The four Maryland-boys-that-could have come a long way from their “Party Scene” days in high school. Five hit albums and hundreds of thousands of fans later, All Time Low is at an all-time high. The 2012 album ”Don’t Panic,” featuring collaborations with Cassadee Pope (Hey Monday, ”The Voice”), Jason Vena (Acceptance), and Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy) pretty much became a certified overnight cult classic — so much so that it found itself deserving of its own deluxe version the following year. Most deluxe versions of an album released at any time after the basic record’s release is open to extreme scrutiny, with even the most diehard fans calling out the artists’ labels as “selling them out.” Usher had this problem with the special edition of ”Confessions,” way back in 2004, whereas The Lumineers faced some criticism for their own deluxe release of their debut album just this August. No matter how true or false those aforementioned situations are perceived per each individual skeptic, it can’t be argued at all that ”Don’t Panic: It’s Longer Now!,” for whatever reason, just feels worthy of a deluxe edition release all around, even so many months after the original’s debut.
The reasoning behind this may be that this release feels like so much more than just a means of raking in some extra cash from the ultra-dedicated fans of the band. ”Don’t Panic: It’s Longer Now!” plays out a lot more like a brand new love letter to their audience in shiny though comfortingly familiar wrapping. All of the songs that made ”Don’t Panic” a hit are still there — from “The Reckless and the Brave” all the way to “So Long, and Thanks for all the Booze” — though woven in among them are exciting and fresh additions. These include their latest hit single featuring Vic Fuentes (Pierce the Veil), “A Love Like War,” as the album’s second track as well as “Me Without You (All I Ever Wanted),” “Canals,” and “Oh, Calamity!,” all of which are as catchy as they are clever and inventful in their design from top to bottom.
Also present on ”Don’t Panic: It’s Longer Now!” are acoustic versions of some of their 2012 hits, including “The Reckless and the Brave,” “Somewhere In Neverland,” “For Baltimore,” and “Backseat Serenade.” Each of them are beautiful alternative versions of what are already great songs to begin with, featuring tender vocals and sparse though thoughtful instrumentation. On top of all of these extras for fans of All Time Low and good music in general to get excited for, the album also features some fun new cover art. Physical albums can be ordered online from the band’s official website and are each individually numbered between 1 and 15,000 — the amount of these limited edition copies that they’ll ever be pressing.
All in all, ”Don’t Panic: It’s Longer Now!” serves its purpose as an awesome and affordable deluxe extension to their original 2012 album that is chockful of hits that will get listeners grooving as much as it’ll get them carefully reflecting on their own lives through the surprisingly deep and colorful lyrics and melodies present on the record. This isn’t just a love letter to fans of the band who have been following them for a while now, but an album that offers a great place for new listeners to jump right on in and finally hear what the big ruckus about these boys was all for — and just how much it’s truly warranted.