The All-American Rejects | Kids In The Street

By ANNIE ZALESKI  |  April 3, 2012
2.0 2.0 Stars

The All-American Rejects began life as an emo-scarred keyboard-pop band and gradually smoothed out their rough edges (or, rather, gave in to their '70s and '80s rock tendencies) on earworms such as "Gives You Hell" and "Move Along." Kids in the Street, the band's fourth full-length, is their most subdued effort yet. Except for the new-wave pogo "Fast & Slow" and the crunchy glam swagger of "Walk Over Me," the album focuses on slick, mid-tempo pop burnished with subtle keyboards and inoffensive guitars. Although this isn't always a bad thing — the synth-drenched title track and its uplifting chorus compete with any of the Killers' best singles, and the acoustic ballad "I For You" is lovely and affecting — Kids in the Street overall lacks urgency and bite. Even its most inventive tracks (e.g., "Beekeeper's Daughter," with horns and a court-jester vibe) feel lethargic. More problematic, if it wasn't for frontman Tyson Ritter's distinctive, boyish delivery, songs like "Heartbeat Slowing Down" and "Out the Door" would be bland, faceless radio staples. This is perhaps the most disappointing thing about Kids in the Street, seeing as how AAR became Top 40 darlings on the strength of tunes that dared to detour from the norm.

ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS + A ROCKET TO THE MOON | Royale, 279 Tremont St, Boston | April 28 @ 6 pm | All Ages | $30 adv./$33 doors | 617.338.7699

Related: Various Artists | Casual Victim Pile: Austin 2010, Avi Buffalo | Avi Buffalo, Andrew Bird | Break It Yourself, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Arts, The All-American Rejects,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   WHAT'S F'N NEXT? FIDLAR  |  March 19, 2013
    Ask FIDLAR bassist Brandon Schwartzel some basic questions about his band, and his answers reflect more than a bit of weariness with the rigmarole of publicity and music journalism.
  •   THE EMPOWERMENT OF KATE NASH  |  March 05, 2013
    Singer-songwriter Kate Nash was recently named a Global Ambassador for the Because I Am a Girl initiative, which aims to give females in developing countries the opportunity for a better life.
    In 2001, Desaparecidos were just another band formed by Conor Oberst, already a veteran of the Omaha music scene at the tender age of 21.
  •   THERE’S HOPE FOR THE VACCINES  |  January 23, 2013
    Every few years, a guitar band forms and swaggers up the charts on the strength of music that captures the UK's youthful zeitgeist.
  •   THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF ELLIE GOULDING  |  January 18, 2013
    Long before Ellie Goulding hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in summer 2012 with "Lights" — a starry-eyed dance-floor trifle with subtle neo-disco beats and sleek keyboard burbles — the singer-songwriter was a star in her native England.

 See all articles by: ANNIE ZALESKI