Even though high school is something of a distant memory for me, it’s not a bitter one…and will never be either! Sure, I went through the same girl troubles, geek outsiderness, and overall teen angst that most kids go through. But I finally survived it all…because it was all “JUNK”
What has all of that got to do with the debut album from The All-American Rejects…right?? Well, for some reason all the tracks this band has produced till this date take me back to those neo-idyllic days when I ate my yellow bag lunch out on the stage with my classmates. While I may be far far away now from those sweet-cute days but AAR’s music leaves a slight smile on my face and punish me if I don’t say it, their music even makes me miss those “traumatic” days of my upbringing…lol!
The four lads/dudes/hunks who make up The All-American Rejects hail from Oklahoma, off all places…can you believe it? Stillwater, Oklahoma, obviously The United States. They are Tyson Ritter, Nick Wheeler, Mike Kennerty and Chris Gaylor! And it seems that while other denizens of Middle America spend their time doing drugs and weeding, The All-American Rejects decided to break from the mold and make some music instead. And it’s pretty damn sweet, on surface inspection…how cute!!
“My Paper Heart” blasts out the gate with urgent guitar, some nice piano and mild electronic embellishment. Not to mention that it’s rife with some of the most youthfully romantic lyrics this side of a Valentine’s Day card. Front Macho Man Tyson Ritter has a happily melancholic voice that maintains a perfect balance of youthful exuberance and angst ridden whining. You not only relate to, but also feel for Tyson when he chimes in with “Please don’t Play With Me, My Paper Heart Will Bleed, This Wait for Destiny Won’t Do, Be With Me Please, I Beseech You, I don’t Know About You, But I’ve Been Where He’s at a Million Times.” To add to the matters, the song even incorporates some great “doo-doo-doo’s” toward the end. It’s a gem..hell yeah! I’m punking around!! Yes it indeed is a gem…to be sure, especially for those of us who have been stilted, jilted, and strung around by an object of love, lust or infatuation.
This catchy modus operandi continues on “Your Star,” which utilizes a wonderful combo of minimalistic piano and driving guitars, all of which wrap around Tyson’s plaintive crooning. “Swing, Swing”…omg what a song! It is the band’s designated “hit,” the song that is being pushed at radio even today. This song it again revolves around the subject matter of youthful love. I always find myself humming these songs in the bathroom. That alone tells you something…I’m not a gay but I just love Tyson Ritter and of course The All-American Rejects!!
“Time Stands Still, Gives You Hell, It Ends Tonight, Dirty Little Secret, Drive Away, The Wind Blows, Mona Lisa” and many more are some slabs of sugar coated infection. It just can’t stop from getting better and better!
That being said, however, the track, “One More Sad Song” keeps you up like always, though I don’t think there is anything sad in it. That cannot stop me from remarking…Ah, tough competition for Blink 182, eh?? Or perhaps the Brand New Blink 182. I guess this thought alone sums up the awesomeness of The All-American Rejects!
Again I’m mentioning that I’m not gay but Nick Wheeler’s guitar licks are rooted more seductively than being music related and adding on to this seductiveness is Tyson Ritter’s voice which has a wonderful range that bounces from jittery crooning to rocky “punkism”. This gives The All-American Rejects nice depth that allows them to bust free from that pack when they so desire. Hail The All-American Rejects!!
The All-American Rejects have crafted a catchy, bittersweet romantic blast of power punk-cum from the 80’s which is no doubt a true wave rock candy. Which is to say that while it may not linger with you after it’s played through, I guarantee that it’s damn tasting going down and will undoubtedly prompt you to replay their songs again and again and if for a brief moment the music of The All-American Rejects pulls you back to the days when life was simple, when it revolved around nothing more than the young girl you had a to-die-for-crush on, well then that’s something that the inner romantic in us all can relate to, whether we admit it or not, that The All-American Rejects can accomplish that, no matter how fleetingly is cool indeed.
Here’s the confession: I always think of Suchi when I listen to them! Each and every song of The All-American Rejects makes me feel her presence! I always feel she’s next to me! Baby…When you see my face, hope it gives you hell!!
Long Live The All-American Rejects
Happy Listening Music!!
PS: While writing this, trust me…the songs I was listening to were all of The All-American Rejects. Stay tuned for more stuff on AAR!!