All-American Rejects - Move Along (Cover Artwork)

All-American Rejects

Move Along (2005)


It could be worse for the All-American Rejects. So, they were publicly humiliated when they submitted their album to Dreamworks and were ordered to "return with something a lot catchier." So their hired drummer and guitar player publicly criticizes the band's music and admits to only being in it for the money. So what if you're releasing an album that critics and scenesters are already hell-bent on hating? With all that pressure, it would be easy for a band to just call it a day. But on the All-American Rejects second major label release, Move Along, they attempt to do just that, and are successful...sometimes.

Let me start off by saying: Like this record or hate it, you're going to be hearing a lot of it over the next year. With the infectious "Dirty Little Secret" already predestined to be loved by 13-year-old girls everywhere and retired from TRL, you've got a surefire summer radio smash. Songs like the title track "Move Along" also show great potential to do the same thing. So you may as well go ahead and get used to it now. Let's take a glance at the record itself.

The album opens with "Dirty Little Secret," which is what it is, obviously written just to please their label; cheeky, and a catchy as hell power-pop song. The first immediate thing you'll notice on this song, aside from the laughable intro riff, is Tyson's voice sounds undenaibly better. His vocals sound much less nasal on this album, which is a huge plus for listeners. But you'll also notice another thing: While Tyson's voice has matured, his lyrics certianly have not. Sorry Tyson, "I'll keep you my dirty little secret / don't tell anyone or you'll be just another regret" is not going to cut it with the in crowd. Still, this song is a great listen, if you like obnoxiously infectious hooks. While this song may be the opener, it definitely does not represent the rest of the album. The next song is "Stab My Back," which sounds very reminiscent of their previous album. While it is a catchy song, once again the lyrics scream "relate to me please." After that comes the title track "Move Along," which if I may say so myself, is an excellent song, and the perfect predecessor as a single to "Dirty Little Secret." You definitely hear some maturity in this song; even if it's only a tiny bit, it's still there.

Next, the album takes a serious dive with the song "It Ends Tonight," an over-emotional mid-tempo ballad that will either put you to sleep or make you cry for hours, depending on your age/race/sex {14-year-old caucasian females, this one is for you}. After that, the album speeds up, thank God. "Change Your Mind" is your typical catchy AAR quiet verses / big anthemic choruses power rock song, which they're beginning to get quite good at making; "And when the sky is falling / don't look outside the window / step back and hear I'm calling / give up, you don't take the fast road." Try to listen to that a few times and not have it stuck in your head the next day. "Night Drive" is by far the heaviest song on the album; although it's still that squeaky-clean AAR sound, it has an undeniable edge in comparison to the other tracks.

The second half of the album opens with the very 80's-sounding "Dance Inside." This song builds up, seemingly forever, and then finallly explodes into a huge catchy anthemic sort-of chorus. Next comes "Top Of The World," which sounds nothing like the AAR of old, and is maybe the standout track of the album. All the credibility AAR built up with that last song just comes crumbling to the ground with "Striaghtjacket Feeling," an acoustic ballad that for lack of a better word really, really sucks. "Etched with marks but I can't heal / and you're the problem but you can't feel" Tyson cries on this disaster. "I'm Waiting" is a very enjoyable song, but nothing mind-blowing. The album closes with "Can't Take It," an odd orchestra balled that is at times endearing, and at others just awkward. Every track on this album is basically a hit or miss and "Can't Take It" definitely falls into the latter.

After listening to Move Along, one word immediately comes into mind: potential. This band has endless potential. If they would ever fully embrace their pop-rock sound that makes them so lovable, they could be a great band. And more importantly, if Tyson could ever learn to write lyrics...

Best Track: "Top Of The World"

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