The All-American Rejects have been playing their pop-punk stylings for years, perfecting their formula as best they know how. Their last effort brought mainstream hits with “Move Along” and “It Ends Tonight,” both scoring huge hits for the masses. This time around, on When the World Comes Down, the band steps a little aside from their formula, growing a bit in the process.
Of course, the band has a few hits on the way with this album, and fans wouldn’t have it any other way. Album opener “I Wanna” is one of the stronger upbeat songs on this record, with the focus resting on Tyson Ritter’s voice just before the rest of the band joins in for the fun. Everyone, regardless of where you stand on pop music, can appreciate the strength in the chorus, though its lyrics might be a little hollow.
Skip ahead a few tracks and you will find the first single from the album, already climbing the charts: “Gives You Hell.” Surprisingly, this song doesn’t rest on the bands combination of solid percussion and guitar-monies, instead putting the focus crisp percussion. This is a song that will probably stay around for months and months, in all arenas.
But, they follow all this up with “Mona Lisa,” which is a slower number than the first minutes of this album have to offer. Acoustic guitars and Ritter’s voice are the perfect match here, creating one of the more surprising moments on the album. It also boasts of being the song with the best set of lyrics here.
The album is filled with tunes familiar to AAR fans, although they might be a little more subdued on this effort. You can still find really strong guitar work, regardless of what you’re into these days. A newer touch is the usage of extemporaneous atmospherics to fill out some of the space on this album. It shows a bit of maturity for the group.
Those of you interested in this album will surely find lots that you love here, while those who do not will leave this album be. Nonetheless, it’s another solid performance from a group who knows exactly what they are doing, and seems to have a lot of fun doing it. Let’s have some fun with them.
Download: All American Rejects – Gives You Hell [MP3]