Review Summary: Lyrics so depressing even stereotypical emo kids are like "Dude get over it!"
Originally known as The Drowning Fish, The All American Rejects hail from Oklahoma and started off as a two man group. By the time of their self-titled debut album two more members were added. Making it a poppy quartet that would invade airwaves and steal hard earned MTV time to rappers and pop icons. After being signed to Doghouse records in 2001 the band worked on Self titled album and released it on October 15th 2002 Swing Swing
became such a hit that many claimed that this was just a one hit wonder, primarily because some people wondered why was that a hit? Their sound is entirely pop hooked bubble gum flavored punk aimed directly at the MTV audience.
The All-American Rejects are
-Vocals and bass
-Lead guitar, keyboard, and backing vocals
-rhythm guitar, backing vocals
The album as a whole isn't that bad, apart from some pretty immature lyrics that would have a stereotypical emo kid say, "cheer up seriously I don't even feel sorry for you." Musically The All-American Rejects are gifted, though their numerous attempts at using the synthesizer prove otherwise, shown throughout the album. Tyson Ritter's voice is hit or miss on a lot of songs however, making this a shaky album. I definitely wish I knew about this site prior to me buying this CD, seriously there must have been a reason it was on sale for so cheap. Despite their fame granted to them after the song Swing Swing
they are not what they are hyped up to be, I will admit I still am a fan of the song, not so much the album however sorry.
The worst thing about this album is the lyrics. It seems like every song is primarily the same song lyrically speaking that is. How many songs can you write about the same failed relationship? The correct answer for The All-American Rejects is eleven. Some songs definitely show some potential to be more than simple pop punk lyrics that only 13 year old girls who think Tyson Ritter is hot will appreciate. The Last Song, Star,
and Time Stands Still
are the best the band have to offer. The album seems to be plagued with an attempt to write something so poetic that heartfelt that they forgot to make sense. The excess of use of commas in One More Sad Song
ruins an otherwise good song. Paper Heart
is the worst song on the album lyrically. Not that the music or vocals for it are any better.
Ritter has a very good voice, however in certain songs he travels too far from his comfort zone and utterly destroys the song. Paper Heart
the first part of the song is not that bad as it starts with Ritter singing the chorus softly until the first verse hits then everything falls to shambles, his voice is way off pitch and out of tune, the only thing saving this song is the attempted use of chimes. Most of the tracks Tyson's voice is just ok, nothing to write home about. Ritter does shine vocally in songs such as Star
, Swing Swing
, Don't Leave Me
, and The Last Song
,which is conveniently the last song on the album, how fitting. Also the use of harmony is also a plus coming from these guys. The Last Song
shows the best they have on harmony and though they are no Taking Back Sunday, it is something that they could improve on and become decent at.
The All-American Rejects however are very experimental on this album with a wide variety of instruments being played throughout the album. I personally don't like the use of synthesizer but I think they should have stayed in the 80's where they belonged. Other than the conventional guitar, bass and drums The All-American Rejects throughout this album use chimes, organs, pianos, and a bell. The best song musically on the album would have to be Too Far Gone
because they played their instruments stellar. From beginning of this song starting with soft picks of an acoustic guitar and then the use of a violin, to the maintaining of a mellow sense to the song but picking up and raising it up a notch, sounds strikingly similar to a Dashboard Confessional track. Another Gem musically on this album is Drive Away
because on this track they sound similar to Blink 182 during Enema of The State.
The album as a whole seems to be missing something that they do end up following up on and that is dropping the synthesizer and going with a complete rock sound, instead of trying to out do Moby. Lyrically this band struggles at immensely, tracks like The Last Song, Time Stands Still, and Star seem to have promise but all still lack any real depth, just the image of it. All of the songs written on this album seem to be written out of teenage angst for losing the puppy love of their life. Musically they experiment with all kinds of different instruments, from organs to bells and chimes, I respect the experimental side of them. I do not believe this album deserved the amount of media coverage they did, but at least they followed up with a better CD, unlike bands like Good Charlotte who earned media coverage and just got worse.
Some positive things about this album are that they are diverse with their instrumental use, and do produce some quality music that have somewhat of an intrinsic sound. Star, Too Far Gone, Drive Away,
andThe Last Song
are very good songs and should be heard. They are very passionate about their music, and extremely too passionate about their lyrics, but it is passion none the less. Most music today sounds like it is coming from drones so passion is a plus.
Negative qualities about this album include horrible writing skills, over use of the synthesizer, and Paper Heart
. Sorry. I have to give credit where credit is due, their writing skills did diverse and got better in Move Along, their sophomore CD. Although because we are talking about this album I strip their credit away and give it to other bands who actually deserve it. Like The Fray
Final Rating 2.5 out of 5