Album Review // ALL TIME LOW ‘Wake Up, Sunshine’
Wake Up, Sunshine is fifteen lively and spirited tracks that prove All Time Low are still kicking it as a main player in the pop-punk scene.
Back in January when All Time Low began teasing their newest record, Wake Up, Sunshine, with the release of Some Kind Of Disaster, expectations started high and only continued to rise with each additional song released. The bold guitars and vivid lyricism paired with Alex Gaskarth’s impeccable lead vocals on tracks like Sleeping In, Getaway Green, and Melancholy Kaleidoscope solidified All Time Low’s return to form before the album even dropped. The teasing culminated with the release of the titular track Wake Up, Sunshine which has one of the catchiest choruses and strongest meanings on the album. You can practically hear the crowd shouting it back through your headphones, which bodes well for future live shows.
Bold choruses are a common thread on songs like Safe and Glitter & Crimson. Even though the lyrical content of Glitter & Crimson is about the identity struggles and anxiety, if you’re not belting out “I’m a SUPERNOVA and you’re my FOUR LEAF CLOVER” after the first chorus, you’re not doing this song properly. Safe is bubbly and encouragingly optimistic with the most explosive chorus and emotional weight.
Clumsy is an instant classic. It has elements from all the best All Time Low songs – high-energy, kick-ass guitars and drums, infectious lyrics like “I’ve been clumsy with your heart again” and the perfect usage of vocal distortion. Rian Dawson’s drumming shines on a lot of Wake Up, Sunshine tracks, including the quick-paced rolls during the bridge. At its core, Clumsy is fun. It is 100% a standout track.
Perhaps the most polarizing aspect of this release is the two features: hip-hop musician, blackbear, and alt-pop band, The Band CAMINO. Fear not – Monsters and Favorite Place are two strong tracks. Monsters is the one that features blackbear for a single verse. With its pounding, full-bodied beat it turns out to be one of the heavier tracks on the record. The funky experimental bits harmonize with the smooth riffs. On the other hand, Favorite Place featuring The Band CAMINO blends their saucy guitar riffs and indie-rock style with All Time Low’s confident instrumentation and vocals. It is one of the poppier tracks on the album, but this love song is the perfect symbiosis of the bands’ different styles and a complete hit.
This album could not have been wrapped up better than with Basement Noise. It is the culmination of everything they set out to achieve with Wake Up, Sunshine and is representative of their story as a band. The sweetly melodious verses give way to a self-determined, repetitive refrain that makes it known that they finally know who they are and where they came from: “just stupid boys makin’ basement noise in the basement.”
Every member’s DNA is woven into the fabric of these fifteen songs. It has the makings of a classic All Time Low album sprinkled with their individual influences that make up a wholly unforgettable album that is enjoyable from start to finish. There is much and more that could be said about Wake Up, Sunshine, but the most important thing to take away is that the Baltimore boys have created a genuine piece of music that is going to hold up for years to come.