From their first album back in 2006, to their sixth effort, “Future Hearts,” All Time Low made themselves known for their pop-punk anthems. Their seventh album, “Last Young Renegade,” which came out in 2018, strayed from this sound with a more mellow vibe that fans were not happy with. After taking a two-year break to refind their sound, All Time Low came back stronger than ever. On April 3, the band released their eighth studio album, “Wake Up, Sunshine,” bringing back their old sound that fans have learned to know and love.
The album starts with the song “Some Kind of Disaster.” In this song lead singer Alex Gaskarth is singing to fans and telling them all of the things that the band has been called over the years. He is pretty much asking fans if this is OK and if they are ready to do it all again with this new album cycle. While this song has the pop undertones, it is slightly calmer than some other songs on the album. Even being slightly calmer, “Some Kind of Disaster” is still super catchy and was stuck in my head for days.
The next few songs on the album have the vibe of All Time Low songs that could have made it onto previous albums. They are more upbeat, have hidden easter eggs referencing songs from previous albums — like the song “Sleeping In” that makes references the band’s old song “Dirty Laundry,” which was one of the very few songs off of “Last Young Renegade” that fans actually enjoyed — and have the feeling that they could have been songs from the bands younger days.
“Melancholy Kaleidoscope” and “Trouble Is” are the next two songs, and while these two songs are still upbeat, the lyrics switch to talk about topics that are a little more serious and sad. According to an interview in Kerrang!, “Melancholy Kaleidoscope,” is a song Gaskarth wrote while battling seasonal depression. When Garskarth was in the studio working on this song, his seasonal depression was bad and he didn’t want to write anything happy to match the music track they already had which can be seen from the line “Can’t be 100 if you’re only giving 95.” “Trouble Is” is an upbeat song about not really knowing how to get over someone because somehow they still find ways to be in your life even though you have broken up. This song tells the story of a person who wants to get over the person they broke up with but they can’t seem to. “All that I wanted was just to get over you, trouble is I can’t find a way, you’re part of me.”
Next comes the title track, “Wake Up, Sunshine.” In the Kerrang! interview, Gaskarth said he felt like this song was “waking the band up from the last album which felt like a sidebar to everything the band has done before.” As a fan, listening to this song without knowing that context, I felt the song instead addresses how things in life might not be perfect all the time but eventually, everything will be fine and your life is worth it.
Now come the features and, in my opinion, one is really good and one feels like it doesn’t fully fit. The first feature on the album is with blackbear and is called “Monsters.” As a fan of blackbear, I was excited to hear this song when listening to the album. The song starts off strong, but then blackbear’s verse comes on and to me, I feel like it interrupts the flow of the song and almost feels out of place. However, the second feature on the album, “Favorite Place” with The Band CAMINO, is much better. The two bands have similar sounds and when put together in this song just work right.
The album continues with the next five songs fitting the theme of the album. From singing about topics like depression and relationships to having some more mellow songs to ones I can already see being hits live, the album goes on strong to show fans that this is who All Time Low still is.
Finally, the album ends with “Basement Noise.” This song holds a lot of nostalgia, especially for fans like me who have been following the band for pretty much their whole career. This song is them singing about how they are still just “boys in the basement, making music” which is paying tribute to how they got their start by playing and writing music in drummer Rian Dawson’s basement all those years ago. To me, this song perfectly wraps up the album.
“Wake Up, Sunshine” is an album that bridges the lost connection All Time Low had with their fans after “Last Young Renegade.” For fans new and old, this album perfectly sums up who All Time Low is and, in my opinion, is worth giving it a listen.