BY ERIN SINGLETON
Every now and then, you’ll hear those rumors of artists making their comeback, though more likely than not, the rumor is just an echo of loyal fans demanding their favorite bands to rekindle some old magic. It happened with Oasis, it happened with The Smiths, Spice Girls, The Verve – the list is on-going. So what grungy, pop punk, Converse-wearing, hair-dyed teenager wouldn’t be absolutely thrilled, and shocked, to hear that Fall Out Boy has risen to the stage once again? The chances seemed slim as the quiet years passed and the members, who announced an “indefinite hiatus” after the 2008 album Folie à Deux, denied all speculations.
Maturing their sound and slightly changing direction to a more pop rock genre, Fall Out Boy’s Save Rock and Roll, released in April of 2013, has generally received positive reviews, with Billboard noting the band is “back to having fun, stretching their legs and taking risks.” Who’d think that after five years of solo projects, the four boys would be reconnected in the spotlight, creating more catchy hooks, screaming choruses with funky yet vague lyrics?
One should always expect when an artist is returning to music, whether it is after a three-year break or a twenty-year break, skepticism is nearly impossible to avoid. Many fans will feel that the sound has changed too much, or are disappointed in the music (in comparison to the golden age albums that brought the artists to fame in the first place.) Making new music comes with the question of how to preserve personality but progress with age. Fall Out Boy, for example, was able to score generally favorable reviews, but not without some backlash; a fan on Metacritic commented, “I can only assume the title Save Rock and Roll is intentionally ironic on their part because even they should know it’s quite a stretch to call this rock and roll.”
While on the subject of comebacks, how could we fail to mention JT? Yes, ladies and gents (or rather, respectively, just ladies), as we know, the legendary Justin Timberlake has returned this past March after a seven year musical break. Sure, this may seem like very old news to us music junkies who stay up until midnight just to hear an announcement by our favorite musicians, but Justin’s revival simply cannot be ignored: the man is bringing sexy back. With part two of his project to be released this September, Timberlake is charmingly sweeping back over the country just as easily as he had done in 2006 with “LoveStoned/I Think She Knows.” In contrast to Fall Out Boy, however, JT slightly geared away from pop and decided to dip his toes into some Marvin Gaye-sounding rhythms, swaying the soul in a classy, smooth, yet still pop fashion.
Now let’s discuss a few other artists who are also bringing back their jams. Though they had not necessarily announced a “break,” many of them have been, for lack of a better phrase, under a rock for a few years. Remember The Veronicas? Australian twin sisters Jessica and Lisa Origliasso have been working on their upcoming album possibly titled Life on Mars for over a year now, but have been facing a few issues with their label. Despite the delays they have faced (the album was supposed to be out in 2012), the girls released their single “Lolita” last year to hold over their fans, being their first release since 2007 when Hook Me Up was dropped, featuring the popular single “Untouched.” Adding to the list, many of us are probably aware now that the infamous Jonas Brothers have decided to return to the spotlight, with a fifth studio album, V, to be released this fall after a four year break. Artists whose names you may have let dust over for awhile, such as Akon, Sean Kingston, John Legend, Eminem, and James Blunt, too, are in the process of making or releasing new music sometime this year.
And the ultimate throwback? The Clash has publicized that they will be dropping Sound System this September, a box set full of the band’s albums completely re-mastered by guitarist Mick Jones, with additional B-side tracks, demos, a DVD providing unseen footage, and the like. Sure, it’s not a real comeback, but c’mon, it’s The Clash putting out more music here.
2013 is beginning to feel like a year of nostalgia rising from the ashes (yes, dramatic, so maybe not ashes but just a few inches of soil.) Even with the year more than halfway over, there is still so much great, new music from “old” artists to be heard.
Photo courtesy of falloutboy.com