[Album Review] All Time Low – Future Hearts

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All Time Low – Future Hearts

(中文版本在下)

Coming to the sixth studio album in their career, Baltimore’s pop punk chart-toppers All Time Low are determined to bring you their most ambitious recording, Future Hearts, for your summer delight.  Besides Alex Gaskarth and co, ATL also seek collaboration with familiar voices in the genre, Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus and Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden. The new album is set to release on April 7 via Hopeless Records. But before that, here’s our track-by-track early preview of Future Hearts. (We’ll also take a closer look at All Time Low’s album release week performance in New york City tomorrow, stay tuned!)

來自馬利蘭州流行朋克樂隊 All Time Low 即將發表職業生涯第六張錄音室專輯 Future Hearts。此作為他們有史以來最雄心壯志的出品,誓要成為今夏的最火熱流行搖滾樂曲。除了 Alex Gaskarth 和隊員外,ATL也邀請了不少大家熟悉的樂手參與,當中包括 Blink 182  Mark Hoppus  Good Charlotte  Joel Madden。新專輯將於明天47日經 Hopeless Records 出版。但在 Future Hearts 未上架之前,我們預先試聽了整張唱片,以下是我們對每個曲目的逐一分析。(明天我們將前往 All Time Low 在紐約市舉行的專輯發佈會作近距離採訪,敬請留意!)

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“Future Hearts” Album Release Performance – Rough Trade NYC
<海外報導特集> 第三章:All Time Low- Future Hearts專輯發行日表演
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1. Satellite

The album opens with Satellite’s a monotonous drum beats, guitar strums and Gaskarth’s heartfelt singing, followed by the “na-h-nah-nah” humming like echoes in eternal emptiness. It can easily be amplified into a glittering concert introduction.

專輯以 Satellite 作起首,單層的鼓聲、冰冷的結他掃弦、主唱 Alex 由衷的歌聲,隨後的 na-h-nah-nah 和聲由如對永恆空虛的呼應,相信比歌將成為下月 Future Hearts 巡演的開場曲。

2. Kicking & Screaming

Coming up next is Kicking & Screaming, an irresistible, strikingly vital pop-punk love song ended with a sharp shout-out leaving you at the top of the roller coaster.

接下來的 Kicking & Screaming 歌曲風格爽朗直接,屬典型流行朋克情歌,末段以呼喊作結,讓你的聽覺在驚喜上停留。

3. Something’s Gotta Give

Here comes the first single off the album, Something’s Gotta Give. It’s undoubtedly one of the best song off Future Hearts and could-not-be-a-wiser choice as a teaser of the album – catchy, carefully formulated melody plus cheerful lyrics. The humoristic zombie video also adds extra noise to this new release.

Something’s Gotta Give 是專輯的第一支單曲易記的曲調、小心計算的流行旋律加上活潑的歌詞,無疑是當中最好的歌曲,證明ATL以此作為 Future Hearts 的預吿是明智的選擇。充滿喜劇色彩的殭屍視頻亦為這個新專輯帶來額外迴響。

4. Kids in the Dark

The second single Kids In The Dark is probably the most radio-friendly track in the album. It simply hits on adolescent listeners whose stage of life is surrounded by peer pressure, outcast feeling, troubled youth and emotional detachment through its lyrics, brings them the sense of belonging and fulfill the desire of brotherhood. This will definitely be their next stadium-ready anthem arousing thunderous singalong.

那接下來是第二首單曲 Kids in the Dark,可說是全碟最容易引起樂迷共鳴的作品。歌曲圍繞朋輩歸屬感和互相扶持的訊息,得易擊中正值處於被同伴壓力、疏離感覺和反叛情感包圍的人生階段的青少年聽眾。這歌肯定會在ATL大型演唱會中引起雷鳴般的大合唱。

Here we are at the end of the road,
A road that’s quietly caving in

Come too far to pretend that we don’t,
We don’t miss where we started

Looking back, I see a setting sun
And watch my shadow fade into the floor,
I am left standing on the edge

Wondering how we got this far

5. Runaways

Runaways is another track appears in the premiere list before the album releases. Its refreshing, enthralling composition is guaranteed to grow on any pop music lovers. Sadly, the scintillating purity is carried away by the electronic beat near the end.

Runaways 清新的編曲保證讓流行搖滾愛好者心動。可惜,簡潔的節拍被是尾段的電子節拍沖走。

6. Missing You

Missing You acts as a slow buffer in this energy-filled pop punk production. Vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar, light-hearted message – it’s only one step away from becoming a country pop lullaby.

Missing You 在充滿活力的快扳專輯中起了一個緩衝作用,以多重和聲、不插電結他為主軸的輕鬆小品,有如鄉謠流行催眠曲。

7. Cinderblock Garden

Another All Time Low-signature sunshine tune – a little mesmerizing, sugar-coated fairytale that will linger in you minds for hours – though they should consider eliminating the whoa-a-a which has been repeated for times in the album.

Cinderblock Garden 是另一首 All Time Low 簽名式作品。儘管歌曲像糖衣包裹的童話故事般引人入勝,在專輯多次使用的 whoa-a-a 歌詞使整體流於俗氣。

8. Tidal Waves (featuring Mark Hoppus of Blink-182)

Tidal Waves is one high quality collaboration of two pop punk generations. Mark Hoppus’s easily-recognizable vocal synchronizes with Gaskarth’s vibrant singing sonically. The song resembles the same melancholic depression in ATL’s heart-aching tune Therapy (Nothing Personal, 2009).

Tidal Waves 可說是兩代流行朋克成員的高品質合作。Mark Hoppus 容易辨認的聲音與 Alex Gaskarth 充滿活力的歌聲互相輝映。這首歌就像是 ATL 09 Nothing Personal 專輯中沉鬱之作 Therapy 的二部曲。

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9. Don’t You Go

The fast-tempo Don’t You Go is straight-forward and emotionally compelling, but the fancy echoing effect somehow overshadows its minimal backbone.

節奏明快的 Don’t You Go 直截了當、情感激昂,但其中的迴聲效果卻把簡潔的骨幹完全掩蓋。

10. Bail Me Out (featuring Joel Madden of Good Charlotte)

Up next is another duet Bail Me Out featuring Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden,  unfortunately it turns out to be lack of spark and falls into mediocre flatness.

All Time Low 在另一個朋克二重唱 Bail Me Out 邀請 Good Charlotte Joel Madden 合作,可是兩者缺少火花,落入平庸之地,整體效果稍遜與 Mark Hoppus 合作的 Tidal Waves。

11. Dancing with a Wolf

The heat rises again with Dancing with a Wolf, a tune somewhat grows out the angles of The Used but with less aggression and soften edges. This brave move shows All Time Low’s attemp to step out of the boxes.

Dancing with a Wolf 再次令熱力上升,有趣的是它帶着 The Used 歌曲中的陵角,只是把侵略性調低和邊緣柔化了。這個大膽的決定證明 All Time Low 嘗試走出自己的框架。

12. The Edge of Tonight

The storms continues with the melodic, power-pop-fused The Edge of Tonight, showing a mature development of All Time Low’s compositional ability. The instrumental curation shares similarity with Imagine Dragons’ musical approach.

All Time Low 以旋律節奏把 The Edge of Tonight 打造成強力流行樂曲 (power-pop),表現出他們創作能力漸催成熟。TEOT 可能會讓你想起察覺 Imagine Dragons 的音樂方程式。

13. Old Scars / Future Hearts

The journey gradually comes to the end with title track, Old Scars / Future Hearts. The intriguing song base is punctuated with a bit of tempo twist and accompanied by optimistic lyrical vibe (like their own The Reckless and the Brave) for you to sing along.

這個流行朋克旅途以點題作 Old Scars / Future Hearts 作結。精雕細琢的歌曲基底加入稍微扭曲的節奏轉變、再伴以(如ATL自己的舊作The Reckless and the Brave的)樂觀抒情歌詞讓你一同合唱。

Overall-speaking, Future Hearts shows All Time Low’s determination – both commercially and artistically. At the same time, the band is busy impressing their old fan base while gaining new listeners’ admiration. The overthinking successfully pushes their musical boundary but results in over-production on the down side. It seems the band is at the crossroad of either transitioning into stadium rock like their precedents Fall Out Boy or sticking to their forever-young pop punk roots.

總體來說, Future Hearts 顯示出 All Time Low的決心 – 不論是商業上和藝術上。與此同時,樂隊顯然忙於打動忠實的舊樂迷,同時極力爭取新聽眾的讚賞。想太多使他們成功擴展自己的音樂界線,但亦導致專輯中略嫌過多的後其製作。看來ATL正在十字路口,猶豫應如前者 Fall Out Boy 般過渡到大型搖滾界還是堅持扎根在永遠年輕的流行朋克根上。

Download Future Hearts by All Time Low here.

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“Future Hearts” Album Release Performance – Rough Trade NYC
<海外報導特集> 第三章:All Time Low- Future Hearts專輯發行日表演
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