As a (once) hardcore fan of The All-American Rejects, I'd say "unrecognisable" best summed up their fourth studio album Kids in the Street - but not in an entirely bad way.
They've branched out from their alternative rock roots and abandoned their slightly raw "emo" edge that put them on the Billboard Top 100 with tracks like Move Along and Dirty Little Secret. But the evidence of their mainstream success is undeniable (single Beekeeper's Daughter is their most recent radio hit).
Kids in the Street has a few hidden gems - Affection, one of the quieter tracks is a pleasant surprise, albeit ruined halfway with Tyson Ritter's trademark vocals crooning "yeah yeah yeah" too many times to count, at a pitch that causes one to wince.
The one thing keeping the album together is Nick Wheeler's solid guitar riffs, although they seem like an afterthought to Ritter's vocals. Instrumentally, the songs have so much potential, but lyrically, the poorly executed, almost whiney, undertones of unrequited love can only be tolerated for so long.
Just when you think the album is getting better, something gives you the opportunity to think twice. I don't think this record will help the band. Mediocrity is not something that keeps fans happy.