Kids in the Street (CD) All-American Rejects
As a (once) hard-core fan of The All-American Rejects, I'd say 'unrecognisable' best sums up their fourth studio album Kids in the Street - but not in an entirely bad way.
They've branched out from their alternative rock roots and abandoned their slightly raw 'emo' edge that put them on the Billboard Top 100 with tracks like Move Along and Dirty Little Secret. But the evidence of their mainstream success is undeniable (single Beekeeper's Daughter is their most recent radio hit).
Kids in the Street has a few hidden gems, such as Affection. It's one of the quieter tracks, and is a pleasant surprise, although Tyson Ritter's trademark vocals screeching 'yeah, yeah, yeah ...' half-way through ruins the song.
The one thing keeping the album together is Nick Wheeler's solid guitar riffs, although they seem like an afterthought to Ritter's vocals. Instrumentally, the songs have so much potential but, lyrically, the poorly executed, almost whiney, undertones of unrequited love can only be tolerated for so long.
Just when you think the album is getting better, something gives you the opportunity to think twice.
I don't think this record will help the band. Mediocrity does not keep fans happy.