All American Rejects’ new offering Kids in the Street is an album that honestly could have delivered so much more. However, it comes across as collection of songs that sound half-finished and that the care and attention that had been in evidence on the previous two albums has evaporated and dissipated as the band delved further into the recording.
There are a couple of decent songs that are hidden like untainted gems, unhindered by others that surround them. The title track itself has huge potential to be a massive crowd pleaser at any venue whilst touring, its vocal refrain and music hits a high point in which the editing seems perfect and the band gave it their all. This though is an oasis of beauty in amongst an album that sounds as it was put together in a rush and in a bid to get it out before people changed their minds.
When picking up an album and perusing the music on offer, a tiny shudder always seems to come over as the words bonus tracks are underlined in a way that makes it seem as if this is most important part of the album. If a band should do this on the same disc as the one they want you take notice of then heed the warning and avoid. By all means put a second disc in the packaging, there is no need to pretend it would add any significance to either the price of the C.D. or the hype of the release. By putting four demos on the main, and in this case only C.D. it gives the impression that the band, any band, are not confident enough to let their fans appreciate the music on merit alone without having to compare it to what a rough version sounded like.
Of course when there is an anniversary edition and the sleeve notes need to draw attention to an early outtake, fine but surely not on its initial release.
Kids in the Street shows a few fine touches but they come too little and too infrequently to make this album stand out above the crowd or differentiate it from any of their other albums. If this was in any way going to be an album that would send the band onto the next level that they have richly deserved then with great regret it hasn’t landed them anywhere in the vicinity, they really are still playing with the kids in the street.
Ian D. Hall