By Sarah Boutwell
The All-American Reject’s fourth album, “Kids In The Street,” came out March 26 and for expectant fans who’d been waiting and waiting, it did not disappoint.
This album brings more of the punk and spunk the band is known for with some new twists and experimentation.
They’ve got their usual energetic, let’s-act-like-teenager tracks like “Beekeeper’s Daughter” and “Kids In The Street,” and their sensitive, write-in-your-journal-while-listening-to-this-song ballads like “Affection” and “Bleed Into Your Mind.” But mixed in are a few tracks that show the band’s growth in musical expression.
There are some beats reminiscent of ’80s music that have snuck in from the past onto this album.
The band has referenced Queen as one of their favorite bands and biggest influences. You can totally hear it on the track “Walk Over Me” with Tyson Ritter, the band’s lead singer, showing off his vocal chops akin to legendary Freddie Mercury’s. The song even rips the line from a certain Queen song: “I need someone to love.” It’s fast, loud, and there is guitar shredding like no other from the band’s lead guitarist Nick Wheeler.
Besides the tracks that sound like some good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, the album brings some synth-pop and almost techno sound quality to the other tracks. “Kids In The Street” sounds like Shiny Toy Guns, a band that also hails from Oklahoma, could have had a hand in producing it. It could easily be a summer hit with lyrics like “We were dreamers, we were American graffiti scenes/No war, no peace, no hopes, no dreams just us/And the songs with the words we’d sing wrong/We’d drive until that jealous sun feel down.”
As for the ballads, they’re what really stand out on the album, “Heartbeat Slowing Down” being one of them. Also, “Gonzo,” which is surprisingly mellow for AAR. Think Silversun Pickups meets The Ataris, and you’ve got a chill song to take a drive to. Ritter told The Examiner that they aren’t really interested in making club hits.
“We’ve kinda been away from that. We are in a time where rock n’ roll isn’t as prevalent as it used to be. We are trying to stay away from dance remixing for at least the first couple of singles,” said Ritter.
And they’ve still got the spunk to their music that made you want to swing swing along. Badum pish.
Favorite track: “Fast And Slow” a duet with singer Audra Mae and lyrically the best on the album.
Least Favorite: “I For You”Contact Sarah Boutwell.