All Time Low's third studio album has all the production polish and energy to break them into the big time. However, it's all just a little too familiar. Amid the sheen of the music here it's difficult to find a true heart.
Covering the Punk and Power Pop Bases
All Time Low cover lots of bases here in the punk pop and power pop genres. The new single "Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don't)" wears Weezer love on its sleeve in the chorus. "Therapy" wades through a sea of self-doubt that would make any emo fan happy. "Keep the Change, You Filthy Animal" borrows its titling style from Fall Out Boy and the sound is perky pop punk that could come from any number of bands on the Vans Warped Tour. The problem is not the stylistic variation. It's the fact that it all feels paint by numbers.
Highly Commercial Production
All Time Low enlisted a team of some of the hottest of today's producers in punk pop and power pop. Butch Walker is coming off work on Pink's Funhouse album and Katy Perry's "Thinking Of You" single. Matt Squire is riding high with the success of 3OH!3's single "Don't Trust Me." S*A*M and Sluggo helped Metro Station into the pop spotlight with "Shake It." The result of all of this production firepower is a highly commercial sound. No one will be surprised at what they hear. Unfortunately, it's hard to see much that is distinctive.
Top Tracks On 'Nothing Personal'
- "Damed If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don't)"
- "Hello, Brooklyn"
Still Looking to Break Out of the Pack
With their breakthrough into the top 100 of the album chart on the strength of their last album So Wrong It's Right, All Time Low stands on the perfect platform to launch into the mainstream. The sound here may please a wide range of fans and be welcomed in with a number of similar sounding bands. However, if All Time Low want to find themselves among the top punk pop bands, they will need to locate a sound that is more unique than most of Nothing Personal. "Hello, Brooklyn" has a big, rolling chorus that will have listeners singing along. "Walls" has a few cliches, but there is an honesty lurking in the words. However, the high points are ultimately too few and far between. Too much of Nothing Personal sounds very forgettable.