It has been over three years since the release of The All-American Rejects’ less-than-stellar third albumÂ When The World Comes Down, and theyâ€™ve finally offered fans a sign of redemption. An outstanding blend of traditional Rejects alternative style with a touch of experimental flair, Kids in the Street is bound to be a hit among new and old fans alike.
This record sounds like the Rejects were in the middle of an identity crisis â€“ they were testing new waters but still trying to maintain fansâ€™ interest , and they produced this unexpected yet satisfying 11-song compilation of sheer quality music for fans of any genre. The band clearly wanted to stick to their alternative rock roots, and that is most evident in the albumâ€™s opening track â€œSomebodyâ€™s Gone.â€ However, they do show more of their pop influence in songs like â€œKids in the Street,â€ â€œGonzo,â€ and â€œHeartbeat Slowing Down.â€ These songs all have a slight techno feel that resembles Breathe Carolinaâ€™s style, minus the auto-tuned vocals and screams.
â€œWalk Over Meâ€ is easily the best song on the record, as it is the best display of AARâ€™s traditional style. The song uniquely combines a perfect balance of provocative vocals and instrumentals bursting with the energy that resonates throughout the entire album, coming together to make the song an immediate favorite. â€œAffectionâ€ is another standout in need of instant attention, as the song opens with slower, simpler instrumentals and Tyson Ritterâ€™s softer vocals. It has that â€œsappy sad love songâ€ vibe bound to steal listeners’ hearts, and the songâ€™s climax leaves the listener longing with Ritter for the affection he craves.
Ideally, the record would have ended there, and there would have been no complaints. However, the closing track â€œI For Youâ€ was less than impressive. A simple assemblage of acoustic guitar and vocals, the song comes off as very clichÃ©. â€œAffectionâ€ was much more notable lyrically, vocally, and musically, and would have closed the record with more of a bang.
Despite its occasional weak moments, Kids in the Street is ultimately a must-have for Rejects fans both old and new. Older fans will appreciate the fact that the boys they first fell for havenâ€™t abandoned their traditional sound and the fact that this album is a significant improvement on their last release. The band take some attention-grabbing risks yet still stick to their roots, allowing them to reach out to as many listeners as possible, old and new, without â€œselling out.â€ After three years of reflection on their rocky third album, they needed to return with a phenomenal follow-up, and thatâ€™s exactly what Kids in the Street is.