The All-American Rejects

Kids In The Street

Written by: PP on 15/05/2012 04:42:27

The other day I went back and listened to the first two records by The All-American Rejects from 2003 and 2005 respectively to make sure my judgement of their fourth album "Kids In The Street" wasn't clouded by nostalgia. I wasn't wrong. The band have turned from a fun, upbeat band with roots in shamelessly poppy pop punk (that inspired All Time Low among others) into a pompous, overproduced pop rock outfit capable of writing just a couple of hit songs per record - the archetypical major label 'safe bet' band. Straight from the get go, you can tell that "Kids In The Street" has a ridiculous recording budget as every little detail of each instrument has been meticulously worked on by a team of sound engineers under the direction of producer Greg Wells (Katy Perry, Aerosmith, etc) to make the record completely devoid of any sort of feeling, honesty, or real atmosphere, all features of a quality rock record according to our rating scale.

But then I decided to drop all of my prejudiced bias about mainstream alternative rock music and really listened to the songs.

Underneath the glossy surface namely lie songs that are quite possibly the best songs artistically that The All-American Rejects have written throughout their career. "Beekeeper's Daughter", for instance, is a great pop rock song that strangely echoes a similar mood as Motion City Soundtrack's "My Dinosaur Life", just without the keyboards and high tempo of course. Though lyrically the band still aren't geniuses, the melody here is surprisingly catchy and warrants having an extra listen even if you're coming into the album prepared to basically dislike it to pieces beforehand.

Similarly, a song like "Walk Over Me" channels 80s style rock'n'roll into a modern alternative rock song, whereas "Out The Door" just sounds like a mature band who has simply decided amongs themselves that they're done with pop punk and want to write some more...contemporary. Even a track like "Kids In The Street" amidst its 80s synths and Hellogoodbye inspired, superproduced powerpop vibe manages to sound like one of those alternative rock songs you hear all over the radio that doesn't bother you because its sugarsweet melody has just the right amount of bitterness in it to keep its feet on the ground.

The album is full of moments like these, and although it may seem bland and uninspired even on a pop rock scale at first, it is truly a grower. Trust me, it feels strange to say that about an album as poppy as this one, but it really sounds like Greg Wells has pulled out the very best out of a band many deemed largely irrelevant in 2012. And while it may not top any end-of-year lists, it's safe to say that mainstream rock music isn't usually this well executed.


Download: Beekeeper's Daughter, Kids In The Street
For the fans of: Weezer, Simple Plan, We The Kings, Relient K, Tickle Me Pink
Listen: Facebook

Release date 26.03.2012

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