When the World Comes Down

When the World Comes Down
When the World Comes Down
Studio album by The All-American Rejects
Released December 16, 2008
Recorded 2008 at Barefoot Recording, Los Angeles, CA
Genre Alternative rock, power pop
Length 45:35
Label DGC, Doghouse
Producer Eric Valentine
The All-American Rejects chronology
The Bite Back EP
When the World Comes Down
Soundcheck Vol. 1
Singles from When the World Comes Down
  1. "Gives You Hell"
    Released: September 30, 2008
  2. "The Wind Blows"
    Released: April 21, 2009
  3. "I Wanna"
    Released: June 8, 2009

When the World Comes Down is the third studio album by American rock band The All-American Rejects, released on December 16, 2008.[1] It was produced by Eric Valentine who has recorded with the likes of Maroon 5. When the World Comes Down was the band's first album that was recorded mostly using tape to record the songs. The album was named one of the Alternative Press most anticipated albums of the year.


Composition and recording

The All-American Rejects first began writing material for what would become When the World Comes Down at the end of December 2006, when they wrapped up their Tournado tour. In spite of this, it took the band nearly a year to get into the studio, with shows and tours frequently being offered. Twelve songs were completed for the album, a process that took over two years. The first song written for the record was the album opener, "I Wanna". The song took over six months to record, in studio as well as a tour bus. "I Wanna" was written in Florida, followed by the rock ballad titled "Back To Me". Also written on a tour bus was the song "Breakin'", which came together from many different ideas circulating through the quartet. Two important tracks on When the World Comes Down, "Gives You Hell" and "Another Heart Calls", were written during a road trip to Vancouver.

The second track on the album, "Fallin' Apart", was recorded during the band's escape into the mountains of Georgia. In Rabun County, "Fallin' Apart" was experimented with and played around with before achieving the final product, a process described by singer/bassist Tyson Ritter as "Old School". Also written in Rabun County, was the song "Mona Lisa". The song's title originates from Ritter's view of the song, as the band's perfect, simple work of art. Online music stores have since tagged "(When the World Comes Down)" onto the title, since this phrase is taken from the song itself. "Mona Lisa" was tracked live in studio, which was a first for The All-American Rejects.

Many components of When the World Comes Down was recorded at the famed Skywalker Ranch, in San Rafael, California. There at the large John Williams scoring room, the gang vocals for "Gives You Hell" were recorded, as well as three separate drum tracks for songs such as "Real World".[2]

The 16-piece orchestra featured on When the World Comes Down was recorded at Warner Brothers Studios, Burbank, California, on the eastwood scoring stage. Here, orchestration for the tracks "Another Heart Calls", "Sunshine", and "Real World" was recorded. The orchestra is the most evident in "Sunshine", being a main component of the song.

Most of all other material on the album was recorded at Barefoot Studios, owned by the album's producer, Eric Valentine. Here songs were finished such as the song "Believe". After one take of the drum track, two other drum parts were completed by the end of the day. To drummer Chris Gaylor's dismay, the first version was originally chosen. Another song, "Damn Girl", was created around a chorus that Ritter had in mind from the start. The song begins with a dual intro with rhythm guitarist Mike Kennerty using an electric guitar, and Tyson Ritter on a synthesizer. "The Wind Blows" was a song originally written for pop singer Gwen Stefani. It was turned down, but later transformed into a vital link for the climax of When the World Comes Down. After a 30-second track of silence, the hidden track "Sunshine", written in San Francisco, plays abruptly. The song doesn't include drums, a position taken by percussion instruments such as shakers, and features an orchestration.

An acknowledgment to the album regarding to the recording process is the overall sound quality of the album. Many fans and audiophiles alike have noticed that most of the songs on the album are recorded and mixed well, the album is agreeably not engaged in Loudness War, a modern recording technique which maximizes the overall loudness of the track on the expense of less punch, clarity and dynamics. Using music recording and editing software such as the freely available Audacity, one can see that the waveform of the song "Gives You Hell" and many other tracks on the album shows soft and loud parts with many "peaks and dips" which suggests punch and clarity of the instruments, which is rare among modern rock recordings. The track "Another Heart Calls" starts off very soft and gradually gets louder towards the end of the track, proving that almost no or little "loudness maximizing" has been used.

Marketing and release

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[3]
Alternative Press 4/5 stars[4]
Blender 2.5/5 stars[5]
The Boston Globe (favorable)[6]
Boston Herald (B-)[7]
Entertainment Weekly (B-)[8]
Melodic.net 4/5 stars[9]
Phoenix New Times (favorable)[10]
PunkDisasters 3.5/5 stars[11]
Rock Sound (7/10)[12]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[13]
Spin 3/5 stars[14]

As a way to maintain fans' interest, the The All-American Rejects highlighted their record making process through live internet broadcasts, providing a direct look into the record-making process. To further promote the band, the Rejects also shot a Got Milk? ad.[15] They also released two song previews, of the demos for "Mona Lisa" and "Sierra's Song". Many fans believed that the song "Sunshine" on When the World Comes Down was "Sierra's Song" with a revised title, but this in not true. The actual "Sierra's Song" was completed, but wasn't used for When the World Comes Down. It eventually found its way onto the soundtrack for the television show 90210.

The All-American Rejects also held an interview with Entertainment Weekly to further promote the record, stating that "It's like nothing you've ever heard". The band talked about how the songs were put together and how it is different from Move Along. The album version of the song "Real World" was released as downloadable content for Rock Band on December 2. On December 11 the lyrics to all of the songs on When the World Comes Down were posted on the band's official website, 30-second clips of the songs were also released on their official MySpace page.[citation needed] The entire album was released on their MySpace the following day.[citation needed]

From the profits of When the World Comes Down, The All-American Rejects donated 10% of total earnings to Feed the Children. Also to promote the album, the band held karaoke competitions, drawing competitions, and song competitions. Later on they released a site called AAR Street Team where fans can enter contests, blog, and chat.

When the World Comes Down was released in Australia on January 10, 2009. Then in the UK the album was released on February 9, 2009, a week after "Gives You Hell" was released there. Although it was only available in a single edition, the album contained demo tracks that featured on Deluxe U.S. Version, as well as an exclusive UK only remix of "The Wind Blows", and a demo track of a song titled "Here I Sit".


The single "Gives You Hell" was released on September 30, 2008 as a digital download. "Gives You Hell" was serviced to mainstream radio on October 7, 2008. "Mona Lisa (When the World Comes Down)" was released as a digital single on November 18, 2008, before the release of When the World Comes Down to promote the album. Later on April 21, 2009, "The Wind Blows" was released to mainstream radio as the All-American Rejects' second single from World. "I Wanna" was released throughout the UK and Australia on June 8, 2009. The song "Real World" was released as a promotional single about a month later on July 8[16] in the United States. Real World" gained recognition on the playlist of Modern Rock radio station KTCL FM in Denver, Colorado, being one of the top spinned songs. It also was briefly included in the playlists of Modern Rock stations KYSR in Los Angeles and KCNL in San Jose, California.[17][18] Later in July, "I Wanna" was released as the third U.S. headlining single from When the World Comes Down on July 27, 2009.[19]

Music videos

On November 3, 2008 the band released their first music video for the record, "Gives You Hell", on Yahoo! Music. The band also released a second video for "Mona Lisa", which was released on the deluxe iTunes version of the album. The video for the Rejects next single "The Wind Blows" was released on April 27, 2009 directed by Rich Lee. Rich Lee also directed the "I Wanna" music video, which was released throughout the UK in support of the song. The video was also picked up by the U.S. iTunes. Also, for a U.S. release, another "I Wanna" music video has been released, directed by Paul Hunter. No form of a music video produced for it the promo single "Real World".

Track listing

All songs written and composed by The All-American Rejects. 

No. Title Length
1. "I Wanna"   3:28
2. "Fallin' Apart"   3:26
3. "Damn Girl"   3:51
4. "Gives You Hell"   3:33
5. "Mona Lisa (When the World Comes Down)"   3:14
6. "Breakin'"   3:58
7. "Another Heart Calls" (featuring The Pierces) 4:09
8. "Real World"   4:02
9. "Back to Me"   4:28
10. "Believe"   3:28
11. "The Wind Blows"   4:22
12. "Untitled" (Silent hidden track) 0:30
13. "Sunshine" (Hidden track) 3:01


  • While the actual disc contains a silent track, versions of the album on on digital markets such as iTunes and SlotMusic don't include it, thus the bonus tracks beginning at number thirteen.
  • The Best Buy deluxe edition has all of the same tracks on disc two as the regular US deluxe edition, plus three live tracks. The UK edition of When the World Comes Down has all of the bonus tracks of the standard international deluxe edition, with a one more exclusive track. A version of When the World Comes Down was released to coincide with the Australian 09' Tour with Hoobastank. This Australian tour edition has all of the same bonus tracks of a regular international deluxe edition, plus a bonus disc with five exclusive songs. SlotMusic version of the album has exclusive content which includes a demo of "Alone Again" (an early version of "The Wind Blows"), and two featurettes, one on the band recording the song "Another Heart Calls", and the other on the band recording with a full orchestra.
  • Bonus Computer Content on all CD Deluxe Editions and the UK album (which is essentially a deluxe version) includes the videos "Track by Track with Tyson and Nick", the "Mona Lisa" music video, the "Gives You Hell" MTV edit music video, and "The Making of Gives You Hell". The former two videos can be downloaded onto the computer from the website, as well as from the iTunes Deluxe Edition. Lastly, the Bonus Computer Content website features a small picture gallery with pictures that can be set as wallpapers on the computer.
  • Another version of Another Heart Calls was released in Japan, this time featuring mihimaru GT's Hiroko Akutsu. This was released for the special Japanese edition of the album.


Many songs were written by The All-American Rejects for the When the World Comes Down effort, not all making the final cut for the album. Early demos were created for the songs that the band had written, and these demos were used a bonus content and exclusives. The demo of the song "On the Floor" is available exclusively on the iTunes standard and deluxe editions of When the World Comes Down, as an "album only" song. "On the Floor" was also used as a B-Side for "Gives You Hell", available on some versions of the CD single, as well as being the flip side of the "Gives You Hell" 7" Vinyl Picture Disc. Another song, "Here I Sit", was available in the United States as an iTunes deluxe edition exclusive. The album had to be pre-ordered to receive the demo track. "Here I Sit" is also available on international versions of the album.

Another song demo, "Stay", was made available buy purchasing select Best Buy albums in winter 2008/2009. A redemption code in the package could be used on iTunes, and the purchaser would receive the demo of "Stay", as well as a forty minute video of upcoming music in 2009. When the World Comes Down was included in these marked Best Buy albums. Another B-Side, "Sierra's Song", was completed before the album was released, but wasn't used. It eventually was used in the television show 90210, and is available on the show's soundtrack.

Charts performance


Year Chart Peak position
2009 Australian Albums Chart[21] 35
2009 Austrian Albums Chart[21] 39
2009 French Albums Chart[21] 76
2009 German Albums Chart[21] 35
2009 Irish Albums Chart[22] 81
2009 Japanese Albums Chart[23] 100
2009 New Zealand Albums Chart[21] 19
2009 UK Albums Chart[24] 48
2008 U.S. Billboard 200[25] 15
2008 U.S. Billboard Top Rock Albums[26] 6
2008 U.S. Billboard Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums[27] 4
2008 U.S. Billboard Top Digital Albums[28] 2
2008 U.S. Billboard Comprehensive Albums[29] 16


Year Single Chart
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Pop 100 Mainstream Top 40 Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks Hot Digital Songs AUS AUT CAN FRA NL NZ GER IRE SWI JAP UK
2009 "Gives You Hell" 4 2 1 1 2 3 7 4 29 25 18 15 16 30 41 18
"The Wind Blows" 113 56 34
"I Wanna" 92 X 28 23 15 42 45 84

Certifications and sales

In its debut week, When the World Comes Down sold over 112,000 copies to place at number 15 on the Billboard 200.[30] Sales were much larger than the 90,000 shifted by their previous album, Move Along. Up to January 7, 2009 it sold 76,923 more copies.[31] As of June 2009, the album had only sold 422,000 copies,[32] which is contrary to the band's previous two albums, both selling a half-million copies in its first two months.[33] The album was still a big seller for the year, and on the Billboard 200 albums of 2009, When the World Comes Down was ranked #69.[34] On May 25, 2010, When the World Comes Down was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Country Certification Sales/shipments
Malaysia Gold[citation needed] 15,000+
United States Gold[33] 500,000+



  • Tyson Ritter – Vocals & bass
  • Nick Wheeler – Guitars
  • Mike Kennerty – Guitars
  • Chris Gaylor – Drums
  • With touring member Kevin Saulnier on keyboards

Additional roles

  • Violin on "Fallin' Apart" by Anton Patzner
  • Angelic choir on "Fallin' Apart" and "Real World" by Zoe Ellis, Sunshine Becker, Caitlin Cornwell and Ashiling Cole
  • Gang vocals on "Gives You Hell" by The All-American Rejects, Jeff Sosnow, Trevor Whatever, Brad Cole, Lonn Friend, and Seth Howard
  • Vocals on "Another Heart Calls" by Catherine & Allison Pierce.
  • Programming by Nick Wheeler and Eric Valentine
  • Percussion by Lenny Castro
  • Bowed vibes on "I Wanna" by Tyson Ritter
  • Recorder on "Fallin' Apart" by Tyson Ritter
  • Hammond bass pedals on "Mona Lisa" by Mike Kennerty
  • Marxaphone on "Another Heart Calls" by Tyson Ritter
  • Pedal steel on "Another Heart Calls" and "The Wind Blows" by Tyson Ritter
  • Vibraphone on "Real World" by Tyson Ritter
  • Drum corp on "Real World": Chris Gaylor, Nick Wheeler & Eric Valentine
  • Autoharp on "Sunshine" by Nick Wheeler
  • Broomstick on "The Wind Blows" by Tyson Ritter
  • Autoharp on "The Wind Blows" by Mike Kennerty
  • Orchestration on "Another Heart Calls" and "Sunshine" by Deborah Lurie
  • Orchestration on "Real World" by Deborah Lurie, Nick Wheeler and Eric Valentine


  • Produced, engineered, and mixed by Eric Valentine
  • Recorded at Barefoot Recording, Los Angeles, CA
  • Session coordinator/studio manager: Trevor Whatever
  • Assistant engineers: Matt Radosevich and Brad Cook
  • Production coordinator: Ivy Skoff
  • Additional instruments: Hollywood Studio Rentals
  • Additional audio equipment: Stephen Jarvis Rentals
  • Additional recording at Skywalker Ranch, San Rafael, CA
  • Assistant engineer: Dann Thompson
  • Additional vocals recorded at Avatar Events Group Atlanta, GA, Nick's house and Tyson's house, Florida, USA
  • Mixed at Barefoot Recording, Los Angeles, CA and the Village, Santa Monica, CA
  • Mastered by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA
  • Orchestra recorded at Warner Brothers Studios, Burbank, CA, Eastwood Scoring Stage

Marketing and A&R

  • A&R: Jeff Sosnow
  • A&R coordinator: Jackie Petri
  • Marketing: Dyana Kass
  • Webmaster: Matt Lamotte
  • Management family: Chris Allen and Nick Fishbaugh for The Collective Business Management: Larry & Steven Landau for Provident Financial
  • Booking: Jenna Adler for CAA International Booking: Martin Horne for X-Ray Touring
  • Legal: Richard Grabel for Davis, Shapiro, Lewitt, and Hayes
  • Art director: Ianthe Zevos
  • Design: Graphictherapy
  • Cover artist/art director: Herb Williams
  • Cover photography: Thomas Petillo
  • Back cover photo by Jeff "Rhino" Neumann
  • Inside photos by The All-American Rejects


  1. ^ "All-American Rejects Title New LP “When the World Comes Down”". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2008/09/03/all-american-rejects-title-new-lp-when-the-world-comes-down/. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  2. ^ "DRUM! Jan-09Matt McDonough". Entermusicstore.biz. http://www.entermusicstore.biz/drum-jan09.html. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  3. ^ "Allmusic review". http://www.allmusic.com/album/r1456560. 
  4. ^ "Alternative Press review". http://altpress.com/reviews/1353.htm. 
  5. ^ "Blender review". http://www.blender.com/guide/reviews.aspx?id=5402. 
  6. ^ "The Boston Globe review". December 15, 2008. http://www.boston.com/ae/music/cd_reviews/articles/2008/12/15/all_american_rejects_when_the_world_comes_down/. 
  7. ^ "Boston Herald review". http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/music/reviews/view.bg?articleid=1140152. 
  8. ^ "Entertainment Weekly review". http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20245370,00.html. 
  9. ^ "Melodic.net review". http://www.melodic.net/reviewsOne.asp?revnr=7306. 
  10. ^ "Phoenix New Times review". http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2009-04-02/music/all-american-rejets-are-ready-to-conquer-the-world-with-when-the-world-comes-down&page=1. 
  11. ^ "PunkDisasters review". http://www.punkdisasters.com/review.php?id=15. 
  12. ^ "Rock Sound review". http://www.rocksound.tv/reviews/article/the-all-american-rejects-when-the-world-comes-down. 
  13. ^ "Rolling Stone review". http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/24458349/review/24602678/when_the_world_comes_down. 
  14. ^ "Spin review". http://www.spin.com/reviews/all-american-rejects-when-world-comes-down-doghousedgcinterscope. 
  15. ^ All-American Rejects at Body by Milk
  16. ^ "Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". FMQB. http://www.fmqb.com/article.asp?id=22681. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  17. ^ "MOST PLAYED - Channel 93.3's Area93.com - KTCL Denver, Colorado". Ktcl.com. http://www.ktcl.com/iplaylist/playlist.html?net=1. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  18. ^ [1][dead link]
  19. ^ "Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". FMQB. http://www.fmqb.com/article.asp?id=69239. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  20. ^ "All-American Rejects:“When the World Comes Down”". Universal Music Japan. http://www.universal-music.co.jp/u-pop/artist/all_american_rejects/uics1183.html. Retrieved 2011-1-18. 
  21. ^ a b c d e "The All-American Rejects - When The World Comes Down - Music Charts". Acharts.us. http://acharts.us/album/41145. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  22. ^ Steffen Hung. "Discography The All-American Rejects". irishcharts.com. http://irish-charts.com/showinterpret.asp?interpret=The+All-American+Rejects. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  23. ^ "オール・アメリカン・リジェクツ-リリース-ORICON STYLE ミュージック". Oricon.co.jp. 1999-02-22. http://www.oricon.co.jp/music/release/d/805731/1/. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  24. ^ "The All-American Rejects - When The World Comes Down". Chart Stats. 2009-02-21. http://www.chartstats.com/albuminfo.php?id=13872. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  25. ^ Billboard [2]
  26. ^ Billboard [3]
  27. ^ Billboard (magazine)
  28. ^ |Billboard (magazine)
  29. ^ "Billboard Comprehensive Albums: When The World Comes Down" (Subscription required). Billboard. http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/charts/search/detailed_chart_display.jsp?g=a&f=Billboard%20Comprehensive%20Albums&model.chartId=3111275. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  30. ^ Billboard Taylor Swift Trumps Big Debuts to Stay No. 1
  31. ^ "All-American Rejects Sales Check - News Article". AbsolutePunk.net. http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=783662. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  32. ^ Week Ending June 7, 2009: DMB Chases The Stones
  33. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum - The All-American Rejects". Recording Industry Association of America. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?resultpage=1&table=SEARCH_RESULTS&action=&title=&artist=The%20All-American%20Rejects&format=&debutLP=&category=&sex=&releaseDate=&requestNo=&type=&level=&label=&company=&certificationDate=&awardDescription=&catalogNo=&aSex=&rec_id=&charField=&gold=&platinum=&multiPlat=&level2=&certDate=&album=&id=&after=&before=&startMonth=1&endMonth=1&startYear=1958&endYear=2009&sort=Artist&perPage=25. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  34. ^ "Music Albums, Top 200 Albums & Music Album Charts". Billboard.com. 2009-12-31. http://www.billboard.com/charts-year-end/the-billboard-200?year=2009#/charts-year-end/the-billboard-200?year=2009&begin=61&order=position. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 

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