Thursday, January 7th, 2021

All Time Low ft. Demi Lovato and Blackbear – Monsters

We have mixed feelings on this “Monster”…

Al Varela: So is blackbear really going to be the one to bring pop punk back into the mainstream? First Machine Gun Kelly, now he took it a step further and gave that clout to All Time Low. That’s wild to me, not what I would expect had you told me this would happen a year ago. But honestly, I think it really works, especially with the Demi Lovato remix! I love the furious energy of the chorus alongside the standard driving guitars and heavy percussion. Alex Gaskarth’s raspy growl sells the cheesy, yet endearing angst and blackbear’s douchey vibe works really well as someone who’s let the monster within them take over and spread it to the people around him. Plus, this is just more proof that Demi Lovato’s powerful voice works best with loud guitars and heavy grooves. This song is awesome, and I’m really hoping this is the start of a pop-punk revival for 2021.

Katherine St Asaph: Officially more punk than Dead Kennedys!

Jeffrey Brister: I like this. It’s dated and corny, but precisely in the way that I like, like a song beamed to us from an alternate universe 2006 where people broke down the walls between pop and rock way sooner than we did. I love love LOVE how the rock elements don’t compromise themselves in order to fit the additional vocals and styles, which gives the song a charmingly contorted, Frankenstein-ish stitched-together feel.

Juana Giaimo: As it happens with many featurings these day, “Monster” sounds, unfortunately, completely disjointed. I say unfortunately because the melody is catchy and it has a certain nostalgia for the ’00s that  I enjoy. I would completely erase the whole apathetic rap verse by blackbear and add more of Demi’s powerful vocals, that have been glued on top of the track instead of being somehow connected to the rest.

Thomas Inskeep: So I guess 2000s Warped Tour emo is back? FWIW, All Time Low do a pretty solid simulacrum of it (the chorus here is nearly undeniable), and Lovato’s guest vocal is a happy gift. Blackbear, as always, provides nothing worthwhile, but at this point we should be used to that.

Rachel Saywitz: Wouldn’t have minded to hear a Demi and All Time Low collab… in the early 2010s. Not even going to name the other horrid collaborator on this track. Currently feeling “strung out like laundry on every line.”

Tobi Tella: I feel like I know this beat too well too, Alex. Toxic relationships are not the most novel well to draw from, especially in this genre and as much as this wants me to pretend it’s 2008 and rock out, it’s kinda mid. Blackbear can’t even commit to the tOrtUrEd by dEmOnS bit and has to interpolate his own corny lyrics. Demi is surprisingly the least offensive part of this, adding a legitimate intensity that was very much missing from the proceedings, though drivel like this might reflect badly on her political career.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: The first time a new emo artist collaborating with an older one intrigued me was when nothing,nowhere. linked up with Dashboard Confessional. It’s interesting to hear “Monsters” three years later and after emo rap’s mainstreaming because there’s a sense that the main influence behind the hook on this song is, er, 24kGoldn and Iann Dior’s “Mood“. The rest of this, from Blackbear’s vocals to the throbbing bassline, is an attempt at midtempo Twenty One Pilots. Nothing about this song capitalizes on the strengths of its participants: Demi can’t showcase her power vocals, All Time Low eschew any sense of youthfulness or high-spiritedness, and Blackbear doesn’t sound the least bit evil. What’s the point?

Reader average: [7.33] (3 votes)

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One Response to “All Time Low ft. Demi Lovato and Blackbear – Monsters”

  1. That Blackbear verse was so bad it completely obliterated my ability to judge the rest of the song (I think it was better than fine???)