Release Date: Dec 16, 2008
Record label: Geffen
Genre(s): Rock, Pop, Alternative
Can the affable Oklahoma rockers The All-American Rejects repeat the hat trick of their last release, 2005’s Move Along, which yielded three hit singles? They’ve still got a knack for Bic-flicking anthems — see ”Fallin’ Apart,” a zippy contemporary cousin to ’80s pop nugget ”Come On Eileen,” and the very Green Day-acoustic ”Mona Lisa.” But while it’s easy to digest, When the World Comes Down never quite ignites like their last one. Even so, anyone recently laid off, dumped, or otherwise dissed should make the rollicking dish-best-served-cold theme song ”Gives You Hell” their new ringtone. B? Download This: Listen to the song ”Gives You Hell” on last.fm .
If nothing else, you’ve got to give emo-pop quartet the All-American Rejects credit for not giving in to the temptation to turn in a track-for-track rewrite of 2006’s commercially successful Move Along. Even if their latest effort, When the World Comes Down, doesn’t attempt anything dramatically unexpected and, despite a decidedly apocalyptic title, oozes with even more of the sometimes charming and more often irritating saccharine naivety that’s marked everything this Oklahoma band has put out. But hidden within the margins of what at first listen seems to be just another over-polished (you can practically see your reflection in Eric Valentine’s typically slick production) collection of trite sentiment for the immediate consumption of heartbroken teens, is something that resembles a willingness to push the boundaries of a stagnant genre.
After releasing their charming debut, the All-American Rejects polished up their act with 2005's Move Along, a slick album that paired emo-pop anthems with spit-shine studio polish. Released three years later, When the World Comes Down reprises the same formula that made Move Along a success, from the blatantly commercial tracks (most of which hover around the 3:30 mark, that magical combination of minutes and seconds that seems to produce the most singles) to the use of auxiliary instruments. Strings, orchestral flourishes, and a female choir all beef up these 13 songs, which (at their root) are straightforward pop tunes about heartbreak, heartache, and other cheerless conditions of the cardiac organ.