All Time Low - Dirty Work
Record Label: Interscope
Release Date: June 7, 2011
With Dirty Work being the fourth studio album from pop-rockers All Time Low, you would expect any band to understand their sound, none more so than All Time Low. Immature lyrics alongside a downbeat verse with an upbeat chorus: it's a relatively simple and usually catchy affair. The varying quality of this recipe has always been something I associate with the band.
The album opens with "Do You Want Me (Dead)" followed by said single and the aptly named, "Forget About It." The opening of the album is mildly disappointing and most certainly forgetful. You could be forgiven for writing off Dirty Work at this point and declaring All Time Low a band lacking creativity and imagination. You could also be forgiven for changing your mind the very next song.
"Guts" is the start of the albums revival. The guitars that chime throughout the chorus alongside stand-out vocals (“Is this what it feels like, finding out that I've got the guts to say anything”) makes out for a very complete track. If you're not singing now, you will be later.
Lead single "I Feel Like Dancin'," though, is an incredibly safe effort. Even if it's not breaking the mold, it's catchy.
"Time-Bomb" literally keeps the album ticking over at a fast pace. The following track, "Just The Way I’m Not," should have been the lead single. It gives off the same impression as "I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'" if soft-rock for the masses was the idea. When you include the strangely titled "Under a Paper Moon" and the chorus that is released from the shackles of the verses, it brings the total count of impressive songs to four, with the best yet to come.
"Return the Favor" is hands down the best song on the album. The verses were clearly molded by the vocal child of Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the chorus's guitar part is not just more intricate than usual, but also a platform for one of All Time Low’s best songs to date. Perhaps they should consider this approach more often.
Unfortunately, with "Return The Favor" stealing the show, the remainder of the album is a slow descent back into the more obvious and regular album filler we had at the beginning. No, they aren't bad songs; they just aren't anything to write home about.
One of the major faults of Dirty Work is that both the beginning and end of the album are weak. A couple of filler songs are forgivable, but there are a couple too many here. Dirty Work consists of twelve songs. If it had been 10, you wouldn't have cared. The songs in the middle of the album, though - you'll be singing those all day.