All Time Low – “Poppin’ Champagne” – Song Discussion

Behold, here we have one of pop punk’s absolute greatest treasures.

Soon after being signed to a major label and releasing their debut EP, Put Up Or Shut Up, All Time Low released their full length second studio album titled So Wrong, It’s Right on September 25th 2007. So Wrong, It’s Right was the epitome of 2000’s pop punk although kind of showing up late to the party, considering this sound was more prominent in the earlier part of the decade. Nonetheless, All Time Low’s second attempt was filled with angst-y lyrics saturated in pop melodies and guitar hooks but was none any less influential than the rest. It was bright and full of life and brought us many great songs including “Dear Maria, Count Me In”, “Six Feet Under The Stars” and “Poppin’ Champagne” (which I will be talking about in this post). So Wrong, It’s Right is still regarded as one of the best pop punk records to come from the 2000’s and is widely included on many “albums you need to listen to before you die” lists.

Right now I want to take a moment to discuss one of the best songs to come from this record and also one of the best songs in this bands discography.

After a whirlwind of eleven other songs basically all about growing up, friends, sex, becoming famous and making it in the world among other things, “Poppin’ Champagne” is not much different. Musically, this song is energetic with faced paced drums and heavy guitars, and a simple guitar solo for the bridge part (that is still happens to be one of my favorite guitar solos to this day, no matter how simplistic it is). The vocals could use a bit of work but it fits the pop punk feel of it all so I really can’t complain about that. Lyrically, on the other hand, is where things start to get interesting. It describes a scenario where the narrator is trying to become successful, hence the title referring to popping bottles of champagne. The opening line, “Caught up in the moment/ But not in the right way” shows us how they don’t know how to feel during all of these good moments. Being their first full length release on a major label, there are the obvious feelings of excitement and happiness but also nervousness of being accepted as well. The next few lyrics tell us how hard the band is working to find their audience and fans by saying “We’re just aiming to please/ And aesthetics don’t hurt one bit”. And with every “Why don’t you say so” present in every chorus, they’re seemingly giving people an invitation for criticism and commentary, a rather bold move for a band so young and early into their career. However, the most stand out lyrics comes to us during the chorus and states “My eyes, they despise you for who I am”. This line in particular took me a very long time to understand; at first listen, I just though it sounded cool so I didn’t think much about it. Upon deeper inspection, I’ve come to think think that this could mean a lot of things but the thing that sticks out most in my mind is the thought of being jealous of someone more successful than you, because you want to be in their spot instead. It’s such a simple concept packaged in a very unique way and is what makes the song stick out on this record.

Anyway, the song finishes out with reminding listeners that there is indeed “a place for me somewhere, out there” and ends with the repetition of the “why don’t you say so” until the song fades out. Placed as the closing track on this album, “Poppin’” is the perfect ending to one era and a good foreshadow of what’s to come next. It’s also a great representation of all the things pop punk stands for and fits perfectly in the theme of the record. The only disappointing thing about this song is the music video that goes along with it (seriously, don’t watch it).


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