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Dirty Work is the fourth full-length studio album by American pop punk band All Time Low. The album is the band's major label debut and was released on June 7, 2011 by Interscope Records. "I Feel Like Dancin'" was released as the album's first single on April 15, 2011. Frontman Alex Gaskarth felt the album was "more of a pop-rock/alt-rock album for us. There are definitely elements of pop punk—where we came from. But this album was an effort to develop our sound and hone in on great songwriting rather than conform to the boundaries of a certain genre."[4]Gaskarth penned all the lyrics, and collaborated with musicians on the music. Being a pop punk success, Dirty Work was met with some commercial success, debuting at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 in the United States with 45,000 first week sales.[5] It also charted in the top 20 in Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada. All Time Low toured extensively throughout 2011 and 2012 in support of the album. Dirty Work has sold 107,000 copies in the US to date October 2012.[6]

History Edit

In late March 2010, All Time Low began recording their fourth studio album with producers John Fields, Matt Squire and Mike Green. They documented the process with video blogs on their official website and fan club, The Hustler Club. On August 17, 2010, a demo song from the new album, titled "Actors," was posted on earthtoalex.tumblr.com. On July 28, Alex announced via Twitter that they had officially finished tracking all songs for the album.[7]

During an interview with MTV, All Time Low stated that the album was named Dirty Workafter the band's past and present events. Alex says that it is a lot of "dirty work" doing what they love, because, while it has many benefits, it has downsides too, one of which being that it keeps them away from their loved ones at home. In the same interview, they also revealed how the album was a "crossroads" in their lives, with the music on the album being both similar to their usual style in some songs, as well as diverging into new areas in others. The band also revealed that the title Dirty Work came from the record's content itself with songs about how life on the road can have its ups and downs, and what they are effectively doing is "dirty work."[8]

It was confirmed in an interview that the demo track "Actors" released in August 2010 would not feature on Dirty Work. On December 12, 2010, Hot Topic announced via Twitter that All Time Low had "finished recording Dirty Work this week." [9]

Yellowcard said on their Twitter that All Time Low's new album would be released on March 22, 2011, the same day as their new album, but later sent out another tweet saying that had not been confirmed by anyone in All Time Low.[10]

During an interview in early February, frontman Alex Gaskarth stated that the band were currently approving artwork. He went on to say: "the record is slated to be released in late March so I would expect people to start hearing something in the next few weeks." Alex stated in another interview: "We never actually gave an official release date; it's all been left to speculation and stretching of the facts. At this point, its looking more like the record will come out a bit later than March, but I think folks can still expect to hear some new material in the coming weeks.[11] AbsolutePunk stated that the "record's definitely not coming out in March" due to the "restructuring" of Interscope and a number of records have been pushed back, Dirty Work being one of them. On April 1, Alex Gaskarth officially announced that Dirty Work would be released on June 7, 2011 through an interview with Glamour Kills.

On February 8, Alex Gaskarth leaked a preview of a new song on his Twitter.[12] A week later, on February 15 the band played a song off the album live for the first time, the song was confirmed on Twitter to be "Time-Bomb".[11] Ten days later, Alex Gaskarth leaked the studio version of "Time-Bomb" on Twitter.[13] Following "Time Bomb"'s leak, Alex stated on AbsolutePunk that the song would not be the first single and that the sound is a bridge between Nothing Personal and Dirty Work.[14]

In an interview with All Time Low Exposed, Alex revealed that Maja Ivarsson from The Sounds would provide guest vocals on the track "Guts".[15]

Jack Barakat stated during an interview with AbsolutePunk that All Time Low will "hopefully be releasing the track-listing shortly, maybe even clips of every song." He went on to say "As of now, We (Band, Management, Interscope) haven't picked a single. "I Feel Like Dancin" is in the running and will most likely be released as a single at some point, we're just not sure if it will be the first one. It's a great song that we actually had the honor to write with Rivers Cuomo. It has a cool Weezer/All Time Low/party hybrid-vibe to it."[16]

On the 22nd March 2011, All Time Low exclusively unveiled the artwork for Dirty Workthrough Alternative Press. They also confirmed that "I Feel Like Dancin" would be released via iTunes on April 5, 2011 and on May 23, the music video was premiered on Vevo exclusively.[17]

A pre-order of the album became available on glamourkills.com starting Monday, April 4. There were several T-shirts and a hoodie available as well as the standard and a deluxe version of Dirty Work.[18] Whoever pre-ordered the album on Glamourkills.com received a link to a song entitled "Do You Want Me (Dead?)" on May 30.

The 5th song on the album entitled "Time-Bomb" was originally written by Alex Gaskarth along with Matt Squire, Pierre Bouvier and Chuck Comeau for a Simple Plan song. However, during the writing process they deemed it more of an "All Time Low song". Alex Gaskarth was then featured on the Simple Plan song "Freaking Me Out" from Simple Plan's Get Your Heart On! album.[19]

A version of "Time-Bomb" was included on the soundtrack of The Sims 3: Generations, an expansion pack to the video game The Sims 3. In this version, the vocals are sung in the fictional language used within the game, Simlish. Recently, the original version of "Time-Bomb" is featured in the free-to-play online game FIFA Online 3 which was launched in August 2013.

On August 15, the song "Forget About It", was released as a radio single [20] with a music video featuring footage of the band on the "Dirty Work Tour".

On August 26, it was confirmed in an interview with pupfresh.com that the next single from Dirty Work will be "Time-Bomb".[21] On October 18, the band's crew announced that the video was nearing completion, to be released on November 30, according to All Time Low's Twitter account on November 24.

All Time Low have announced they will be shooting a music video for, 'Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass".

On Nov 15, 2011 The band made the following statement:

"Can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Working on a crazy video for “Merry Xmas, Kiss My Ass” that we can’t wait for you to see ... Check out the song!"

The video premiered on December 9, 2011.

Reception Edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AbsolutePunk 74%[22]
Allmusic [23]
Alternative Press [24]
Blare [25]
Entertainment Weekly B+[26]
idobi [27]
Kerrang! [28]
Rock Sound 7/10[29]
Rolling Stone [30]
Sputnikmusic [31]

Dirty Work was released to mixed reviews. Alternative Press gave the album an average review, stating "Guts, featuring The Sounds' Maja Ivarsson is a synth-assisted 6/8 number loaded with urgency and lyrical poignancy" yet also notes "Other tracks feel homogenized and lifeless, as if they were focus group to death. Time-Bomb is a Metro Station-aping electro-dance number that does nothing to actually make the listener dance." [32] Luuuxgave the album an overall average review, stating "Fast beat with electric guitar songs like "That Girl" and "I Feel Like Dancin'" (a satire song about the radio/music industry) don't have me as a fan either, but the rest of the album is worthwhile." [33] Sputnikmusic gave the album a negative review, stating that "Similarly, there was a time when All Time Low were a genuinely exciting young pop punk band; when the songs were dynamic and Alex Fucking Gaskarth's vocals were merely double-tracked rather than layered and autotuned to fuck." [34] idobi Radio also gave a negative review stating, "The band lost their way... This experiment went wildly out of control. The album lacks overall direction and cohesiveness." [35] Review Rinse Repeat's review was just as negative, noting that the record "Overproduced and emotionally flat, there just isn't much good to say about this album. Strange enough, All Time Low seem to be in a completely different world this time around, as tracks like "Forget About It", "Under a Paper Moon" and "I Feel Like Dancin'" show with unneeded slickness, out-of-body songwriting (not in a good way) and underachieving vocals."[36] On a different perspective Entertainment Weekly gave the album a fairly positive review, noting "Dirty Work proves you can grow up and still act like a kid."[37] M is for Music gave the album a fairly positive review, noting "Third track Forget About It sounds almost like it would have been right at home on So Wrong, It's Right."[38]

Track listing Edit

All lyrics written by Alex Gaskarth (of All Time Low), except "Time Bomb" co-written with Pierre Bouvier and Chuck Comeau. 

No. Title Music Length
1. "Do You Want Me (Dead?)"   Gaskarth, Mike Green 2:46
2. "I Feel Like Dancin'"   Gaskarth, Rivers Cuomo 3:01
3. "Forget About It"   Gaskarth, John Fields 2:49
4. "Guts"   Gaskarth, Green 3:18
5. "Time-Bomb"   Gaskarth, Pierre Bouvier, Chuck Comeau, Matt Squire 3:30
6. "Just the Way I'm Not"   Gaskarth, Butch Walker 3:18
7. "Under a Paper Moon"   Gaskarth, Green 3:02
8. "Return the Favor"   Gaskarth, Daniel Lutrell, Jacob Lutrell 3:41
9. "No Idea"   Gaskarth, Terius Nash, Christopher Stewart 4:25
10. "A Daydream Away"   Gaskarth, Green 4:13
11. "That Girl"   Gaskarth, Squire 3:11
12. "Heroes"   Gaskarth, John Feldmann 3:26
Total length: 40:32

Personnel Edit

Personnel per digital booklet.[39]

All Time Low
  • Alex Gaskarth – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Jack Barakat – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Zack Merrick – bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Rian Dawson – drums, percussion
Production
  • Mike Green – producer on "Do You Want Me (Dead?)", "I Feel Like Dancin'", "Guts", "Under a Paper Moon", "Return the Favor", "No Idea", "A Daydream Away", "Heroes", and "Get Down on Your Knees and Tell Me You Love Me", additional production on "That Girl", mixing on "Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass"
  • John Fields – producer on "Forget About It"
  • Butch Walker – producer on "Just the Way I'm Not"
  • Matt Squire – producer on "Time-Bomb", "My Only One"
  • David Kahne – producer on "That Girl"
  • U4L – producer on "Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass"
  • Neal Avron – mixing
  • Mark Trombino – mixing on "No Idea"
  • Chris Lord-Alge – mixing on "That Girl"
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
  • Varnish Studio Inc – art direction, design
  • Miko Lim – photography
  • Les Scurry – production coordinator

Chart performance Edit

Weekly charts Edit

Chart (2011) Peak

position

Australian Albums Chart[40] 13
Canadian Albums Chart[5] 13
Dutch Albums Chart[40] 67
Ireland Albums Chart[40] 34
Japan Albums Chart 10
Sweden Albums Chart 83
UK Albums Chart[40] 20
US Billboard 200[5] 6
US Billboard Alternative Albums[5] 1
US Billboard Rock Albums[5] 1
US Billboard Digital Albums[5] 3
US Billboard Tastemaker Albums[5] 19

Release history Edit

Country Date
United Kingdom June 6, 2011
Brazil June 7, 2011
United States
Japan June 8, 2011
Philippines September 22, 2011
New Zealand June 13, 2011

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