All Time Low
Wake Up Sunshine
Fueled By Ramen · April 3, 2020
The band’s seventh full-length studio album, Wake Up, Sunshine, is a cheery, bright masterpiece, especially coming off of their last release, the dark, nostalgic Last Young Renegade, released in 2017. The new album looks forward; to healthy, adult relationships and a happier life.
The record opens loudly with the leading singles, “Some Kind of Disaster” and “Sleeping In,” two perfect examples of how the band has matured but still stayed true to their roots. On the latter, they sprinkle in references to Britney Spears and silly pick-up lines among the lyrics to craft a song that might have been right at home on one of their first albums. “Getaway Green,” too, feels like classic All Time Low, with a bit more bubblegum as Alex Gaskarth sings, “We were getaway green / In a world of black and white.”
The title track is a love letter from Gaskarth to anyone struggling to make a name for themselves, or maybe even to himself in a past life: “Everyone wants to be somebody / I just want you to see how good you are / You don’t have to lean on the crutch of a daydream.” The song is an upbeat instant classic, with a hopeful refrain and fast-paced beat.
The listener doesn’t get a break from the energy until the seventh track on the album, “Monster,” a dark, cynical track featuring rapper blackbear. The song lets the band step outside their usual genre into something a little more funky and heavier on bass and percussion. Next, “Pretty Venom (Interlude)” provides a mostly-acoustic rest, a haunting, almost-ballad to a relationship gone wrong.
A highlight on the album is “Favorite Place,” a rousing love song featuring The Band CAMINO in which Gaskarth pleads to the subject for a closer relationship: “You’re everything I love about / the things I hate in me / so come on, come on, come over now / and fix me with your grace / because I’m not too far, and you’re my favorite place.” The next track, “Safe,” is another high point, with a toned-down verse that drops into an energetic chorus with driving drums and guitar riffs and lyrics that focus on escaping the past.
While there really aren’t any bad songs on the album, “Glitter & Crimson” is the one low point, an almost too-shiny, production-heavy track about pushing through the bad parts of a relationship to get to the good again.
The record closes out its bright and shiny adventure with one last nostalgic track, “Basement Noise,” an ode to the band’s history as “stupid boys” practicing in their parents’ basements together during high school.
Wake Up, Sunshine is summer in April, sure to be blasted out of open car windows while driving down the highway as soon as the weather matches the feeling this music gives. All Time Low are adults now, and while their music reflects that, they still manage to find a way to connect with the audience that they’ve built up over fifteen years. In a time where the world feels incredibly dark, this album is sure to provide a gleaming new shade of positivity.
Listen to Wake Up Sunshine: