Sound — 6
I haven't heard all of the band's first album except for singles like "Swing Swing," "The Last Song" and so on. Based on my knowledge of their first album, their sound has changed little if any. Despite this they put out an album with nice sound. Nothing innovative or amazing but it gets the job done. 01. Dirty Little Secret - first single. Nice catchy lyrics. Nothing too original 6/10. 02. Stab My Back - again nothing really amazingly good. Just nice sounding 5/10. 03. Move Along - ok so this is by far my favorite off the album. Title track. I love the lyrics here because they aren't about the traditional theme "I still love you but you broke my heart and you still love me but you dont know it and blahblahblha," it's more happy and positive 11/10. 04. It Ends Tonight - piano intro is a nice change. I like the lyrics in the verses. Other than that its an ok song 7/10. 05. Change Your Mind - this song has by far the most interesting intro on the album to say the least, it reminds me of Pixies and Buttercups (which is a bad thing). Other than that the choruses sound very good 8/10. 06. Night Drive - 2nd favorite. Starts out with clapping and then guitar and everything. I think the whole band sings the main lines in the chorus (or so says the little insert in the CD cover). This song reminds me of a Gangfight, a really white preppy gang fight. I like it though 9/10. 07. 11:11 PM - another really good song. Hard to say why. It's just catchy I guess. One really cheesy annoying thing is right before the chorus there is this little ticking clock sound. It ruins the feel of the song completely. It gets an 8 instead of a 9 for that 8/10. 08. Dance Inside - slow song kindof. I like it now that I'm listening to it 9/10. 09. Top Of The World - it starts out with an acoustic sweep picking (I think that's what it is and how the term is used). The song overall sounds nice but the lyrics make me want to puke. I will rant about that later on. The lyrics completely ruin it for me. Horrible 4/10. 10. Straight Jacket Feeling - slow semi-acoustic song. Sounds kinda like a power ballad. Again nothing groundbreaking but ok overall 7/10. 11. I'm Waiting - this song is probably the least sounding of A-AR on the whole album. The intro and verses have a harsher edgy sound to them. I like it nonetheless 8/10. 12. Can't Take It - this song is the equivalent of "Untitled" by Simple Plan but with strings and less piano. The only band member in this song is tyson singing. It's the shortest, slowest, and most depressing song on the album. Other than that I like it alot however, it ends the album on kindof a dull note like 'is that it?' Overall average sound. Nothing monumental that will change the music world but nice if you like this style of music.
Lyrics — 4
Lyrically the songs have little variety. "Move Along" is the best song lyrically. When I heard the lyrics of "Top Of The World" I laughed my head off. A-AR are trying to be all cool and anti-Bush like Green Day and Sum-41 and everyone else. And their political standpoints are horrible. But altogether the lyrics are very unoriginal and they are all for the most part about broken heartedness and teen angst and that sort of thing.
Overall Impression — 6
Overall this is a very average record. It may do well on MTV and stuff but it doesn't really show any profound talent. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad album it's just not very unique. It's been done before by Blink and all those emo bands plenty of times. However if you are into nice teeniebopper pop stuff then I would highly recommend this. It's very catchy (the lyrics get stuck in my head and I can't fall asleep sometimes). The best songs are "Move Along" and "Night Drive" due to their standout lyrics and sound. "Top Of The World" is a terrible attempt at politics and seems completely out of place on an album full of songs about heart break and the like. The only reason I bought this album in the first place was because it was my birthday and it cost $8 (which is cheap in columbus). If it were lost or stolen I wouldn't buy it again but I would miss listening to "Move Along" on repeat.