Too Far Gone
The All-American Rejects hit a popular gold mine with their sophomore LP, Move Along, but the band's sugar-sweet pop debut is a remarkably energetic collection that seems more earnest by comparison. Sure, it's just a bunch of songs about girls and teenage confusion, but when frontmen Nick Wheeler and Tyson Ritter lighten up the angsty confessions with a huge chorus, as on "My Paper Heart," "Drive Away" and "Don't Leave Me," they do it right. The big (synth?) string intro to "The Last Song" is a touching send-off.