Last Young Renegade is the seventh studio album by American rock band All Time Low. It was released on June 2, 2017, and is their first release with Fueled by Ramen. The lead single, "Dirty Laundry" premiered on BBC Radio 1 on February 17, 2017. The album debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200, selling 33,000 units in its first week.
ackground and recording
Following the release of Future Hearts in April 2015, All Time Low began working on their next album shortly afterwards. The band spent several weeks staying at ranches in Big Bear and Palm Springs, California. Here, the band had a lot of time for "reflecting and soul-searching", according to vocalist/guitarist Alex Gaskarth.
In June 2016, Gaskarth emailed guitarist Jack Barakat a demo of "Dirty Laundry", which Barakat was immediately impressed by. Later that month, the band began recording Last Young Renegade at EastWest Studios in Los Angeles. With no deadline, the band worked at their own pace. The members would turn up at midday for the sessions, "playing around 'til something cool came out", according to Gaskarth. On occasion, Gaskarth would leave the studio enthusiastic with the progress being made on the album, other times he would feel burned out, incapable of listening to music for two days in a row.
Music and lyrics
Gaskarth stated the band were concerned with "just pushing ourselves forward" with Last Young Renegade, wishing to "explore ... some darker tones". He said he was "reflecting more on my demons this time around". Gaskarth also said: "Our friends are getting married, ... having kids, ... passing away another level of gravitas to things". Halfway through the writing process, while in the middle of working on four songs, the band came up with "Dirty Laundry" which helped "shaped the rest of the album."
Gaskarth mentioned the album had "a lot of indirect '80s influence on , and we had a lot of fun with analog keyboards." Gaskarth noted David Bowie and Prince as influences on the album. With "Last Young Renegade", Gaskarth said the group "needed to open with a banger, and open with one that had a lot of energy and movement." He was unsure if the song was going to feature on the album "until later ... there was this story forming and that 'Last Young Renegade' could be such a cool piece of what the record was about". Gaskarth explained that while Future Hearts was composed from the viewpoint of the band "talking about our youth," "Dirty Laundry" was written "from the other perspective ... taking more of a nostalgic approach." He also said the track discusses "the guilty conscience and the mistakes that you've made and coming to terms with those and wearing them as badges."
Two years after the business-as-usual Future Hearts, hitherto pop-punk quartet All Time Low make a surprising shift on their seventh set, Last Young Renegade. Much like similar moves by contemporaries Fall Out Boy and Paramore, it's a late-era switch that finds the band expanding its sound into pop-oriented territory where synths and dance beats roam. Influenced by David Bowie, Prince, and the sounds of the '80s, Renegade is All Time Low's attempt at sonic maturation, which pays off with much satisfaction. This is a focused collection of intense emotional energy, but vocal effects, programmed beats, and atmospheric production take center stage instead of raucous riffs and pounding drums. Fans of their classic sound may be left wanting, but enough of that punk attitude remains, preventing this album from being a total curve ball. "Last Young Renegade" and "Dark Side of Your Room" combine Fall Out Boy with the stylings of indie bands like Walk the Moon or Atlas Genius, while "Good Times" recalls the peppiest output from the All-American Rejects and Plain White T's. Venturing even further into the mainstream, "Life of the Party," "Afterglow," and "Ground Control" tackle the arena-sized pop/rock of OneRepublic and the 1975. The latter cut is one of the many highlights, recruiting Tegan and Sara for a touching and shimmering collaboration. While the majority of Renegade is cut from the same pop cloth, "Nice2KnoU" is a knowing gift to the faithful -- the album's lone punk blast -- an old-school, pogoing floor-shaker sure to please diehards. As the track chugs along, frontman Alex Gaskarth sings "We can't go back to yesterday...One last time for old time's sake." It's a clear declaration from a group with a mission. While they acknowledge their roots, All Time Low have their sights set on the road ahead. Last Young Renegade is that first brave step on a journey where studio sheen and cross-genre influences embellish their ever youthful spirit. AllMusic Review by Neil Z. Yeung User Comments