The All-American Rejects have been around for quite some time now, and after what was a disappointing third album all eyes are on Tyson Ritter and co to deliver with Kids on the Street.
The most noticeable change between this album and 2008’s When the World Comes Down is an about-turn in the band’s sound, and it has been long overdue. For far too long the Oklahoma four-piece have relied on sugar-coated pop-rock tracks but finally it sounds like the band have taken some thought over the composition of each song. It is unfortunate therefore that the band have decided to releaseBeekeeper’s Daughter as the first single, as this is the track which sounds like the majority of their other singles to date. Why bother experimenting with your sound if you are going to advertise the album by releasing a carbon copy of Gives You Hell?
The sound of the album is where the experimentation stops unfortunately. Lyrically this album may be the least mature yet, which is saying something. Tracks on their self-titled debut album afforded the band stardom, with the masses clinging on the simplistic lyrics found in One More Sad Song and Swing Swing. The problem is the band have been trying to emulate that success since, meaning lyrically there has been little to no progression at all. In the aforementioned lead-single, frontman Tyson Ritter sings “You’re a pretty little flower, I’m a busy little bee” which quite frankly might be the worst hook I have ever heard. I am almost certain I could find deeper content in my primary school English books. It doesn’t end there either, Fast and Slow is exactly as bad as it sounds, “You go fast, I go slow” is not the most subtle sexual metaphor you will hear this year.
The album’s saving grace is final track I For You, a gorgeous acoustic number which shows a maturity which sadly is lacking from the rest of the album. The stripped back style suits Ritter’s delivery perfectly and, although this acts as a great parting shot, it will leave fans frustrated that the rest of Kids in the Street couldn’t be as fulfilling as this ballad is.