Album Review: “Last Young Renegade,” All Time Low

Album Review: “Last Young Renegade,” All Time Low


Two years (since Future Hearts), three months (since LYR was announced), five singles, and a whole lot of excitement later, the masterpiece that is Last Young Renegade has graced the world with its wonderful presence.

Last Young Renegade is All Time Low’s seventh studio album, and their first to be released with Fueled By Ramen. This album marks 10 years since All Time Low released their first full-length album (So Wrong, It’s Right) and the band’s 14th anniversary.

This album is entirely unique from All Time Low’s past albums. Musically, the band incorporated more pop elements and synthesizers to enhance the songs. The lyrics are a bit more gritty and real than what fans have heard in the past–and while ATL began this lyrical shift with Future Hearts, it felt like Last Young Renegade took this shift a step further.

One thing that hyped me up personally was how open the band, especially frontman Alex Gaskarth, was about the stories, influences, and emotions behind this album. With every single, and then the album release, Gaskarth wrote a personal message about the song on social media that gave some backstory and context. To me, knowing what Gaskarth shared made the album mean so much more than it would have on a general surface level.

In terms of tempo, Last Young Renegade is well spaced out. It’s not one fast song after another; rather, you have a fast tempo song followed by a couple slower songs before another fast song is heard. This was a great touch that helped to keep the album from feeling overwhelming.

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Last Young Renegade is a story of self-realization. A collection of songs written from the perspective of the other side of the mirror. In writing this record, I delved into all of the different versions of me that other people might have met over the years, through the ups and downs, in the public eye and behind closed doors. I gave those other sides of me a persona, and a name, and The Last Young Renegade was born. It became a symbol for those characters and allowed me to comfortably write about some things that I’m not as comfortable talking about openly. This is a very personal record, our favorite that we've written. We hope you enjoy the album as much as we do. Thank you for being along for this journey with us. Get Last Young Renegade at the link in our bio.

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The title track opens the album, and it’s the perfect album opener. “Last Young Renegade” is 100% a power anthem track that I believe will become one of the next Hustler fandom anthems. For my full thoughts on this track, click here.

“Drugs and Candy” was an instant favorite. The music is great, and the lyrics are raw and emotional. I love the emotion you can hear in Alex’s vocals especially towards the end of the song, it almost makes you cry (or maybe that’s just me. I’m also a tad emotional right now over this!)

“Dirty Laundry,” the first single off LYR, is still as great and hauntingly beautiful as it was back in February. “Good Times,” while not the first single, was the first song written for LYR and “the cornerstone of the entire record.” “Nice2KnoU” is energetic and nostalgic, while “Life of the Party” tells a story many may empathize with about drunk nights trying to forget the pressures of the world. (For my full thoughts on these tracks, click the song titles for my reviews!)

“Nightmares” made me think of AS IT IS‘ okay. lyrically. I appreciated the slower tempo of the song–the combination of that with the lower key of the guitars and bass created a darker-sounding tune that’s fitting for the topic. Meanwhile, “Dark Side of Your Room” had me bopping my head. And maybe it’s just me, but did I catch a Fall Out Boy lyric reference in this track? Something about “with the notches on your bedpost” sounds pretty familiar from “Sugar We’re Goin’ Down.” Now whether or not that was an intentional reference is the real question!

“Ground Control,” featuring pop duo Tegan and Sara, is the first collaboration that All Time Low has done since Don’t Panic. This song also had me bopping my head. For the chorus, I noticed that Sara’s vocals were louder, almost overpowering Alex’s voice. However, the lower sound level of Alex’s voice actually accented Sara’s vocals and brought a great effect to the song.

“Afterglow” was a perfect closeout track. The music and lyrics bring a hopeful tone to the closing track, contrasting the darker tone of the rest of the album. Interestingly, it’s not Alex who sings the outro of the song, but a different uncredited vocalist. I’m genuinely curious as to why ATL chose to close the album out this way, and who the vocalist is. If anyone happens to know, comment it because I can’t seem to find the answer!

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Overall, Last Young Renegade makes for such an awesome listening experience. The song are great in all aspects, and I can honestly say that I love every single track–and know that such a thing is very rare for me! Each track is amazing and unique, all jams in their own rights. You can easily tell that this album will translate so well to live performances, and that the live versions of these tracks will be even more amazing than the originals (and that is truly saying something).

For my fellow Baltimore Hustlers–if anyone is going to the Sound Garden show tomorrow, let me know! I’d love to get to meet some of you guys!

To keep up with All Time Low through their tour experience, go follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to Fueled By Ramen’s YouTube for more videos! Also, be sure to check them out on Spotify for more music! You can also check out their website for order options for Last Young Renegade, tour dates, and ticket links.

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