The record is “Kids in the Street,” the All-American Rejects' fourth major-label album, released in early 2012. It is the most musically ambitious and lyrically candid collection of songs the Rejects have created to date, delving into themes of regret, nostalgia, loss and excess as the band's trademark habit-forming melodies, shiny harmonies and unstoppable rhythmic energy provide the framework, occasionally embellished with uncharacteristic brass, orchestral flourishes and background “gang vocals.”
Album-opener “Someday's Gone” finds Ritter lashing out at a person who tried to destroy him emotionally, while the first single release, “Beekeeper's Daughter,” tells all about a guy who thinks he can get away with behaving badly and still get the girl in the end.
There are also a couple of songs that address the breakup of that six-year relationship.
“There's a big apology on that record called ‘Heartbeat Slowing Down,'” Ritter said. “I think it's probably one of the more grand songs we've written, and I think once we get to it, as far as the record is concerned single-wise, I think it has a chance to sort of really open up a new audience for us.”
The push has already begun on this latest single release, which Wheeler says is the first song all four members have ever agreed upon as their favorite album track.
“It's sort of a bookmark on ‘Kids in the Street,'” Wheeler said. “It's like the dividing line for me where I remember we were up in the mountains of Maine when I was just sort of secluded and this song came out ...
“So this song, although lyrically it's about loss and sort of trying to overcome that, it's probably the song that we as a band first collectively actually agreed upon as being our favorite song on the record. We always picked our own favorites on our past records, but this was the favorite of us all and we're really excited to get that song playin' (on the radio). That'll get the Rejects back out for another year.”
Meanwhile, it's home for the holidays, where they'll headline the KJ-103 “Jingle Jam” at the Diamond Ballroom, with special guests Shiny Toy Guns.
“We're really excited to be playing that show,” Ritter said. “And there's no place like home for the holidays. Our folks haven't seen us at all this year ... A month at home is like a year for me. So I'll feel pretty good (when it's time to hit the road again).”
After all, there are lots more treasures to be found in the pawnshop windows of the world.