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Album Review: All Time Low - Dirty Work

With bands like All Time Low, you more or less know what to expect; fun, catchy pop-rock that is made for the masses and their major label debut, 'Dirty Work' is no different.

Opener 'Do You Want Me (Dead?)' sets the tone with its punchy, glossy tone that after a few listens has you helplessly singing along. Nevertheless All Time Low quickly show their goal for this record; quick and slickly produced radio-friendly hits with little to no space for variation. Lead off single 'I Feel Like Dancin' is terribly off putting yet has the appeal to become a guilty pleasure, and its accompanying music video dosen't help the bands cause.

Elsewhere tracks like 'Forget About It' and 'That Girl' come off flat and are quickly forgotten about. Whilst 'Guts' shows the bands ability to pull off a good blend in the harmonies, and like 'Time-Bomb' have that wide-mass appeal with the downfall being its all bit "over-produced."

However you can fault the bands ability to write pop songs, 'Just The Way I'm Not' is a certain crowd pleaser with "woahs-ohs" and far too simple rhyming.

It could be said 'Dirty Work' is a record of two halves; 'No Idea' is nicley structured with stabbing strings complimenting the bands neat pop-rock style and sweet harmonies. Whilst 'Return The Favor' sounds a bit too much like a later Fall Out Boy song, yet its soft, acoustic opening along with its straight up rock guitar section gives the album much needed variation.

'A Daydream Away' is the predictable, simple acoustic number that does its job with providing a sweet, hallmark moment that will clearly make the bands female teenage fan base swoon.

For the most part 'Dirty Work' comes off as a bit flat and doesn't give itself room for expansion. Instead All Time Low box themsleves in by providing example after example of well-produced guitar pop, that is especially aimed a specific young market. Understandably you don't expect to widen their appeal, but compared to their early potential (see 'Coffee Shop Soundtrack') 'Dirty Work' seems a bit empty and at times lifeless.


'Dirty Work' by All Time Low is released on June 6th through Interscope/Geffen.

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Words by Sean Reid

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