Sound — 8
All Time Low have just released their 4th studio album "Dirty Work", their first on major label Interscope. Between their touring, they began writing for the album. "Dirty Work" is the follow up to the commercially and critically successful album "Nothing Personal", the album that shot them into the public eye. "Dirty Work" has a much less polished sound than on "Nothing Personal", Described as "less polished, more gritty" by front-man Alex Gaskarth and working with Rivers Cuomo and having guest vocalists. The guitars on this album don't follow the simple 4-chord patterns found on "Nothing Personal", and they have some interesting guitar hooks and lead parts. As always drummer, Rian Dawson has done a brilliant job on this album and Gaskarths vocals sound brilliant. Having jumped on the all time low band wagon after hearing "Nothing Personal", it feels like this album lacks the fun they had on that album, but still a solid album.
Lyrics — 8
01. "Do You Want Me (Dead)?": this is my favourite track off the album at the moment. The chorus is very catchy and the lyrics are very interesting with lines such as "I've got my hands up, I'm staring down the barrel of a loaded night". A solid, good intro to the album. 02. "I Feel Like Dancin'": the first single off the album, released prior to the albums launch. When this song came out I hated it and felt down by the band, but the more I listened to it the more it got stuck in my head. The song grew on me and I knew the lyrics after a few listens. Lyrics on this song aren't the best admittedly "Everybody getting kinda crunk, I think some dude just grabbed my junk". Gaskarth said the song was meant to be a humorous parody of most things played on the radio. Written with Rivers Cuomo of Weezer. 03. "Forget About It": good verses/sing-along chorus/Very interesting bridge. This song is the most "Nothing Personal" sounding. It features gang vocals in the chorus and a good guitar solo. The bridge is just Gaskarth talking saying: "You know, there are some days when I really feel like this could work. Like, you and I are finally gonna get it right. Then there are days like today, when you make me want to tear my fucking hair out." 04. "Guts": "Guts" doesn't sound like anything they've done before, interesting guitars, more of a punk-pop song than the usual pop-rock. Powerful vocals throughout and features guest vocalist Maja Ivarsson. 05. "Time-Bomb": they played this song live when I saw them back in march. It was originally a simple plan song, but when they were recording, simple plan gave it to them because they believed "This is more of an all time low song". "Nothing Special" on the lyrics here and a chorus that gets stuck in your head after 1 or 2 listens. Solid song. 06. "Just The Way I'm Not": another new step for them, some good lyrics on this song like "When it's broke it's perfect". Sounds well produced if not slightly over. 07. "Under A Paper Moon": inspired by Ella Fitzgerald's "It's Only A Paper Moon", showing the wide musical taste, this was another one of the songs the played live prior to the album release. This is another favourite of mine. It was interesting to see how the lyrics would fit this song as Gaskarth posted them online before it was played live. I imagined a slow acoustic number, but it's a fast paced up-beat sing along that doesn't slow down. 08. "Return The Favour": the song starts with a Spanish guitar and fades into a kind of dark, sinister number. The lyrics show a vulnerable side, when compared to the usual dance/sing along's. Very different for them. 09. "No Idea": a brilliant song, sounds similar to that of "Too Much" off "Nothing Personal". A song that everybody can relate to. It gets lost amongst other songs though with it being one of the last songs, but still a stand-out song. 10. "Daydream Away": another stand out song of the album, lyrics are amazing on this song, bar the "Douche-bag wives" line. The lyrics "I'd drink a little too much, You'd offer me a ride, I'd offer you a t-shirt and you'd stay another night" Hits on a personal level. Lyrics on this album are a lot more mature than previous stuff. This acoustc jam is the best song on the album, would have been the best song to end the album with but still amazing. 11. "That Girl": I like the new sound on this song, over-produced but still a song that you can shout out and dance along too. This song captures elements from other genres and puts them with pop-rock and it blends well together. 12. "Heroes": sounds like it would fit in with their earlier works. It would go in well with "So Wrong It's Right". This song is meant to be a tribute to their earlier fast paced punk sound and it does that well a good song to end with. I have other bonus tracks and studio demo's of songs but their not worth reviewing with the rest of the album give them a listen on YouTube or iTunes. Gaskarth's lyrics and vocals are outstanding yet again on this album, just at points I wish they would use a little less auto-tune as he has an amazing voice.
Overall Impression — 9
I think that this album is brilliant, but then I'm a big all time low fan. From an unbiased point of view I think this album isn't the best they've ever put out but is a very worthy follow-up to nothing personal. It has parts where you recognise the things this band do so well and other new parts that the band explore well. The downside is that they have moved even further away from their original sound, I personally love the new sound, but other fans disagree with this. So for me this album is fast becoming one of my most played already but I know it may have alienated other fans. Worth a listen though, recommended for fans and people who have never listened to them.