The All-American Rejects so far during their career have enjoyed the type of classic success that either doesn’t exist anymore in the industry or very few bands seem to enjoy. Their debut self-titled album was released to little fan fare, then as ‘Swing, Swing’ and ‘The Last Song’ hit radio and television, people started to take notice. Fast-forward a few years and ‘Move Along’ came out and all of a sudden AAR’s popularity was off the charts, so much so that their third studio album, ‘When the World Comes Down,’ is Alternative Press’s most anticipated album of 2008.
It is confusing that, with an album full of tried and true sounding AAR tracks, the band would release the somewhat avant-garde (well, for them) track, ‘Gives You Hell.’ This track upon first listen comes off as a Weezer b-side from their ‘Make Believe’ album. As a matter of fact, their other single released off the album, ‘Mona Lisa (When the World Comes Down)’ also sounds like a Weezer castoff.
It might be smart for the band to show some diversity with their tow lead single, and it does work as ‘Mona Lisa’ does manage to register as one of the more interesting offerings of the record.
AAR does not completely alter their sound for this record, but this is a different shade of the Rejects sound on ‘When the World Comes Down.’ The album starts out as you’d expect, crisp, cohesive guitar work, rich, flourishing drumming and Tyson Ritter’s sugary sweet, catchy vocals. Tracks like ‘I Wanna’ and ‘Fallin’ Apart’ kick off the record with perfect AAR flare, and the record continues through comfortable tracks that will put you right at home like ‘Real World’ and ‘Believe,’ but it’s the off-putting AAR tracks that makes this album a winner. Ballads like ‘Another Heart Calls’ that feature the wonderfully lush vocals of the Pierces and the heartfelt slow-burner ‘Back to Me,’ work to add an extra layer of depth to ‘When the World Comes Down.’
The Rejects also have a good knack for leaving some of their best material for last as the song ‘The Wind Blows,’ the albums closing track besides the hidden ‘Sunshine,’ is one of the better songs off ‘When the World Comes Down.’
‘When the World Comes Down’ is the Rejects most diverse sounding work yet, and while they haven’t completely abandoned the sound that brought them to stardom, they do enough to make it different. The album is full of upbeat sing-a-longs, beautiful one and two-part harmonies and some of the best hooks in the business.
With ‘When the World Comes Down,’ The All-American Rejects have almost transcended genres, ala Panic at the Disco, Fall Out Boy or Weezer. It isn’t their very effort to date, but it damn sure is a good one.
Listen to: ‘Another Heart Calls,’ ‘The Wind Blows’