Earlier this year, whilst the world was in the grips of a pandemic and the nation was in the midst of stay at home order and near total shutdown, everything good about 2020 seemed to be fading away and being canceled. Everything, except for the release of the highly anticipated album by the pop punk rock powerhouse group All Time Low.
“Wake Up Sunshine” by All Time Low was preparing to drop in the middle of a pandemic, which happened to coincide with a heated election year. After a tough decision to release three more additional singles instead of dropping an album in those uncertain times, All Time Low released their eighth studio album on April 3rd 2020.
The Album opens with the lead single “Some Kind of Disaster” which is all about embracing the kinds of masks and flaws that we all have. The Music Video for the song was nominated for a VMA in the Best Alternative Video category but was beat out by MGK’s “bloody valentine” video. The Classic pop punk rhythm and guitar choruses make this song an instant banger to add to your playlist.
The next four tracks on the album- “Sleeping in”, “Getaway Green”, “Trouble is”, and “Melancholy Kaleidoscope”- are each reminiscent of classic All Time Low sounds and themes but with a far more matured taste to them. “Trouble is” in particular seems like it would have felt right at home on the band’s 2009 “Nothing Personal” album.
The title track, Wake Up Sunshine, is the track that it took the longest time for me to get in to. I cannot pinpoint what exactly I did not like initially, because now that I am into the song, I cannot decide what I did not like in the first place.
One of the biggest bangers on this album clocks in at track 7 on the album: “Monsters (Ft. blackbear)” was one of the biggest hits, partially carried by the popularity of American rapper blackbear who features in the album’s second verse. The band even encouraged their fans at one point to attempt the rapper's verse with only two breaths- the same way blackbear recorded it- and to post their videos to social media. While I never did that, I did cover the song on Instagram and can attest to the difficultly of the verse.
After the fun of “Monsters”, the album takes a turn with the tune “Pretty Venom (interlude)”, a very vibe-y and photo acoustic interjection into the pop punk frenzy of an album so far.
The fun returns with tracks like “Favorite Place (Ft. The Band CAMINO)” which is an absolute feel-good summer jam, a song that is sure to put a smile on your face.
The rest of the album is a mixture of mild-mannered feel-good tunes like “Safe”, “Glitter and Crimson” and “Basement Noise” as well as classic punky jams like “January Gloom (Seasons Pt.1)”, “Clumsy”, and “Summer Daze (Seasons Pt.2)”.
Overall, I would highly recommend listening to this wonderful return to roots by one of pop punk’s all-time great bands!