This first impression was originally posted as a live blog for supporters in our forums on May 19th, 2017. First impressions are meant to be quick, fun, initial impressions on an album or release as I listen to it for the first time. It’s a running commentary written while listening to an album — not a review. More like a diary of thoughts. This post has been lightly edited for structure and flow.
Oh yes, it is that time again … first listen time.
Tonight I’m excited to share a live-blog-first-listen thread all about the new All Time Low album.
My history with All Time Low is interesting. I remember seeing a lot of hype for the band around The Party Scene era and giving the songs a listen, I thought it was pretty run of the mill stuff, nothing really stood out to me. Then they released PUOSP and I was like, eh, ok, this is better, there’s some stuff here that I like, but as a whole, nothing really grabbing me. That was a three or so year long period of seeing the band, thinking they had potential, but nothing stood out to me as a “hit.”
And then the band sent me some demos for SWIR.
I heard “Dear Maria.”
I remember thinking, “yep, that’s the one.”
As a whole that was the first album I thought really nailed a pop-punk vibe and they had multiple tracks on that album I really, really liked. “Six Feet,” “Remembering Sunday,” “Stay Awake” … I felt like I finally got the band, even if I wasn’t really feeling the albums. That continued with Nothing Personal, an album where I really enjoyed a variety of songs, even more than the previous album, and this was the first time where I felt the band had put together a full album of songs. Something I felt like I would come back to time and time again and be able to listen to front and back.
Asked if he spends pressure-filled evenings worried about proving credibility to an older crowd, Styles grows animated. “Who’s to say that young girls who like pop music—short for popular, right?—have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That’s not up to you to say. Music is something that’s always changing. There’s no goal posts. Young girls like the Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not serious? How can you say young girls don’t get it? They’re our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans—they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.
When I was younger I was way too self-concious about the kind of music I liked and told my friends I liked. I was constantly afraid of being made fun of or called names. I felt judged if my pop-punk bands were too “pop,” so god forbid I tell anyone I liked Madonna or The Bangles. It’s great to see more artists speaking out about this, because we have to break this stigma that if young women like a band that’s somehow worthy of criticism.