Move Along

Most every aggressively passive and pretentious emo vocalist has a foundation of either clever power-pop arrangements or crunchy guitars and energized high-speed rhythms that he (no girls allowed, sorry) drags down with his affected emoting. The All-American Rejects’ last self-titled disc had great, inventive dynamics and instrumentation, while the new Move Along pumps up the overdriven guitars and speeds up the power pop considerably and gratifyingly. But, the vocals? Sigh. Move Along, nothing to see here. The 13-year-old girl demographic is indeed a powerful one, but the affected, affected, affected “toy-ime” in the big T.R.L.-targeted opener “Dirty Little Secret” (“I go around a toy-ime or two…”) is just the beginning of vocalist Tyson Ritter’s grating emo vernacular: “Flah-ur” is “floor”; “duh-oo-ah” is “do”, and so uh-oo-yon. One might believe this to be a petty complaint in light of the disc’s impressive musical thrust, but it’s impossible to escape the whine—it’s made to stand out front. With that said, “Night Drive,” with its stadium handclap and snare drum breaks, is really fun and invigorating. And, Ritter calms down here a little, so you know there’s a unique voice underneath the sheen.