A line like, "When he's inside you there's no room for me,"
is unforgivable - even had it been sung by Spinal Tap. But
All-American Rejects get grace for this blatant faux-pas because
When The World Comes Down is a wall-to-wall fine pop rock CD.
This is not, however, another pop-punk release, which is a style
that's getting awfully old these days. Pop-punk asks its practitioners
to be tough and tender at the same time. But that's like turning right
and left at a stop light. Sooner or later, something's got to give.
AAR vocalist Tyson Ritter has grown into an expressive singer
who doesn't need to yelp or growl for our attention. Just listen to
the slight Celtic touch a violin gives "Fallen Apart", which
allows Ritter the chance to sing sweet. During this curious rock era,
when so many emerging rock bands try hard - too hard - for overly
deep seriousness, even before they're quite ready for that, All-American
Rejects make simplicity sound a tad profound. In "I Wanna"
they put it bluntly: "I wanna/I wanna/I wanna touch you/You wanna
touch me too." Yet this doesn't come off like a bear trying to
get his paws all over some little sweetie. It is, instead, an honest
plea for affection.
This new release comes with a bonus disc of demos for four album
tracks, including "Mona Lisa" and "Damn Girl".
But because producer Eric Valentine didn't overdo it in the
studio, these early takes don't sound all that different from their
final versions. "Mona Lisa" is acoustic-sweet, both before
Musical trends come and go, and trendy players either mature into
adult performers, or they fade away. For instance, Justin Timberlake
is now taken seriously as an artist. Whodathunkit? Similarly, with
When The World Comes Down, All-American Rejects appear to be
on the path to rock artist legitimacy. In other words, they'll probably
be around long after the little girls have moved on to the next pierced
and tattooed pin-up. And this will hopefully make them an altogether
acceptable American band.
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