Album Review: Wake Up, Sunshine
After almost 3 years without an album from All Time Low, we’ve finally been graced with the presence of their newest creation, Wake Up, Sunshine. Although this album didn’t include fan favorites such as “Everything Is Fine” and “Birthday” which were only released as singles, it still includes some well-loved songs and obviously some brand new bops. Now, this is a longer album with a total of 15 songs - so bear with me about how long this review may get.
It starts off with the first single released off the album, “Some Kind of Disaster.” This was released the same week the band announced some small, intimate shows for fans to help promote the announcement. I was lucky enough to win tickets from Second Society Report to attend as the tickets sold out within seconds. It was very clear that this song was a hit with the fans as everyone was singing along to every word a week or so after it’s release. It’s basically the perfect nostalgia mix of All Time Low’s older sound, like from So Wrong It’s Right, to their newer, poppier sound like from Last Young Renegade. And if you didn’t get to go to those three intimate shows, just wait til you hear this live because it’s somehow better than it already is.
Next comes “Sleeping In”, which was the second single to be released before the album. It’s heavily pop influenced that makes you want to dance, with such a simple subject: sleeping in and staying home with someone you love. The song has some fun reference, like quoting Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me.” It even refers to their leading single off of their album Last Young Renegade with the quote “Haven’t left your place in days, Postmates and dirty laundry.” Whether it was intentional or not, still a fun little Easter egg for fans.
We then move on to the highly anticipated, "Getaway Green." The band played it during their small three show promo tour and it instantly became a fan favorite. Fans were begging the band on social media to release this song, and I can tell why. It’s one of those feel good songs where you want to roll the windows down on a sunny day and just blast it. It’s about reminiscing on younger, crazier days which I’m sure a lot of fans who have been with the band for years can relate to. And to me, it even sounds like it could belong on their album, Nothing Personal, just unsurprisingly with more mature vocals.
“Melancholy Kaleidoscope” is a very simple, yet beautifully written song about feeling you’re running out of time and like you haven’t been giving your all to something worth your time and effort. I’ve already seen fans posting the notable lyrics of “Can’t be one hundred if you’re only giving ninety-five.” We then move on what seems to be the breakup song of the album, “Trouble Is.” Which simply talks about the trouble of letting go of someone who you have given so much of yourself to. I’m sure anyone can relate to this situation, as we’ve all had to step away from forms of relationships for whatever reason. And despite all the good and bad in it, you’ll always care about and be tied to that person.
Now, we finally hit the title track of “Wake Up, Sunshine.” The song starts with the phrase “Are you livin’ well?” being repeated (and it is repeated throughout the song as well). It seems to be one of those songs for listeners who may be feeling alone or lost, but reminds them that despite what they think - they are loved and someone great. And it’s not one of those slow, stereotypical songs like that. It’s fun, upbeat, and makes you want to dance with a smile on your face. A nice change of pace for All Time Low.
Next we move onto “Monsters,” which features the one and only, blackbear. This collab seemed interesting to me, but I think it ended up being a perfect fit for this song. This song seemed a bit vague when it came to fully pinpointing the topic. To me, I think this song is either about a toxic relationship with a person, substance abuse, or a lifestyle. Essentially talking about how they keep going back to something that keeps “fucking up their life.” This song then leads us into “Pretty Venom” which is the album’s interlude. This continues the storyline of being stuck in a toxic cycle with someone. And then feeling like you’re not good enough for anyone else afterwards.
We’re then led into “Favorite Place” featuring The Band CAMINO. Musically, this is the perfect blend of All Time Low’s sound and The Band CAMINO’s. This song seems to be about the high of a toxic relationship and talking about everything they love about the person. And how they want to be with them and how they’re their favorite place, despite the other person not exactly wanting the same thing. Out of context, I feel like this may be a cute song to share with someone you love. But listening to the album in order, it seems to fit the storyline of something a little darker.
“Safe” is probably one of my favorite songs on this album. It’s very simple, but it just makes me want to dance around my room and scream along to this at Sad Summer. It is essentially just about doing things for yourself and not worrying about what others think. Just going for what you want and not looking back.
Next we turn to part one of two, “January Gloom (Seasons, Pt. 1).” Which is about dealing with seasonal depression by isolating yourself and seems to be longing for happier, sunnier days. And begs someone to be there for them and understand how they’re feeling. We continue on with the more sad songs into “Clumsy.” Which seems to tell the story of someone in a relationship who keeps hurting and being careless with someone they love. There’s a lyric that says “There’s a black flag wavin’ tonight” meaning the singer may not be willing to give up on this person and recognizing they’ve been hurting this person. But then it turns to the bridge saying “Droppin’ bombs on future’s past. Nothing left for us, shadows dancin’ in the ash.” meaning there may be nothing left of their relationship to save.
“Glitter & Crimson” seems to continue this story of being in love with someone you might just not be right for. The comparison of glitter & crimson to me seems like something nice, pretty, and shiny compared to something dark and crimson (crimson being a color usually used to describe blood). The song seems to tell about the extreme highs in a relationship but also the extreme lows. And maybe discovering you’re not quite right for the other, but not wanting to let go of everything you have with them.
Now onto part two, “Summer Daze (Seasons, Pt. 2).” This seems to be the happier version of part one, where you’re so happy it feels like you’re in a daze during the sunshiney summer times. There’s always a sense of freedom when it comes to that time of year, and when it begins to end you don’t want to let that feeling go.
Finally, we have reached the end of your 15 track endeavor with “Basement Noise.” Before hearing the album, I saw multiple comments about how people found it interesting and even weird the band decided to end the album on this note, but I think I get why. This song is nostalgic for the days when All Time Low was dreaming about where they’d be and how’d they get there while playing in their parents’ basements. You can tell the band though they’d never get as far as they are back then, but this is who they are now. This is who All Time Low has become.
Overall, I think this is an incredible album All Time Low has put together. It sounds like every song came off of one of their previous albums, while also being it’s own work entirely. It’ll pull on every long time fan’s heart strings, while also being
excited about new music. Be sure to give a listen to Wake Up, Sunshine, available now.
My favorite tracks: Getaway Green, Safe, & Wake Up, Sunshine.