It’s been five years since the 2008 release of international hit ‘Folie a Deux,’ and while solo and joint ventures swayed the attention of Chicago’s favourite pop-punk rockers, Fall Out Boy return with their new album attractively titled ‘Save Rock and Roll.’
To date, FOB has by and large stocked their previous albums’ universal sound into the next record, and then remodeled in presumptuous ways. Our re introduction to FOB begins with The Phoenix; a very non punk opener which roots itself to the ever-present elastic vocals of singer Patrick Stump. This is a bona fide fist-pumping opener which celebrates the band’s return. It has the potential also to reach those in a night club environment through the smart use of a drink-favouring heavy beat and dangerously catchy chorus; everyone loves danger after a few.
The concept of overly long song titles appeared to have been ditched in the past by the band, but here we grace our ears with My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up), the first single from the album. The song is heavily produced but works for the genre they are now involved in stabilising. The verse absolutely screams Michael Jackson, with Stump using MJ’s memorable snappy inflections. This is a serious head grooving number and it’s got more hooks than a butcher shop.
Then the inevitable happens. Forgetful tracks begin to pass by. Just One Yesterday pays accidental tribute to Adele’s Rolling In The Deep chord progression and Pete Wentz (usually a fantastic lyricist who draws inspiration from irony) disappoints with some of the most clichéd lyrics on The Mighty Fall; “now you’re gone but I’ll be ok” on Miss Missing You. Perhaps the solo projects of Stump and Wentz, and the combination of Hurley and Trohman in forming The Damned Things has allowed the rust to form on Fall Out Boys’ mechanics.
Death Valley thankfully returns to the catchy guitar riffs and vocals leaps, blending well with the dance-style drums in a rare half-time dub-step moment. Young Volcanoes has the potential to be a release; with radio friendly neo-folk at its most appealing. The song builds well and finally reaches a high point, somewhat like the circle of life.
The only man who can follow-up such a moment is Elton John. The superstar appears on album closer Save Rock And Roll. It’s a song about saving rock and roll, with Elton John and FOB. What more can a writer say? A pointless key change thrown in for glamour reasons makes the end to the track a painful one. Surprisingly, the US dollar symbol is not located in the title of the song.
The album mesmerizes at times, with some of the catchiest tracks surfacing for quite some time. It feels natural early on, as if the next sensible step in sound for the band. It’s over indulgent at times, but one may forgive them seeing as it’s been a long time since their forming in 2001. However, for fans the wait is over. Rejoice in their return and save rock and roll.