The All-American Rejects Review

artist: all-american rejects date: 03/14/2013 category: compact discs
all-american rejects: The All-American Rejects
Released: Oct 1, 2002
Genre: Rock
Tones: Earnest, Amiable/Good-Natured, Earthy, Rollicking, Fun
Styles: Indie Rock, Emo
Number Of Tracks: 11
 Sound: 8.9
 Lyrics: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 9.1
 Overall rating:
 8.7 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.9 
 Users rating:
 8.5 
 Votes:
 24 
reviews (14) 14 comments vote for this album:
overall: 5.7
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: takenthecannoli, on march 14, 2013
8 of 10 people found this review helpful

Sound: Fronted by Stillwater, Oklahoma resident Tyson Ritter and supported by high school friend and Nick Wheeler, The All-American Rejects first recorded material that would appear on their debut in 2000 (now referred to as "The Blue Album") with guitarist Jesse Tabish, who departed before 2001's "Same Girl, New Songs" EP (also including several tracks from the debut). Signed to Doghouse Records and produced by Tim O'Heir (Lou Barlow, Morphine), the band initially released "The All-American Rejects" in 2002, commercially re-releasing via Dreamworks Records in 2003. Having only released the album by a hair (with the demo being saved from the trash by an intern at Doghouse), the album thrust the duo into superstardom with the single "Swing, Swing" and an eventual platinum certification in the United States. "My Paper Heart" opens the record with an immediate feel-good sound and delicate sensibility. At the outset, what you see is what you get: "The All-American Rejects" is a fun pop/rock album about girls and more girls. Ritter is a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed vocalist with a decidedly pop tenor range; behind him, acoustic chords and a sometimes-silly drum machine bounce along. Some moments are a bit more intense, but for the majority of the record, the "Reject" moniker is explored in full: these kids are used to being on the receiving end of heartache, and use such experiences as the backbone of the record. Musically, it reflects in the bright tone of the guitars, a heavy dose of melody, and occasional somewhat-cheesy fade effects and, in the case of the opener, liberal xylophone-imitating keyboard. Not only is the instrumentation essentially the same throughout, but so is the composition of the songs. Nearly every one is some form or another of springy pop/rock; some dabbling is done in balladry, though not nearly enough to earn any track placement on a Chicago record (the band is too young to know who they are anyway). The hit singles "Swing, Swing" and "The Last Song" both follow said bouncy formula, the former opening with organ-imitating keyboard and the latter with string-imitating keyboard. It isn't hard to see the all-too-recent high school breakups, even without the lyrics. When push comes to shove, it really is bubble-gum, but with a pleasant (rather than dull) sweetness. At the very least, the fun spirit of pop/rock is preserved and the band tries very hard to work with every last bit of complexity that can be squeezed out of an independent record label and keyboard. Recalling some of the 80's lightest summer singles, "The All-American Rejects" presents a readily marketable face for 2000s pop/rock; an image the band can hardly afford to cling to without incredible leaps and bounds in the next couple albums (spoiler: they barely make it). For now, however, it's an excellent introduction of a couple of Rejects into the industry, with only-too-fun, feel-good tracks about either breakup ("My Paper Heart", "Swing, Swing", "Why Worry", "The Last Song") or unrequited love ("One More Sad Song", "Time Stands Still", "Happy Endings", "Drive Away"). The drum machine, bizarrely, has more personality than some drummers in the same genre, and the variously-numbered (we've all owned one) keyboard sounds are a pleasant surprise. For a record with only guitar/drum/keyboard contributing to the musical arsenal, the record succeeds shockingly often - on the other hand, more complex debuts are certainly abundant, and with radio/MTV potential, the band does sacrifice some complexity. // 6

Lyrics: Singer Tyson Ritter opens the record, and as lyrically-based (often even narrative) as the record is, he steps up to the plate to varying degrees of success. Pop/rock is a many-headed beast for some singers, with the two styles often clashing in whatever decision-making goes on as to whether a "more rock" or "more pop" singer is needed. Ritter is of a decidedly "more pop" denomination, as is the record (and the lyrics). As such, he treads the line between sweet-sounding and whiny, especially with the considerably higher vocal range he skips through. The melody-based vocal parts mostly keep him out of trouble, though some moments (the bridge of "Swing, Swing" and any moment like it) highlight that obnoxious whine sound Ritter has such a wonderful grasp of when ending a phrase or note (we often hear this from other pop singers). Lyrically, the record is seldom impressive, seldom offensive. "One more sad song/Tears shed, she's gone" and the like border the "emo" tag (which, apparently, is lyric-based; God knows what the 2000s media would have done to a modern-day Beatles) the band later grabs (spoiler). For the most part, it's neither better nor worse than that; not to generalize, but not much is to be expected from just-graduated high schoolers, and to that end the lyrics achieve about as much as the music. The evenness is certainly easy to swallow, though by taking few risks the band loses out in the experimentation department (something contemporaries like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance at least attempted) that could potentially have benefit them. A few fun moments pepper the record "Happy Endings" ("I wouldn't call it cheating") among them. "The Last Song" proclaims in the chorus that "this is the last song" and actually is, in an utterly un-ironic twist and strangely charming of fate, the last song. For what it is, "The All-American Rejects" satisfies lyrically and vocally, though on both counts the "pass" primarily comes from its debut status and fairly safe execution. Should Ritter attempt to break into the coveted hall of 2000s pop/rock singers (spoiler: it takes awhile), it would be in personifying his voice in the same sense that peers such as Blink-182's Tom DeLonge have: that is, embracing his own voice with its flaws and transcending what it was to fit the character of the band with, though discreetly in his case, a stage persona. Lyrically, the genre often offers very little, though some maturity would undoubtedly help the Rejects. Taking a few chances wouldn't hurt, either. // 5

Overall Impression: There is something wonderfully fresh about "The All-American Rejects", stepping outside into the scent of genuine pine (or so) rather than spraying or lighting incense. The brightness isn't altogether compelling, but certainly lights up the afternoon without feeling like the chore debuts too often tend to be. That being said, this is far from "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn", and there isn't a single moment in which the band attempts to convince us they're anymore profound than they are. To some degree, perhaps that's the charm of it. With Ritter as a passable frontman and a knack for instrumentation, there may be more to this little band than "Swing, Swing", though only in risk and experimentation beyond silly pop/rock will they achieve true success and recognition.

// 6

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overall: 10
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: boyan89, on july 06, 2006
1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound on this album is a pure genious punk-pop album ever produced. The guitars on this album were overwhelming there is sometimes nice acoustic parts and there is defentiely a lot of good electric guitar parts. The drums on this album are overwhelming because their drummer plays with attidude. The bass on this album is pure genious I think especially in Your Star which by the way has an awesome solo. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are amazing. I think that A-AR are genious when it comes down to lyrics. This album is mostly about girls and partying and shit like that. I like it when it Nick sings too its pretty cool. // 10

Overall Impression: This album cannot compare to any other artists because A-AR have their own way of producing punk music. I hate nothing about this album. I love everything. The most impressive songs on this album are Your Star, Swing, Swing, Time Stands Still, One More Sad Song, Why Worry, The Last Song, Drive Away and Too Far Gone are all amazing. If it were lost/stolen I am defentiely buying it again. // 10

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overall: 5.7
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: shugo449, on january 17, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: On the AAR's first CD, they have lots of simple catchy pop songs, with chiming guitars, simple drumming beats keeping them in time, and light vocals of Tyson Ritter. This CD features the pop sensations "Swing, Swing" and "My Paper Heart". If yu've heard those, you've heard this CD. It's pretty repeatitve. I only really like two tracks, "Swing, Swing" and "Drive Away", a fast punkish song. Pretty standard mainstream fangirl music. // 6

Lyrics: On All-American Rejects, the lyrics are all about one thing. And that one thing is breaking up. All these songs linger on some stupid dumb blonde that dumped Tyson Ritter. Their is truely nothing but that in the linear notes. At least they aren't singing about killing people and suicide, I guess. // 5

Overall Impression: Overall, this disk is like one song. They all are basically the same. The guitarists, Mike Kenertry and Nick Wheeler are above this, though. I think they could be in a better band than this. I don't really like this CD much, though. I would not buy this again if I lost this, that's for sure. If you like pop and want a new CD, get this. If you like punk and are fooled by idiots calling them punk, don't get this CD. // 6

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overall: 10
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: UG Team, on july 24, 2003
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I think this cd is incredible! The sound is so original, it's almost like they throw in some hip-hop to the music with the keyboard and drum beats. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are exceptional and although every song shares the same theme (ex-girlfriend) they all manage to capture a different side of the picture, so no song feels old. // 10

Overall Impression: The vocals are great, clear and just right with the background music. Every song is worth a listen don't think "Swing, swing" makes them a one-hit-wonder. This can have a pop-sound to it at sometimes so I wouldn't reccomend this to most heavy listeners, but it's rock enough to bring in people of all tastes. By far the best cd this year. Rock on. // 10

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overall: 9.3
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: Five_X_Five, on february 24, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Although this album isn't particularly ground-breaking or innovative, it's worth a listen because of it's simplicity. The album's songs are all catchy punk-pop songs, whic may deter some fans of heavier music but might just please everyone else. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics in every song are about breaking up with a girl, which don't get too repetitive becuse of the way they are written. The lyrics are quite good and show intelligence in songwriting, but rely too heavily upon clichs, which let the songs down slightly because of overuse. // 8

Overall Impression: The band aren't the best in this particular genre, but they are still good enough to deserve a listen. I would say that The All-American Rejects aren't as good as Green Day or Blink 182, but are better than Good Charlotte. The best songs from the album are probably Paper Heart, Your Star and The Cigarette Star, but the songs that have been released from this album (Swing Swing, The Last Song and Time Stands Still) are great too. The thing that I love about this album are that it is catchy, with songs that'll stay in your head for days and make the album really memorable or really annoying. What I dislike is the fact that The All-American Rejects could be too similar to other bands. But I would buy this album again if I lost it, because it is a fun album, something to listen to if you don't feel like getting too deep into the musical content of an album. Overall, it's great! // 10

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overall: 10
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 26, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I like the sound of their CD, because the all-american rejects have brought a new sound to rock. They're original and when bands sound alike I can't stand it. They're a great party sound which I ADORE! The only thing I would change about their sound is that it sounds to me like alot of their songs are in the same key and like each song to be different. // 10

Lyrics: The part that stood out the most about the All-American Rejects' lyrics to me the most is how they talk about love in a new light. One can only listen to so many songs about falling in love before they throw up. Many bands save the lovey lyrics for the slow songs and while AAR have some slow songs, the majority of their love songs are up-tempo and fun which is something new to me. I LOVE Tyson's voice as well. He is truly gifted, unlike many other singers out there. I love his originality and skill. // 10

Overall Impression: My favorite song from the album is probably Swing Swing. It brings a great analogy lyric-wise. I love the style of the AAR, and also Tyson's voice. I wouldn't say I hate any elements of this album, their are some things i would possibly modify but what band out there is perfect? And if there is would we want to listen to them? If my AAR cd was stolen I would definitely purchase it again, and I would say yes it is worth your ca$h if you're into this style. I'd definitely recommend the All-American Rejects. Great band. :) ~xx // 10

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overall: 9.3
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 12, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound of the All-American Rejects self titled disc is really different. Like they will be singing about losing there girlfriend, but the music is so catchy, and happy, that it keeps you listening. And they choose different affects like the organ to keep it unique. // 8

Lyrics: Tyson ritter is one of the best lyric writers! Instead of just saying flat - out shallow sounding lyrics, his sound more like poetry put to music. He still says how he feels, just not as simple as "Simple Plan" or other bands. I think the All-American Rejects lyrics get you thinking. // 10

Overall Impression: I totally think its a good thing to buy this cd. There's so much you can relate to on it. My favorites are "Too Far Gone" and "One More Sad Song", because of the lyrics. // 10

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overall: 7.3
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: Blueherm, on july 16, 2004
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: It's one of those bands you either love or hate. Pop/punk fans would worship them, and hardcore metal fans would probably spit at them. Either way, this album is full of addictive guitar riffs that makes you listen to the album over and over again. There are a few nice'n'easy guitar solos here and there, but as a musical talent, All-American Rejects are poor. Some songs even have a techno-type drumming composed on the computer, which makes the album stink more of cheese. I personally think All-American Rejects are a great band as I'm a big fan of punk music, but really, techno-drumming? It does kinda puts me off. But still, very good band though. // 8

Lyrics: No particular emotional and shocking lyrics in their songs, but they're not too bad. It's listenable. // 6

Overall Impression: A fairly impressive debut album by the teenage-punk band, but they could have done better. It's definitely worth buyin' but you metal fans out there should avoid it at all costs it'll probably drive you nuts. Good album. // 8

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overall: 10
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 13, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Being a hardcore metal fan, I was kinda skeptical when my best friend convinced me to listen to this. But I really enjoyed it. The lyrics give a new insight on love and a little heartbreak. They match it with a great pop-punk sound. It's kind of original with the organ, piano, and a couple cool guitar effects. And the way they sing stands out (low, high, low). // 10

Lyrics: As I said before, the lyrics are mostly about love and heartbreak. In songs like "My Paper Heart" and "Time Stands Still" they talk about breakups and such. But in songs like "Your Star" they sing so deeply about some very strong emotions. From the chorus of Your Star, "I picked out your star, turned night to day. A simple whisper from your voice, and I fade away." // 10

Overall Impression: I'm usually very critical about CDs, but I can't see anything wrong with this album. The best songs on the CD are: Your Star, My Paper Heart, Time Stands Still, Swing, Swing. The end this pop-punk fans, pick this up. Metal fans, consider, it may strike an emotional chord in you. It did to me. This CD has a permanent place in my collection. Absolutely perfect. // 10

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overall: 10
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 07, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Sound is great! I love the singers voice. Tyson's ability to be able to get those high notes and then drop down are outstanding. The guitars are great and the drums are also. The bass isn't as good as the muse but then it wouldnt fit the songs. The bass line are simple but good. This about the only band I like of this style of music. This is a style that us preps could listen too. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are deeply emotional, meaningful and uses simple but great powerful vocabulary. For example in Time Stands Still (my fav. song) shows its simple vocab. and singing abilities. Obviously it tells about a broken heart and it certainly captures the feeling. Like I said the singer's voice is awesome and its kind of like a crying speaking voice that goes in with the emo/pop category well. // 10

Overall Impression: I just love Time Stands Still so much. the great lyrics, awesome intro, powerful chorus, just great. "Epitome Of Perfection" is just like that best thing I have ever heard and I love they way he sings the words. There are other great songs but not comparable to Time Stands Still and the whole album is great. I love this album! // 10

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overall: 10
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 21, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ok firstly, half the reason I like this band's music is because of lead singer tyson ritter. Yeah, he's totally hot, but look past that for now. 'cause news flash you other girls that makes no difference on if the band is good or not. But around here we are cool about that so yeah but he has amazing range! And he has that rock-star-from-england voice going on. I like that in a band. It is mixed real good, except they could bring out the base just a tad, still awesome though. I love the "oohs" in time stands still, his voice is amazing! I'm glad it is really pronounced and not covered up like how other bands mix. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrics are most important to me so lets get tough on this. I love this band, but they could improve a little on lyrics. I'm not saying they are bad, but like someone said before they repeat the same thing a few times. But oh believe me that doesnt stop me from listening to the same song over and over (yeah I'm crazy like that) but I really love the lyrics to "My Paper Heart" and "Time Stands Still." And usually I like really weird heavy-ish lyrics so yeah its all-around good. If you don't have the CD, I suggest checking out the lyrics before that's what I do. It's 90% fool proof unless they suck at instrumental but you know. // 10

Overall Impression: I would totally re-buy this CD. If you like this one I suggest their newest release "Move Along" too. If it weren't for Tyson having such a heavy/expressive voice then I think only pop-punkers would like it. But fellow metals give it some credit. I like to give everyone a chance 'cause they all have one thing in common: they all play rock music. And last time I checked most bands respect each other so do the same for the less-heavy numbers. // 10

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overall: 10
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: Jek-El, on july 25, 2005
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: This was the best album I've ever listened to! Better than all my emo, rock, hip hop and alt albums. The music Is fresh and different from anyone else's. I seriously don't want to let anyone touch my CD or burn it because you have to buy it because they deserve respect! // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are awesome so emo! You can't get enough. Tyson brings the words out so easily and wonderfully. Every sound matches the other. They sing about so much different things and none of them sound copied or stolen. That's the best part. It's all fresh lyrics not repeated. // 10

Overall Impression: They are the best band ever! No lie. The best songs are all of them although Swing, Swing the single sticks out along with: Your Star, Too Far Gone, Time Stands Still and The Last Song. I don't hate anything about it. Love it! // 10

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overall: 8.3
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: aMeRiCaNsTrAt21, on january 05, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: It's one of those bands you either love or hate. Pop-punk fans would worship them, and hardcore metal fans would probably spit at them. Either way, this album is full of addictive guitar riffs that makes you listen to the album over and over again. There are a few nice'n'easy guitar solos here and there, but as a musical talent, All-American Rejects are poor. Some songs even have a techno-type drumming composed on the computer, which makes the album stink more of cheese. I personally think All-American Rejects are a great band as I'm a big fan of punk music, but really, techno-drumming? It does kinda puts me off. But still, very good band though. // 8

Lyrics: Lyrics are most important to me so lets get tough on this. I love this band, but they could improve a little on lyrics. I'm not saying they are bad, but like someone said before they repeat the same thing a few times. But oh believe me that doesnt stop me from listening to the same song over and over (yeah I'm crazy like that) but I really love the lyrics to "My Paper Heart" and "Time Stands Still." And usually I like really weird heavy-ish lyrics so yeah its all-around good. If you don't have the CD, I suggest checking out the lyrics before that's what I do. It's 90% fool proof unless they suck at instrumental but you know. // 9

Overall Impression: I'm usually very critical about CDs, but I can't see anything wrong with this album. The best songs on the CD are: Your Star, My Paper Heart, Time Stands Still, Swing, Swing. The end this pop-punk fans, pick this up. Metal fans, consider, it may strike an emotional chord in you. It did to me. This CD has a permanent place in my collection. Absolutely perfect. // 8

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overall: 9.3
The All-American Rejects Reviewed by: rockman1994, on december 25, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I thought the sound was good. It was a punk rock sound. The drums were a little standard and almost the same through out all the songs since they were only a 2 person band at the time (They added Chris and Mike later on). The guitar was great but now when you here them live the old songs sound different because at the time the lead guitarist, Nick Wheeler, used fender types of guitar like the telecaster on Swing Swing. Now he uses many Gibson guitars like the Firebird and ES-335. The bass was good and normal. But this was their first album so there could of been many beter changes to the songs. Also the singer's voice was at it's full potential so the voice was okay but now it's better. // 9

Lyrics: The meaning in the Lyrics are all really the same. Really just about the lead singer, Tyson Ritter, talking about how his heart is broken because of his ex-girlfriend. The lyrics were great and and there were some lines that were just off the top of their heads now. // 9

Overall Impression: This is just a punk band that is overall for teenage girls but some could be for teenage guys too. Swing Swing is a favorite from everyone. Time Stands Still and Your Star are good too. The Last Song is where the group really rocks out. I like his album but that's my opinion other dudes probably think their losers but there are many other bands that are worst than this band. If this were stolen I'd get this again. // 10

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More All-american Rejects reviews rating latest review
+ Move Along 8.5 03/11/2013
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