A new album by The All-American Rejects is like Halley’s Comet in that it takes some time to come around, but when it does, you’re left with nothing but a smile. I told Nick Wheeler of the Rejects in 2008 that I was barely getting my feet wet in high school when the first album came out, planning on college with the second and in my senior year of college with the third. So I sit hit a few years after getting my BA on my living room floor reviewing the forth and I couldn’t be happier about it, bottom line. This setting comes after sitting at work all day with Kids in the Street on repeat. Not skipping a single track and texting my friend every now and then, “so good!” …Give or take an emoticon smiley face.
“Somebody’s Gone” took the job of being who I met first on the album. And the impression was a lasting one. With the Rejects, predictable pop lyrics aren’t a problem. It’s what’s taken them this far, and I felt not only with this song, but with what followed, their pop had matured. When you think back to the infectious “Swing, Swing” and “Move Along,” “Somebody’s Gone” isn’t that upbeat radio hit. It’s more low key in taking over your thoughts. But then there is the first single, “Beekeeper’s Daughter.” From the title, I scrunched up my nose, thinking it can’t possibly be good. Why do I dare doubt these four men?
While they continue to be on point to not disappoint longtime fans, they always keep in mind the rest of the world. They know how to construct music that translates to a general audience. In the future when and if they perform on Ellen and do “Kids in the Street,” I can picture my mom calling me to tell me one of “my bands” was on Ellen and how it’s “her song” now. And since we’ve stumbled onto “Kids in the Street,” it’s a song I think you listen to more for the lyrics and less for the fun of it…which is weird for a lot of mainstream songs.
There wasn’t a dull moment for the record. There were songs that took the energy level down, and where id’ usually skip, my hand was still. Tyson Ritter’s voice just has a pull to it that can only be compared to audible gravity. With the more lovey dovey tracks, you want him aiming those enticing blue eyes at you. Whether it is “Affection” or “Fast and Slow,” you’re left with the vapors
There’s a few bands that I’ve been able to grow up with and actually stay a fan of, The All-American Rejects is definitely one of them. Kids in the Street earns them a notch in the maturity department when it comes down to their musical growth, which is great news for their diehards who’ve grown a bit over the years as well. And any newcomers to the Rejects spectrum will appreciate the universal appeal of each song when they hear them dominating the radio over the next year or so.
Kids in the Street is out now and they’ll be all over the country after that and then are heading overseas to spoil the UK for a bit. And if you’re in LA, I hope to see you at their Troubadour show on March 30th, going to be so good!