For Fall Out Boy’s latest album, Chicago’s darling pop punk crew brings something old and something new, and they call it American Beauty/American Psycho.
Into their thirties now, its clear Pete Wentz and Co. are looking to be to not only rockers, but musicians. That’s why throughout the thirteen-song album you can hear lots of influences, from the surf guitars on “Uma Thurman” to the “Tom’s Diner” sample on “Centuries” to the Yeezus-ish drums and bass on “Novocaine.” The guys aren’t just listening to the same old Blink-182 and Green Day you imagine them rocking out to while writing Take This To Your Grave.
Of course, FOB still sounds like FOB. Listening to the album, it almost sounds like AB/AP alternates between new sounding songs and old FOB staples, which makes for a very satisfying full listen. Don’t like the uber-2015 track “Fourth of July?” Check out “Favorite Record” right after, which sounds like Fall Out Boy throwing it back to themselves eight years ago.
Both halves of the album work (wait, is that the Beauty/Psycho thing? Idk, but that’s how it feels sometimes) but the actual best songs are the ones that really highlight Patrick Stump’s soaring voice. “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” “Jet Pack Blues,” “Novocaine,” and “Fourth of July” not only have awesome song titles, but they also provide killer vocals and lyrics, courtesy of Stump and Wentz respectively.
While the album sort of lacks a “Thriller” style epic intro, it does pack a signature FOB end track at the tail of the 40 minute record. “Twin Skeletons” is a weird track. My notes from my first listen say:
I feel unable to assess this song. Wasn’t expecting it. Technically very good, solid. It also conveys a really powerful dark sound … Very badass. Super interesting ending track. Hmmm.
A mix of old FOB and new, progressive pop punk that I’ll remember for centuries? Typical wit and insightful lyricism I’ve come to expect? An end track that makes me go “hmmm?”
Sounds crazy beautiful.