In my life, I often find myself gravitating back and forth between the same handful of bands or artists – and All Time Low is a card-holding member of that club. There’s something about the clever lyricism and the gritty pop-punk influences that just pull me in every time. I always love how they keep this genre alive, even after exploring the more pop-side of the spectrum (as seen in their 2017 release Last Young Renegade). Regardless of the new things they try musically, I love seeing Alex, Zack, Rian, and Jack drifting back to their tried-and-true roots that fans go crazy for.
“Once in a Lifetime” is their newest single, and accomplishes this and so much more. With a flair and grit that would easily fit on their latest full-length album Wake Up Sunshine, it feels familiar yet updated at the same time. With echoed vocals floating behind the mix at the start, smooth guitar chords and a dirty bass lay the groundwork for this smash hit. “I wanna drive this car / right over the edge / of every bad idea I didn’t have yet” is so cheeky and unique. And I love how accurately that portrays the confusion surrounding loving someone and not caring about the drama and complications that often come with that when it ends. I also love that they name-drop their own band in their own song. It’s very meta in the best way! The melody and context around and behind the lyric “just like that” reminds me of the same lyric in their song “Sleeping in” from Wake Up Sunshine.
The pre-chorus layers a progression that audibly rises up to the chorus that could easily fill an ampitheater with its energy and angsty relationship drama. Lyrics like “Just like that / I know there’s no turning back / We already made this bed / And I can’t even sleep in it” are universally relatable and combined with the energetic palm-muted guitar, brings a very-welcome energy to the overall mix. Speaking to the greater nuances of navigating a relationship on the rocks, this song is a hug for the soul that can be felt all the way down to your toes.
The bridge section always makes me squeal because the half-time rhythm break alongside the lead guitar mimicking the vocal melody is just so satisfying for my little pop-punk loving heart. With the chorus lyrics spread over a different rhythm, it brings the listener back to the beginning of the journey – back where it all began. As a prime contender for any treadmill playlist, this song packs a punch, leading the listener through multiple layers and sections of new rhythms colored by similar ideas that remind us that sometimes the best relationships really are “once in a lifetime”.
The music video is also a very colorful and enthusiastic representation of this new song and era for All Time Low. There’s the band rocking out a house party while a young couple lives large after buying a lottery ticket. It’s a great party song with lots of good times and finding joy in the present moment. Every song by All Time Low always has such a great energy to it, and for that, I’m grateful.
Take it from Alex, Zack, Rian, and Jack – don’t let this one go.
Watch the music video for “Once in a Lifetime” on YouTube HERE.