All Time Low

Nothing Personal

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    7
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On their second full-length album, Nothing Personal, All Time Low show no signs of maturing or changing their winning formula of summery emo-pop. The band still sounds resolutely teenage and excited to be in a band. There are no songs about life on the road, no ponderous power ballads, and very little pandering to the latest trends (chiefly Auto-Tuned vocals) that were sweeping through the emo landscape in 2009. The lyrics all revolve around relationships, both broken and blooming, and are sung by Alex Gaskarth in a voice that skirts the usual clich├ęd opinion of emo vocalists by being strong and non-whiny. Thanks to the clear and relatively uncluttered production, the band sounds great too; tough on the rockers and tender on the few ballads. Nothing on the album screams break-out single, but there are a handful of tracks that play well on an emo-pop playlist. Best of the bunch is "Weightless," a song that would have fit in perfectly on Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American. The hard-charging "Lost in Stereo," with its naggingly catchy vocal hook, midtempo cautionary tale "Stella," and the oddly titled but rocking "Keep the Change, You Filthy Animal" are all fine examples of emo-pop at its best, too. In fact, Nothing Personal is an example of emo-pop at its best, and anyone who thinks emo is just a bunch of pop junk might be surprised at how catchy and powerful a modern rock album it is.

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