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Album name：Nothing Personal
In the red corner, we have the floppy-haired whiners, more concerned with glossy production and R 'n' B influences than either of the genres which spawned their hyphenated name. In the blue corner, we have the jocks-with-heart. Not angry enough to fully embrace their punk-rock origins yet with enough of an edge so as to infuse their unabashedly mainstream songs with a gritty edge. They will also give you a blank look when you enquire if they use 'auto-tune'.
When the first guitar slash breaks the gate, you can safely say that All Time Low belong in the blue corner. There are perhaps moments where we find ourselves in the green-middle-ground but for the most part, we have ourselves a pop-punk album which is equal-parts both and dispenses with all that political commentary in favour of 'Dear Diary' moments unlikely to make even the most sensitive of men whimper.
Talking of 'green moments', we're gonna jump ahead and offer a scathing indictment of both 'Hello Brooklyn' and 'Too Much'. In the case of the former, it's the Island of Dr. Moreau where Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz provided all the genetic material. With lyrics which make you want to inspect the paper-shredder with your forehead ('This city / Is so pretty / Under moonlit skies / We'll be hanging like a cigarette / So stunning / Start runnin' / Tonight's like a knife / Would you cut me with your kiss?') and a chorus which studiously inspects the '101 most annoying vocal tones' before adding a few to the list and that's all before the hideous a cappella of 'Everybody knows / There's a party at the end of the world' which closes various sections of the track. To sum up pithily, goodbye Brooklyn, hello fast-forward.
'Too Much' registers lower on the Seppukumeter, but is equally the opposite of enthralling. Trading guitars for dodgy electro-blips and stuttering vocals it can be sweet in moments, but then a moment of studio-glitz rears its head and ruins the occasion. There is also the issue of how many times exactly is it wise to repeat your song title within a song. Some people ensure that they never utter the titular words during its run. All Time Low decided to create a BASIC program which reads '10 Print 'Too Much'; 20 goto 10'.
Skipping over the fact that we're sure that New Found Glory already wrote 'Keep the Change You Filthy Animal' and you have a relatively perfect album for the summer months. Neither overly concerned with changing the world nor tugging at the heart-strings it's throw-away pop-punk at its finest.
Ticking al the boxes are the likes of 'The Party Song', just as long as your boxes include stop-start choruses, half-time breakdowns, gang chants and brilliantly infectious vocal hooks with just enough 'whoa oh's' to spur a mosh-pit without inducing nausea.
Judicious use of the skip function will result in a grand thirty minutes of fist pumping, heart-out singing fun. If only they hadn't left the editing to their listeners, we could have been on to a winner.
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