Fall Out Boy Will Be Remembered For Centuries With 6th Studio Album

Cover art for American Beauty/American Psycho

Cover art for American Beauty/American Psycho

Eric Uhl

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Some legends are told, some turn to dust or to gold but Fall Out Boy make it clear in their 6th studio album they will be remembered for centuries. The album, titled American Beauty/American Psycho, is set to be released Tuesday January 20th; however, the band has released the official versions of each song on YouTube last week. After listening to each song, this album is a huge step forward from the Fall Out Boy we came to love in 2005’s sophomore album From Underneath the Cork Tree and the hugely praised post-hiatus rebirth in 2013’s Save Rock and Roll. The band said that they wrote the music and lyrics for this album during their summer “Monumentour” with pop-rock band Paramore. The influences of touring with them, combined with lead singer Patrick Stump’s pop solo career during the band’s hiatus a few years back, shows in this brilliant album bursting with pop-electric rock and samples we never saw coming from Fall Out Boy. Bassist Pete Wentz cites the changes in a blog post saying, “My friend Brian Hiatt tweeted ‘the problem with modern rock is it isn’t modern’- something I and we had been feeling in general. Rock should not be relegated to a quaint little corner of guitar center for dads to find.”  Fall Out Boy took this need for change as a challenge to redefine their genre and while not every song on this album is a winner, they strike gold with the use of samples of songs they grew up listening to in the 80’s and 90’s as well as current influences in order to truly be remembered as a band to redefine their genre. I listened to each song off the new American Beauty/American Psycho and here is my opinion on the best (and worst) tracks off the album.

Irresistible: A strong anthem is the best way to start off a Fall Out Boy, as they proved with The Phoenix in Save Rock and Roll, Our Lawyers Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued in From Underneath the Cork Tree and with Thriller in Infinity on High. The song uses a singular trumpet riff to grab your attention and start off the album. What made this song one of my favorites was how strong the chorus of the song is: “And I love the way you hurt me/it’s irresistible.” It not only depicts a toxic relationship, but somewhat symbolizes the relationship between Fall Out Boy and the fans since the band is constantly changing their sound since their debut punk rock album in 2004. To some fans, this can be seen as “hurtful” because they aren’t creating the same original style of music they started with.  However the new songs are irresistible because they aren’t as good as their original material, they’re even better and are redefining the rock genre. This song truly deserves the #1 debut it received on the iTunes charts and sets the expectations high for the rest of the album.

 

American Beauty/American Psycho: The title track from the album, is unfortunately the song I disliked the most. The lyricism that Pete Wentz uses (I think I fell in love again/maybe I just took to much cough medicine) is amazing as always, however the production of the song comes off as a jumbled mess, assaulting ears with a quick paced EDM influenced track. This by far is the farthest away from the rock styles Fall Out Boy built on, and closer to new age pop/electronic that sounds like something you would hear in a bad club or off of a remix album. However, as I said earlier the lyricism is absolutely amazing. Soundcloud user TheSaltyRifles posted this acoustic cover of the song which does a perfect job of demonstrating the emotion and lyricism found in the song that the studio versions instrumentals unfortunately covers up.

 

Centuries: Using a sample of Suzanne Vega’s 1987 hit Tom’s Diner, Fall Out Boy creates a rock powered anthem that deserves the radio attention it is currently receiving. The song is insanely catchy and is a pump up song they use to seemingly tell the story of their rise to fame “Some legends are told/some turn to dust or to gold/but you will remember me for centuries. Just one mistake is all it will take/we’ll go down in history…” While the initial response to the song and live performances were poor, the bands recent performances and are very strong and the song continues to grow in popularity, currently ranked as #6 on the iTunes top ten singles. The use of Vegas’ audio proves to be very catchy and an unlikely tune that manages to get stuck in your head and will have you humming it for centuries. This is by far one of the top songs on the album.

 

Immortals: Fall Out Boy wrote this song for the Disney/Pixar/Marvel movie Big Hero Six, which was released back in November. The song’s opening notes and repeating riff reflects a Japanese-American style of music which is very different from what’s out on the radio today and reflects the tone and scenery in the movie. The song itself is only OK, but once you watch Big Hero Six the meaning behind the lyrics become much clearer, more powerful, and proves Immortals was written to go alongside the plot of the movie. While it is unique and fits perfectly with the movie, it just isn’t as good as a single. While I can’t discuss connections between the song lyrics and the movie without giving away major plot points, this song is close to being finished but not complete unless the listener sits and watches the movie. While Big Hero Six was a fantastic movie and Immortals is a pretty good song, they are meant to go hand in hand as part of a soundtrack and not part of Fall Out Boy’s separate album.

 

Uma Thurman: Using a sample of The Munsters theme song , a TV show from 1964, the band created a song titled after a pop culture icon: Uma Thurman. Pete Wentz said they asked Thurman herself if they could use her name in the song, similar to OutKast’s song Rosa Parks, and received the affirmative. Stump sings “She wants to dance like Uma Thurman” as a reference to the 1994 Quintin Taritino movie Pulp Fiction and the iconic dance competition Uma Thurman and John Travolta compete in and (deservingly so) win. “I can move mountains/I can work a miracle/Work a miracle” plus the synth behind it and the direct notion to a pop culture icon meant creates a very upbeat and enjoyable song to listen to, making it one of the best on the album.

FOBEric Uhl

The other tracks on the album are: Novocaine, The Kids Aren’t Alright, Fourth of July, Favorite Record, Twin Skeletons (Hotel in NYC), and Jet Pack Blues. Each song on this album has a different style unlike any other song produced from the genius of Fall Out Boy and are all definitely worth the listen. American Beauty/American Psycho is to be released next Tuesday, January 20th and currently sits at the #5 spot on iTunes top 10 albums. The preorder can be purchased $7.99 here on iTunes or $9.99 for a CD copy on Amazon here and includes the an immediate download of Centuries, Immortals, Uma Thurman, Irresistible and American Beauty/American Psycho.


Total Rating: 4/5 Stars- The lyricism and musical creativeness of Fall Out Boy comes together almost perfectly but falls flat on a few key tracks.

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