Saturday, 24 January 2015

Review - Fall Out Boy: American Beauty/American Psycho

Fall Out Boy - American Beauty/American Psycho album cover artwork
(Source)
    If you’re looking for a band to produce the same record over and over again, you’ve come to the wrong place. Fall Out Boy’s latest offering, 'American Beauty/American Psycho’ (click for Amazon link), the follow up to the hugely successful ‘Save Rock and Roll’, is the most experimental record to come from the band. It’s unlike any other music out there at the moment, and it’s uniqueness allows it to excel.

     While the band’s pop-punk roots can still be found in the depths of this album, they’ve pushed their sound further than ever before. Full of electronic layers and samples from a myriad of other tracks, they have created something inventive and new and exciting. Experimentation like this can be dangerous, and make existing fans somewhat uneasy; however Fall Out Boy have the fearlessness to pull this off exceptionally well. Rather than let their sound grow stale over time, they’ve poured energy, creativity and, most importantly, confidence, into this record. They don’t doubt themselves, and based on this result, neither should fans.

    The lyrics add to that sense of confidence, proclaiming “You’ll remember me for centuries” and “I can move mountains, I can work a miracle”, and are infused with interesting and unique imagery and allusions. Their grandeur is accentuated by the rawness and aggression in Stump’s vocal abilities, and he seems to have sung the record with a renewed energy. The tracks are varied and exciting, again demonstrating the band’s range and desire for experimentation, from the quiet worry of ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’, to the fun, quirky quality of ‘Favorite Record’, to the bold and dark ‘Novocaine’, to the sheer epic, anthem-like lead single ‘Centuries’. Perhaps the weakest point is title track, ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’, which just doesn’t quite hit in the same way that the rest of the record does. 

     That aside, it’s a forward thinking album, proving just how inventive and bold Fall Out Boy can be. ‘Save Rock and Roll’ was phenomenally good, and it was hard to know if they would be able to match the success of that record. It's probably still my favourite FOB record, but still, once again, Fall Out Boy have surpassed themselves with AB/AP. This is different, done exceptionally well.


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