Tuesday, April 1, 2014

All Time Low- Don't Panic

Hey, y'all! It's time for me to talk about another CD on my shelf! As always, I put my iTunes on shuffle, and the CD containing the first song that played is the one I'll be talking about! Just so you know, you're in for a really special post today. This CD holds a very special place in my heart and is a first for my CDs On My Shelf posts... but you'll find out about that later!

Release Date: October 12, 2012
Genre: Pop Punk, Alternative

Track Listing
  1. The Reckless and the Brave
  2. Backseat Serenade
  3. If These Sheets Were States
  4. Somewhere In Neverland
  5. So Long Soldier
  6. The Irony of Choking on a Lifesaver
  7. To Live and Let Go
  8. Outlines
  9. Thanks To You
  10. For Baltimore
  11. Paint You Wings
  12. So Long, and Thanks For All The Booze

All Time Low is:
Alex Gaskarth- lead vocals, guitar, keyboards
Jack Barakat- lead guitar
Zack Merrick- bass
Rian Dawson- drums

L-R: Rian, Alex, Jack, Zack

About All Time Low: 
All Time Low was formed in 2003 when all four guys were still in high school. One day, they were all just jamming together and decided to form a band. Their "first" CD, The Party Scene, came out in 2005, but it's not really considered most of the time when discussing All Time Low's discography. They then released Put Up or Shut Up, an EP, in 2006. They have released 4 more CDs: So Wrong, It's Right in 2007, Nothing Personal in 2009, Dirty Work in 2011, and Don't Panic in 2012. All four members of the band have been in the band from the beginning, which I think is pretty significant for a band that's already 11 years old.

My Opinion about All Time Low:
I've talked a lot on here about how McFly is my favorite band... but I've failed to mention that I have two favorite bands... and clearly, All Time Low is the other one. If forced to choose between the two, I would choose McFly, but All Time Low definitely also holds the title of my favorite band. I've been listening to them since junior high, and they're the only band that has consistently been one of my top 3 bands since then. Even McFly can't say that. Alex Gaskarth is absolutely hilarious, and a total Harry Potter nerd, which I think is super awesome. He's definitely my favorite in the band just for that. And of course, everyone loves Jack. He's the crazy goofball, and no one can get enough of his hilarious antics. And the skunk hair. It will never die! Also, Rian Dawson and Cassadee Pope are actually the cutest couple ever. I approved immediately when I heard they were together. Adorable.

About the CD:  
In 2011, All Time Low moved to a larger record label, and both they and the fans quickly realized it wasn't the right move for them. Their 2011 release, Dirty Work, was very very poppy for the band, and didn't go over so great with their fans. In 2012, All Time Low left their record label, re-joined their previous label, and immediately began releasing singles, getting fans excited for the CD they were promising to drop in the fall. This CD shows just how much a band's music can improve in a short amount of time. Less than a year and a half after releasing a CD that was heading far down the pop track, All Time Low put everything into reverse and created a CD reminiscent of their true pop-punk roots.

For the longest time, So Wrong, It's Right was my favorite All Time Low CD. It was so pop-punk and great, and I counted it among my top 10 CDs ever. They released Nothing Personal, and I loved it, but it couldn't touch SWIR. It was starting down the trail of becoming more pop than I was wanting All Time Low to do. Then, Dirty Work was slightly disappointing (clearly I don't hate the CD- they're my favorite band for a reason). And then... Don't Panic. I couldn't even believe how great the CD was. All the songs were amazing. It not only reached my top 10 favorite CDs of all-time, it became #2. TWO. (and no, I won't tell you what #1 is!).

As always, I'm going to give each song a rating out of 10 and then give a brief explanation of why it got that rating. 

The Reckless and the Brave- 10/10. The lyrics. They speak directly to All Time Low's fans. They're the oddballs, the ones who don't fit in. This song was written by individualists for individualists, and it shows.
Backseat Serenade- 10/10. Cassadee Pope's vocals on this song are such a great bonus. This is one of the songs I love because of the music more than the lyrics. The sing-along-ability (is that even a word? I'm making up things) is so strong. If you don't feel the urge to sing along with this chorus... I don't understand you.
If These Sheets Were States- 9/10. Even though it's one of the lower-scored songs on the CD, it's still an amazing song. I guess with this one, there's nothing about it that makes me go "now that was perfect". But it's fun, and I really like it!
Somewhere In Neverland- 9.5/10. The Peter Pan references are just so great in this song, and it reflects how they feel about growing up, and how I feel about growing up. It speaks directly to my desire to return to a simpler time in my life when I didn't have real worries in the world... it makes me want to go to Neverland. And not the one Michael Jackson built.
So Long Soldier- 10/10. True confession, this was my least favorite on the CD for the first few months after it came out. And then it grew on me. It grew on me BIGTIME. It's possibly my favorite on the CD. I love the lyrics and how it tells Alex's/ the band's story, but the music is also just so old-school pop punk. Not the poppy pop punk of today, but true pop punk roots. It's so great. The guitar intro is my ringtone. It's just SO good.
The Irony of Choking on a Lifesaver- 10/10. This used to be my favorite on the CD. A lot of people don't like this because it's a bit reminiscent of Dirty Work (which I didn't dislike as much as most people... even though it's my least favorite of their CDs). But for me, this song is about the attitude. It's a bit more catchy than All Time Low songs normally are, but it's just as sarcastic and sassy, and it's that attitude that I really love about this song.
To Live and Let Go- 9/10. My least favorite on the CD, which isn't saying a ton, since it's still a 9 and a great song. The chorus is really interesting, as is the bridge. But it's just simply not quite as good as the other songs on this CD.
Outlines- 9.5/10. This is a huge fan favorite, and although I really like it, I know I don't like it anywhere near as much as most people like it. Even though I barely notice/pay attention to it, I wish it was just Alex singing. I think it would've been just as good. But the lyrics are so great and I love the music... and like I said, I rarely even think about the fact that it's not just Alex. I've listened to it toooo many times. 
Thanks To You- 9/10. My second-least-favorite on the CD. Again, there's nothing wrong with it and it's still a great song. It's just that among all of the super awesome, standout songs, this one falls behind into the background a bit.
For Baltimore- 9.5/10. This is a little random, but one of the reasons I really like this one is because of the drums and guitar. And the last like... minute of the song. Yes.
Paint You Wings- 10/10. The key word for this song is interesting. The way it transitions between the different sections is really interesting, the chorus line is interesting, the lyrics are interesting (and very clever!), it's just a really interesting and new song for them. The chorus is very "All Time Low," but that's the only bit that's pretty typical of them. I just really like this song because the lyrics are some of my favorites, and the music is some of my favorite, and they go together so, so well.
So Long, and Thanks For All The Booze- 10/10. Talk about a power anthem! It's all about being able to be yourself and not letting other people tell you that you can't be what you want to be. The music on this one isn't quite as strong as the lyrics are, but the combination is just so great. I love it, and the message is just the best.

Favorite Songs: All of the above? But if I had to choose, So Long Soldier, Paint You Wings, and The Reckless and the Brave are my top 3... or maybe The Irony of Choking on a Lifesaver would be included? Or Backseat Serenade? Or So Long, and Thanks For All The Booze? Just... all of those.

Least Favorite Songs: As said earlier, To Live and Let Go and Thanks To You don't stand out quite as much.


Just one video this time- the entire CD. ENJOY.

Rating: 10/10. This is the first that I was talking about! It's my first 10/10 CD! There was no doubt in my mind that this CD would get a 10. It's so incredibly close to perfection, and it's definitely the 2nd-most-played CD on my iTunes. It's so great.

 Hope you liked my newest "The CDs on my Shelf" post! Have any questions? What did you think of All Time Low? Let me know in the comments. If you like my posts, I'd really appreciate if you'd subscribe/follow, because it lets me know y'all are liking them! Hope you enjoyed! Comment, comment, comment! I love feedback! Thanks for reading!

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