Midway through a U.S. tour, and with their fourth album due out this spring, The All-American Rejects are one busy band. But that didn’t stop front man and bassist Tyson Ritter from taking the time to wax ecstatic about 10 of his favorite songs. As the band’s sold 10 million records, we were curious about their new one, too. “This album is about a man who finds himself by hitting the floor and learning how to stand again,” says Ritter. “Fans can expect to be taken on a ride.” Sneak preview at the bottom, and here’s what to listen to while you wait for it drop. Click the button below to hear the full playlist on Made Man’s Spotify.
1. “Diversion” by The Equals
One of the most unheard of, catchy and overwhelmingly satisfying bands to listen to. Brothers Lincoln and Derv Gordon’s voices mark the signature of this fantastic group. All you mood-labeling playlist makers, this is four to the floor adrenaline for your “getting ready to go out” mix. Prediction: it will be used in a movie over some well-cut montage of a bank robbery or chase scene and everyone on the planet will be talking about this band.
2. “Wave of Mutilation” by The Pixies
Weightlessness is achieved when this song is played. You can close your eyes and feel the voice of Frank Black slip under your feet and carry you away to a plane of consciousness that you can only achieve after decades of meditation. I love this band, and this is a great song to run away from life to. A little parachute that always catches an updraft.
3. “She’s Like a Rainbow” by The Rolling Stones
I just realized after turning 25 that I appreciate The Stones far more than I did when I was a kid. This song is one of my favorites of theirs because it revolves around a style that they never really revisited. It’s a trippy girl skipping down a sidewalk dragging beams of colors behind her, and you just feel like a pot of gold when you follow her. A great song for a sunny day cruise with a hazy hangover.
4. “Tell Me a Tale” by Michael Kiwanuka
A friend passed this song along to me and I just think it’s got some serious soul-saving vibe that is so damn refreshing it hurts. This guy can put piccolos and flutes in a song and it jams like he’s on a side stage at the Woodstock festival. It’s a makes you want to hug and kiss somebody because you’re alive kind of song.
What makes this song so perfect? It’s Roland Gift’s voice. His voice is like an instrument that could only be used perfectly in one song, this one.
5. “She Drives Me Crazy” by Fine Young Cannibals
This song is a wild card that you can play at any place with a dartboard and win big every time. I won’t even call this a guilty pleasure—it’s just a pleasure. If you read about how they got this snare sound, your mind will be blown. I was even thinking to myself when I put a well-spent quarter into a helpless jukebox, “What makes this song so perfect?” It’s Roland Gift’s voice. His voice is like an instrument that could only be used perfectly in one song, this one.
6. “Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won’t Do)” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
This is such a great record. CCR is a band you can put on anytime and I won’t say a single word of dispute. It can start, end, intensify and bring levity to any day. This song is the first track on the B-side of their self-titled record, and I always start this record on the B-side. I can’t hear Peggy Sue as track one of this record, and I just think when it went to get pressed that the plant fudged the A side with the B. Great heavy CCR jam.
7. “High Noon” by Ray Coniff
This is a track off Ray’s Friendly Persuasion record, and I just love this record. It’s a back porch when there’s company coming and good conversation going kind of record. I find music with words distracting when I have people over, and this record always comes out if I’m actually paying attention to my guests.
8. “Kaw Liga” by Hank Williams
I’m an Okie bred and buttered. Hank Williams was in my ears before the bottle was in my mouth I suppose, and this selection is a track with some mystique. It’s got the cadence of a drum circle on the prairie and will lull you into a stupor at the end of any tough or brain-busting day. My friend Jeremy calls it a “Stoney Hank song,” if that draws a sonic plain for you. Vibe out to it.
9. “No Sugar Tonight” by The Guess Who
No singer has ever made a grind to their voice like that of Chad Allen. He is one of my favorite singers, and if you are a Guess Who fan, “No Sugar Tonight” is such a sweet taste of them. It’s got a great groove and a bass part that made kids get labeled as maniacs for gyrating their acid-trip bodies to it. Just a song that evokes the words “rock and roll.”
10. “Baby I’m a Fool” by Melody Gardot
I just passed this song and I’m in love. A single listen and you know why I picked it. Stunning voice of a siren. Warning: Do not listen and drive. I almost sideswiped an entire row of cars on Sunset Boulevard at 2 am the other day getting lost in this song.