Since returning from hiatus in 2013, Fall Out Boy have cemented their position as one of the heavyweights in modern rock music. Tours for them are now a case of making their way around the world, almost to wherever they please. With that in mind, 5th studio album American Beauty/American Psycho seemed like it would be more about protecting Fall Out Boy’s name and how far they’ve come, rather than getting bigger. However that doesn’t mean this album isn’t capable of kicking things up a notch further for the Chicago 4-piece, as it appears to be one of their better releases.
The album opens with the trumpets of Irresistible, which was recently given its live debut at their intimate London show. This sets the tone for the album and what can be expected effectively. Patrick Stump’s huge vocals, a tasteful use of electronics and bassist Pete Wentz’s bold lyrics. Less than a minute in and we’re already met with hard-hitting lines such as “I love the way you hurt me, it’s irresistible”. Up next are two of the biggest tracks on the album, singles American Beauty/American Psycho and Centuries. Both of which show how FallOut Boy have almost perfectly crafted a sound that’s punchy and rock enough to fill arenas, whilst simultaneously having the pop and electronic elements to get considerable radio play.
After the full force of these singles, things are slowed down nicely for the catchy whistling that accompanies The Kids Aren’t Alright. The second track off the album to make its live debut at their recent London album release show, it’s full of both catchy melodies and emotion, something that translates incredibly well live. Pop-culture references ablaze, the energy shoots straight back up for one of the most memorable tracks on the album, Uma Thurman. Cleverly using a sample of 1960’s TV show “The Munsters”, this is a track that sums up Fall Out Boy’s new sound perfectly. Almost every element on this album that makes up the music of Fall Out Boy has it’s own place in this track. Although this album follows in the footsteps of 2013’s Save Rock and Roll, with electric guitars taking a less prominent role, guitarist Joe Trohman still has room in this track to show off the incredible talent this band possess.
The next unforgettable song comes in the form of relationship-themed Fourth Of July, with a hooky chorus of “It was the fourth of July, you and I were fireworks that went off soon”. It’s a tune that would surprise many if it’s not being replayed on the radio for weeks following the release. However the standard of the songs on this album will give DJ’s worldwide a hard time deciding which of the electro-rockers tunes should be pushed to the top of the A-lists.
However as American Beauty/American Psycho draws to a close, songs gradually start to stop grabbing you and demanding attention so much as blending into each other. Although still technically good, towards the end it feels like Fall Out Boy packed their punches into the first half of the album with the less arena-worthy material following. A common theme for this band, if you look back over their sparkling repertoire of singles and number one’s, the majority of their famous singles fall into the first half of their albums.
However this should not take away from the fact Fall Out Boy have indeed created plenty of tracks to rival those previous “famous singles” such as My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark and Thnks Fr The Mmrs. With a slightly more clear direction of where this band are taking their sound, you can expect to hear a fair share of these songs get their time in the spotlight as Fall Out Boy embark on a huge US tour this summer before returning to the UK in October to play arenas across the country.