘Missing You’ with it’s sweet stripped back feel, these are tracks that will wheedle your way into your head and you’ll find yourself humming them in the bath days after you last listened to the album. It’s music that it is easy to fall in love with and on a warm summers day, much like today is where I am, it would take a right mean bastard to be cruel to it.
However, I will throw a bit of cruelty in there. The biggest point being that this isn’t pop punk, it’s just pop. Sure there is a guitar and they play all their own instruments blah blah blah, but their isn’t the slightest hint of punk in this music. They might say fuck on ‘Bail Me Out’, but it doesn’t make it any less pop. Now, you need to be fair and point out that there are plenty of people out there who are punk as fuck, without actually playing punk. I don’t know much about All Time Low, but from what I’ve heard they are a hard-working band who have done things the right way and in that sense they may well and truly be punk, but if we go back to my eclectic Ipod, these guys have way more in common with Taylor Swift than they do The Clash.
Of course, that needn’t be a bad thing. As I said, I like Taylor Swift and the truth is I quite like All Time Low. Can I see this becoming one of my favourite albums? No, it would take a few bumps on the head before that would happen, however, I can see myself being drawn back to it more than once in the summer months ahead. All Time Low write and make music that it is easy to fall for and tracks like ‘Cinderblock Garden’ make you want to bounce up and down, sing along and have fun. Maybe I’m a pop punk fan after all.