“Tell Me I’m Alive” - All Time Low Album Review

Story posted March 21, 2023 in

Imagine Green Day meets Big Time Rush. That’s All Time Low. Early 2000s rock meets boy band pop. “Tell Me I’m Alive” brings it all. Be transported back into the era when some of the best songs hit the radio.

All Time Low is an American band that formed in 2003. It consists of four members: Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Zach Merrick, Rian Dawson. Their genre is considered many things ranging from emo to indie to pop-rock.

The band has released over ten albums during their music career beginning with their first studio album, “The Party Scene.” Some of their biggest hits include “Dear Maria, Count Me In” (2007) and “Monsters” (2020).

“Tell Me I’m Alive” has 13 songs with themes of sex, love, drugs, and mental struggles. The songs differ, however, emotionally. Some are super hype while others act as depressing ballads.

All Time Low’s music most likely appeals more to teenagers and young adults. Due to the explicit lyrics and content of the songs, they’re music is not recommended for younger audiences.

The band itself is eclectic which is evident while listening to their music. That’s probably why this album does multiple things that aren’t typical in today’s music industry too.

Something that really stands out is their use of instruments rather than overdone production. The sounds of the guitar, keyboards, drums, etc. are highly distinguishable throughout.

Although there is production present, it’s not emphasized. It’s honestly very refreshing.

Additionally, the rhythm of each song is very similar, yet each song seems different somehow. Whether that’s the fault of the lyrics or the instrumental production, they’re all songs to jam out to in the car.

Even smaller details like writing styles they use differ from the normal trends. For example, in “English Blood // American Heartache” there’s a very staccato beat similar to enjambments used in poems.

Another unique choice for this album is that they take regular tasks and make them lyrics. In “Kill Ur Vibe,” the lines “Sat wasting daylight / My phone’s been dead since 3:05” are just things that happen. They are not exciting events, but they are relatable.

Of course plenty of artists write their own songs, but typically not every song. On this album at least one member assisted in writing each song. That’s pretty impressive.

As for the genius of the lyrics themselves, they have many fun lines to listen to, including, “Hook in the mouth, stringing me out on every word you say” in “Modern Love.” Another being, “And your hips are the only alter” in “New Religion.”

This album overall is a great listen. It’s upbeat, relatable, and has a good get-up-and-go vibe. To top it all off, real instruments. Who could ask for more?

Ultimately, All Time Low would be someone great to see live. Their pop-rock genre mixed with the members’ personalities seems like it’d be awesome!

If that sounds enjoyable, the band is going on tour starting May 7, 2023. Go check them out!

Rating: 8/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Song(s): “Modern Love”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song(s): None

Isabel Sweet is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact her, email ips5219@psu.edu