Week 32 Review (18+ Only, NSFW)

All-American Rejects – All-American Rejects (2003)

Bottom Line Up Front: This is a 0 out of 5 stars album. And that’s being incredibly fucking generous. I reached into the deepest depths of my humanity to pull that zero out of my ass. It truly deserves a negative rating because those motherfuckers owe me at least 3 stars as compensation for making me miserable for an entire week.

Artist BackgroundWhen the album was released, AAR was a two person band. They currently have four members. And I hope for the sake of humanity that the band has improved since their major label debut in 2003. I have two more of their albums in my collection but I’m scared to listen to them. I start physically trembling if I even think about the other albums. And rightfully so. I’ve been given the equivalent of late 19th century shock therapy for 5 straight days. I’m surprised I’m not curled up in the fetal position right now while my editor lightly strokes the top of my bald head and softly tells me everything is going to be okay. So back to the two jackasses that created this monstrosity. Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler formed the band in Oklahoma. Look, I’m not blaming Oklahoma for this mess, but where the fuck were you guys? Why didn’t somebody nip this shit in the bud? Well, what’s done is done. Let’s move on and get this shit over with.

Album Background: This album (I’m not sure it qualifies as one honestly) is pop punk emo bullshit at its worst. It runs 43 intelligence-insulting minutes long and came out in 2003. It went platinum and actually got some decent reviews. Lots of 4/5 stars. And honestly, this has some really catchy material. But in reality, this album is a cruel joke. It’s a grape tootsie pop with a diarrhea stank center ready to explode onto the tastebuds of an unsuspecting listener. There should not be this many positive reviews. I think reviewers got far too hung up on liking this album because the duo was so young at the time of recording. Sure it’s impressive for their age but how long are you impressed with your newborn pooping? At some point, shit is shit, right?

Favorite Track: I know you’re all thinking I’m going to pick their massive hit Swing Swing which got all the way up to #8 on the charts for my favorite track. But the best song is My Paper Heart. Why? Because it is the first track on the album. When I first heard this song on Monday morning as I pulled out of my garage, there was so much promise here. It was going to be such a great week. Nice upbeat pop punk tempo mixed with poignant lyrics about a broken relationship. And then there’s this little bell thing they do combined with sugary sweet sing along moments. Bop. Bop. Bop. La-la, la, la. Bop. Bop. Bop. Unfortunately, it’s all a prison-style shower raping from there on out. Every subsequent listening of this album has been a soapy prison dick right in my ear.

What Works: 

  • Nothing Fuck this album. Nothing works. It’s a tragedy it’s just MP3s instead of a physical CD. I’d fucking set it on fire if I could. Melted plastic fumes never smelled so good. Like god damn roses on a dewy spring morning walk with your mother.

What Doesn’t:

  • Everything I could go into great detail about how I hate the phrasing the lead vocalists uses. And the drum machine. FUCK the drum machine. I could bitch about how they keep using the same tricks over and over throughout their album. That little bell thing in the first track I talked about? I think I counted probably three other songs where they do the same thing. I’d go back and look at my notes to get an exact count but my notes look like the diary of a madman with ‘fuck you’s scribbled over everything. But really, I just want to focus on what pissed me off most of all: Track 1 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 2 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 3 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 4 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 5 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 6 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 7 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 8 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 9 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 10 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 11 is a song about a failed relationship. The cherry on top of this shit sundae was that I have the version of the album that included a bonus track which is a song about…you guessed it…a failed relationship. How fucked up was Tyson and Nick’s high school experience that this is the ONLY kind of song they could write? Fuck the band for making this album. Fuck the record label for releasing it. Fuck the radio for playing it. And fuck the public for buying it. I hold all of you responsible for making 2003 a music tragedy. Hopefully, we can all learn a valuable lesson from this so it never happens again.

In Conclusion: Even some of the best albums, I can be tired of hearing on repeat by the end of work on Thursday. But this album? By early Monday afternoon I desperately wanted to stop listening to it. I actually didn’t have a real good idea of why I hated this album until I started doing my final listen and began taking notes on each song. I spent most of the week scared I wouldn’t be able to explain what went so wrong here. Like most worrying, it was all in vain. It’s pretty fucking clear why this album is a shit stain.

Please note this entire review was written purely for comedic purposes.  I don’t actually hate the album that much. Fuck that. I do actually hate the album that much. I really really really hope these guys got better with their later albums. There’s obviously a lot of potential talent there. It’s just the execution could not have been any worse. Praise Jebus that the rest of their albums are only in my collection and not on my MP3 player. I really can’t take the chance of going through this again.

Music Video Links:
All-American Rejects – Swing, Swing (Official Video)
All-American Rejects – The Last Song (Official Video)
All-American Rejects – Time Stand Still (Official Video)

Streaming/Purchase Links:
Amazon Music
Google Play
XBOX Music

Information Links:
Wikipedia Artist
ikipedia Album
Official Site

Week 7 Review

8 years prior to E. L. James’s unleashing the erotic juggernaut Fifty Shades of Grey that sold 100+ million copies, Staind showed up at #1 on charts with this week’s review: 14 Shades of Grey.  

Artist: Staind {Aaron Lewis (vocals, rhythm guitar), Mike Mushok (lead guitar), Johnny April (bass guitar), Jon Wysocki (drums)}
Album: 14 Shades of Grey
Year: 2003
Genre: Post-Grunge
Rating: 1/5

Worth Your Time? You’re better off experimenting with how to get your fist inside of your mouth. (Like this young lady or this young lady.)

Twitter Review: This album really needs to be renamed 14 Small Variations of a Shade of Grey. Who knew you could rewrite the same song 13 times and sell it?

Top 3 Tracks:

  1. Zoe Jane
  2. Layne
  3. Fill Me Up

Things to Look For:

  • Pete and Repeat Were in a Boat. The similarity in the structure of all the songs is unbelievable. It’s basically Aaron with unprocessed usually overly vague vocals followed by a wall of sound and Aaron’s usually even more vague vocals layered many times over so he can even beging to compete with the wall behind him. This repeats a couple times then the next song starts.
  • Pete Fell Out. I cannot believe how they used the same approach over and over again throughout this album. Essentially, Aaron does a verse with his voice unaltered and reasonable instrumentation followed by a heavily processed chorus with many layers of Aaron’s voice and this insane wall of sound. To add insult to injury, most song lyrics are so unclear that you barely care what the song was about.
  • Who’s Left? My mind cannot even begin to process how Staind could release an album that is packed with such similar sounding songs. It’s just 14 variations of Aaron switching back and forth between singing vague lyrics with his vocals unaltered intermingled with this ear fatigue inducing wall of sound that can only be taken on by processing Aaron’s vocals with layering beyond any reasonable amount.

High Points: There are far too many low points to discuss so I think it might be more interesting to talk about the high points instead. I listened to this album one final time before I started to write the review because I had such a hard time picking out individual songs. As I took notes on the tracks, my original score kept dropping and dropping until it got to one. I honestly considered giving it a zero out of five but there are some redeeming songs on here that let me put aside everything wrong with this album for a moment.

Let’s start of with Zoe Jane. This song is about Aaron’s relationship with his young daughter and probably his strongest song lyrically. (which really isn’t saying much unfortunately) I think it accurately captures that incredibly deep emotional bond that is created between a parent and child. It covers: unconditional love, the connection you get just by looking into your child’s eyes and having them look back at you, the need to want to shelter them from everything cruel in this world that you’ve experienced while trying to open their eyes to everything amazing around them and finally becoming so emotionally overwhelmed to the point of tears because you cannot always be there for them no matter how much you want to be.

The other song we need to discuss is Layne. It is actually a tribute to one of the gods of grunge: Layne Staley, the lead singer of Alice in Chains, who died alone of drug overdose in 2002 after years of dealing with depression and drug addiction. Tragically, his body was not discovered until two weeks after he died. He was only 34 and his death had immediate impact on the music scene which inspired many, including Aaron Lewis, to pay their respects to a man who had so much musical influence on their life. One notable aspect of this song is the beginning which opens up with Aaron vocalizing which reminded me of the Alice in Chain’s grunge classic Man in the Box.

Anything Else: So my wife and I do not have any children. We do not want children. We are never going to have children. So why did I connect so much with Zoe Jane on this album without being a parent myself? It’s actually a pretty simple answer: my friends. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by couples who are absolutely amazing parents. I’ve seen the most serious and reserved of my friends turn into the biggest goofballs just to get an extra smile or laugh from their child. It’s almost like in that moment the whole world around them disappears. To me, that speaks volumes of how intense the parent/child relationship is. The amount of effort and sacrifice my friends put into being parents is awe inspiring quite honestly. I’m happy I get to witness all of these beautiful little moments between them and their children. If you’re looking for examples of what awesome parents do, I would highly suggest checking out JAKE’s Place which is run by a friend and awesome parent, [J].

Additional Links: