Overall Score: 8/10 'Choruses: 9/10 Melody: 9/10 Variety : 6/10 Pros: Recaptures what made All Time Low great | Packed with massive choruses Cons: The middle section drags
2017’s Last Young Renegade seemed to leave All Time Low in a difficult position. The move to Fuelled By Ramen and the toning down of pop-punk elements in favour of a more radio pop sound felt like a clear play to push their mainstream popularity to the next level. Unfortunately it never seemed to quite pay off. The songs weren’t necessarily the problem but the album just seemed to squeeze a lot of the personality out of the band in favour of fitting that homogenised pop rock Fuelled By Ramen seem to love. So now three years later All Time Low are back with their seventh album and something of a point to prove.
Wake Up, Sunshine immediately makes a huge statement with Some Kind Of Disaster, by far the best song have released in years. It’s a clear reminder why All Time Low became one of the biggest pop-punk bands over the last decade. Alex Gaskarth has such an ear for melody and that is in full effect here. The chorus is absolutely massive and will easily worm its way into your ear. This is followed by Sleeping In and Getaway Green, two classic slices of pop-punk that would have sat nicely on the first two albums. Completing the albums fantastic opening run is Melancholy Kaleidoscope, which is the kind of song people would lose their minds over if Blink-182 released now.
At it’s best Wake Up, Sunshine just conjures up the feeling of a group of mates just playing together and having fun, like all good pop-punk should. It really captures the spirit of the early All Time Low albums just with a little more maturity this time. So many of these songs just sound like classic All Time Low and most of them could be singles. This album is packed with more massive choruses than the last two albums combined.
There are a few measures on the album which drag it on a little in the middle. The combo of Monsters and Pretty Venom kills the momentum with the two most plodding and lifeless tracks on the album. Monsters features a guest spot from Blackbear as he raps on the songs bridge. It’s something that will no doubt appeal to several fans as that slightly alternative hip hop is extremely popular but it just doesn’t add much to the song. Whilst Pretty Venom is just a very dull ballad that brings back the worst elements of Last Young Renegade. Still the other collaboration with The Band CAMINO on Favourite Place works better, even if it does feel a little unnecessary again.
Overall though this is a huge return to form for All Time Low and is easily their best album since Don’t Panic. The majority of it’s 15 songs are all hugely infectious pop-punk hits and will likely become fan favourites in the live set. Perhaps them revisiting the first two albums live during the Last Young Renegade cycle helped All Time Low get back in touch with what made those early albums so popular. Either way Wake Up, Sunshine is an absolute blast and could provide the perfect soundtrack to summer 2020.
The new All Time Low album, Wake Up, Sunshine, is released on Friday the 3rd of April 2020.