Itâ€™s amazing how desperate label reps get in trying to sell you on their latest signings. From the moment they were added to indie emo label Dog House Records, folks tried to remake these Oklahoma teens into a pop/punk band. Though they put out catchy pop tunes, someone thought adding the suffix â€œpunk,â€ to every reference written and spoken about the band was a great was to try and add a bit of a rough edge to this otherwise top 40 radio-ready group that had more in common with bands like Maroon 5 than actual pop/punk bands like Screeching Weasel and Green Day.
Any edges got scrapped off a bit more with their second release Move Along and they have now completely given up any pretext to being punk with their third and latest record When the World Comes Down. The over-polished-â€˜til-it-shines result is easy to swallow, but far from memorable. Three years in the making, itâ€™s obvious the guys felt a little pressure trying to follow up two platinum selling records and they seem to have tried just about every suggestion offered to them: Strings? Check (â€œFallinâ€™ Apartâ€); Snarky break up song? Check (â€œGives You Hellâ€); Acoustic ballad? Check (â€œMona Lisaâ€).
Itâ€™s not that the songs on When the World Comes Down are technically bad, they just seem so routine and over produced like hundreds of others that have come before them. Maybe the band will find their own identity in time to record another album.
Top Track: â€œGives You Hellâ€ and â€œBelieveâ€
Rating: 6.5 out of 10.
All American Rejects – When the World Comes Down (CD) /2008 DGC/Interscope / 11 Tracks