There is a place for shamelessly derivative music. Some artists pay homage to influences from decades past, some join current movements with expert execution, and some artists meld styles into something new. Before You Exit accomplished none of these, instead sounding like entirely generic and anonymous knock-offs of pop hits from the last few years.
Before You Exit seems to have almost entirely abandoned the “punk” part of their pop-punk origins, and are currently attempting to create slick, contemporary pop music. Opening track Model uses all the same sounds as a One Direction song, the pulsating synths and pop-rock beats, but it lacks that band’s effortless charisma. The bands attempts at swagger and charm come across as unconvincing, which is without the entirely vapid lyrics. Featuring a chorus that includes the lines “I know you think I’m crazy / for loving all your features / even in your t-shirt / you look like a model”, the song comes across as shallow and condescending, bordering on misogynist. A track idolising a partner can be very effective, but Before You Exit lack the charisma to pull it off.
Aside from One Direction, Before You Exit also borrow the styles of several other notable pop artists. Other Kids sounds like a Passion Pit song with less distinctive vocals, When I’m Gone could be from the latest Justin Bieber record, and I Won’t Stop recalls the industrial-tinged R&B of artists like The Weeknd and Zayn. Whilst it’s possible for a record to work with all these unique pop styles, All the Lights just can’t bring them together in any coherent way. There’s no distinctive through-line, or unique character the band brings to the songs, and whilst some the tracks are catchy, the EP just comes across as manufactured and bland.