Soundtrack for Nostalgia: The All-American Rejects

Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons
Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

By: Amy Cardoza

Manhattan College has certainly embraced middle school nostalgia with their choice of musical acts this year. First, Boys Like Girls reminded us of the many middle school dances where their music was a staple, and now The All-American Rejects are taking it a step further.

Where Boys Like Girls made a few appearances in our middle school playlists, The All-American Rejects dominated. They popped onto the music scene in 2003 and their first album, “The All-American Rejects,” went platinum. They provided anthems that almost anyone can recognize whether you were specifically a fan or not. The big hit off the first album was the song “Swing, Swing” which was featured in “The O.C.” and “American Wedding.” 

However, their most famous album was “Move Along” where the most recognizable songs of the All-American Rejects’ career was found. The album, that released in 2005, featured the powerhouse hits “Dirty Little Secret,” “Move Along,” and “It Ends Tonight.” “Dirty Little Secret” made appearances in the films “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” and “John Tucker Must Die” and was featured as a bonus song on the original Rock Band video game for Wii. “Move Along” was featured in the films “Over Her Dead Body,” “The Hitcher,” and “Firehouse Dog.”

The hit Amanda Bynes movie, “She’s the Man,” featured both “Dirty Little Secret” and “Move Along.” In 2008 their third album “When the World Comes Down” produced one of their biggest hits, “Gives you Hell.”  This song was undoubtedly the song this entire generation sang along with after their first breakup, and then maybe revisited for breakups in the future. It was the perfect song that captured the angst of wanting your ex to see that you’re doing just fine without them and have it drive them crazy. It hit number one on the Billboard Pop Chart and reached the same status on the iTunes charts. “Glee” covered the song in Season 3.

The biggest hits of the band’s career came out between 2003 and 2008. In five years the band obtained incredible status, and we all certainly remember the songs that got us through our most likely rocky middle school and early high school years. In that same five year time period, J.K Rowling released three Harry Potter books (“Order of the Phoenix,” “The Half-Blood Prince,” and “The Deathly Hallows”). The Pirates of the Caribbean released its first two films (“The Curse of the Black Pearl” and “Dead Man’s Chest”). The Lord of the Rings series ended. Pixar released five movies (“Finding Nemo,” The Incredibles,” “Cars,” “Ratatouille,” and “WALL-E”). Disney released ten films (“The Jungle Book 2,” “Piglet’s Big Movie,” “Brother Bear,” “Home on the Range,” “Pooh’s Heffalump Movie,” “Chicken Little,” “Bambi II,” “Meet the Robinsons,” and “Bolt”).

It was a time we all remember and we all hold close and along the way All-American Rejects provided the soundtrack for it all.