The pop punk scene is a delicate one: you either do it right or you do it wrong. As a result, changing things up can pose a big risk. All Time Low brings a poppier sound in Last Young Renegade and manages to craft it perfectly around their existing sound.
Last Young Renegade has a quality that is necessary of every pop punk record: an anthemic nature. Right from the start, title track 'Last Young Renegade' introduces a uplifting, anthemic vibe that really brings the record to a firm start. Later on in the record, the anthemic vision is better realized in songs like 'Life Of A Party,' where the big melodies and choruses will have your heart beating in sync. When that final chorus kicks in, everything comes together for one final, epic battle cry.
There are many elements of pop that come through, and they do work really well. Single 'Dirty Laundry' comes with a very sweet vibe, its bubbling synths and vocal synths adding a pure dimension to the track. The vocal samples that play throughout 'Good Times' add to the melancholy reminiscent nature the song, making lines like "Remember how we laughed 'til we cried / I won't forget the good times" all the more powerful and genuine. Closing track 'Afterglow' builds itself upon big synths and vocal samples, but its ending does leave the album off on an inconsequential note.
Where Last Young Renegades really shines is in its melodies. A lot of the great tracks on the album have melodies that are purely infectious that you will never be able to stop humming. 'Drugs & Candy' is the first example that has a perfect melody. The somber guitar line and slowly building verses pair with the progressively more emotional vocal melody perfectly, and when the chorus kicks in, it comes off in such a blissful way that you can't help but feel it in your heart. This is true for any song across the album; 'Ground Control' is special, as Tegan and Sara add a female timbre to the record giving it a fresh and powerful new life.
All Time Low brings a poppier sound in Last Young Renegade, and does it really well. Their pop punk attitude falls into an ode to the good times of the past in the record, the pop elements helping to make the good memories feel all the more warm. Moreover, they'll make you want to pursue them and bring them back. This album will pull at your heart until it has you by the strings, and it doesn't take long for that to happen.
Favorite Tracks: Drugs & Candy, Life Of The Party, Good Times, Ground Control
Least Favorite Tracks: Afterglow, Dirty Laundry
Rating: 85 / 100
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