The world of social media was hit by storm with the announcement of the return of Fall Out Boy thanks to the release of their new single, “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)”. To say the least, the hype could have been worth it for those who expected that they would get the same Fall Out Boy that played “Sugar We’re Going Down Swinging” back during the pop punk era of the band in 2005.
Like any other band that has grown with their fans through the years, you could expect that their sound had definitely changed this time, maybe for the better.
The album starts out with the very electric song that would suit the situation of the band. The first song entitled “Phoenix” contains lyrics that one could relate to their return, although in general one would have expected something more punk-pop the band completely went in a whole new direction making use of synthesisers in most of their new songs. Probably something out from the book of bands with the same genre like Blink 182 who with their last EP followed the synth trend.
What Fall Out Boy did right with the new songs though is that they incorporated it with their instruments very well, that one would not just bang one’s head, one would probably end up dancing much like what frontman Patrick Stump did in their return performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Some of the songs though would take you off track with the Rock feel of the album by sounding too much of a pop song; this could be found in the song “Alone Together” even with the sound of the good old guitar, bass and drums in the background.
The band also utilizes an orchestra like backup in their vocals but it will not distract you from the voice of Patrick Stump hitting new highs, which is impressive along with the “Oh Oh Oh’s” and the “Na Na Na’s” found in songs like “Where Did The Party Go”.
What is probably the weakness of the whole album is that you listen in expecting Fall Out Boy but you get a whole new band who introduces you to pop, like a friend that you haven’t seen in a while and upon his long awaited return dresses differently or talks differently with one adjusting, trying to find out what else is different about them. The curiosity one would have in finding out how much their sound has changed will make one want to listen to all of their tracks in this album. Sometimes the intro of the songs throw you off because it sounds like it’s going to be another generic pop song that might tempt you to hit the next button early, but one should practice patience because most of the songs are actually catchy, most especially the choruses.
Some songs include featured artists, like widow of music legend Kurt Cobain Courtney Love, who raps in one track in a shocking surprise for most listeners, the same feeling you got while listening to Maroon 5’s “Payphone” when all of a sudden Wiz Khalifa kicks in.
Also featured in the album is Elton John, who joins the band in the titular track of the album, “Save Rock and Roll”, which in terms of lyrics and emotion, is the deepest song in the album. To be fair, the biggest strength of the album are the lyrics, always the forte of Fall Out Boy since their dawn in the music scene, with most of them being the kind you would quote on your Facebook status or mention in a tweet.
This album is not primarily Rock and Roll, but maybe it was the band’s aim in the first place, to name their new album the way it is to somehow present their stand on what they think the genre is in the modern day. Some people may beg to differ but the reality of it is that they ended up creating a whole new world for them in their goal to keep on playing the music that they love.