The All-American Rejects | Kids In The Street

DGC/Interscope
By ANNIE ZALESKI  |  April 3, 2012
2.0 2.0 Stars

aar1
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

  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Arts, The All-American Rejects,  More more >
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