Fans of All Time Low everywhere rejoice as they finally get ahold of brand-new copies of the band’s newest album, Dirty Work, released on June 7, 2011.
The album begins with “Do You Want Me (Dead)?,” a peppy, sarcastic song with metaphors such as “I’ve got my hands up, yeah yeah/I’m staring down the barrel of a loaded night” and prepares the listener for a fantastic album. However, while the opening track is upbeat and happy, the second track halts, if not reverses, the good mood. With a title like “I Feel Like Dancin’,” one would expect this track—the first single off of Dirty Work—to be a perfect dance song, but in actuality, it has quite the opposite effect. With its plodding beat that sounds nothing like All Time Low, the track is too slow to be a party song. That’s not to say that sounds different than traditional All Time Low aren’t welcome, though. “Under A Paper Moon,” with its high-energy, fast-paced melody and imaginative lyrics, shows the band’s growth in both sound and songwriting, while “Return The Favor” is a pleasant display of the band’s diverse musical taste, giving the listener an image of [singer] Alex Gaskarth salsa dancing with a girl as he sings the pleading lyrics. It’s a weird song, but in a good way. “No Idea” also demonstrates All Time Low’s musical diversity, beginning with what sounds like an orchestra reminiscent of string quartet covers of punk songs—odd but surprisingly pleasurable.
Other bright points of the album include “Heroes” with its well-written chorus that can connect to so many young people, and “Time-Bomb” with its ongoing metaphor and quick tempo. But perhaps the best track on the record, both lyrically and melodically, is the simple, strong “Guts.” With a chorus that asks “Is this what it feels like/Finding out that I’ve got the guts to say anything” and the perfectly matched voices of Gaskarth and Maja Ivarsson, it’s an easily relatable song that displays both frustration and hope as well as the clichéd struggle.
Some may think that because of the multitude of songwriters and producers that worked with All Time Low on this album, it isn’t as incredible as it could be. However, once one remembers what the band’s real strengths are—clever lyrics paired with innovative melodies—Dirty Work becomes not someone else’s album, but just a new level of All Time Low.