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American Beauty/American Psycho

Fall Out Boy: American Beauty/American Psycho

  • Fall Out Boy
  • Alternative & IndieRock
  • Out now
  • Island
  • Everywhere
reviewed by
Aliaa Serry
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Fall Out Boy: American Beauty/American Psycho

Punk rockers-turned-electronic lovers, Fall Out Boy return with their seventh studio album – their second after their hiatus – with the same renewed energy and matured sound that carried their sixth album, Save Rock and Roll.

Venturing away from the trademark radio-friendly brand of rock, FOB find themselves venturing more deeply into a musical transformation of sorts. Their strategically planned comeback has taken the form of growing out of their emo/punk rock days and into a more structured, anthemic arena rock inspired sound. Seemingly unabashed by the mixed reception of Save Rock and Roll, the quartet have amplified their new sound.

From the get go, the album asserts its quirky identity with a horn-solo as its opener on ‘Irresistible’. As a whole, the album doesn’t shy away from catchy choruses or electronic beats, nor does it refrain from nostalgically drawing serious inspiration from other artists.

‘Centuries”, the album’s first single, takes the background melody of Suzanne Vega’s ‘Tom’s Diner’ and puts an rock spin on it, while ‘Uma Thurman’ draws on the memorable beat of the theme song of 60s TV show The Munsters. Such heavy incorporation of an in-your-face kaleidoscope of iconic references is quite a daring move; one which may well blow up in the face of the pop-punk quartet. Nevertheless, FOB have always been fans of taking the road less travelled when it comes to their, often over-the-top, musical endeavours.  

The band’s harmonious dynamics are, one must note, echoed in the cohesiveness of the whole album, with all the songs coming together like Lego pieces. Patrick Stump, the lead vocalist, adds life and provides a vocal identity to Pete Wentz’s lyrics, ferociously belting out “I don't feel a thing for you” on ‘Novocaine’, as well energetically chanting “you and I were fire, fire, fireworks that went off too soon” on ‘Fourth of July’. The one concern, however, is the album’s lack of any strong guitar or drum solos to highlight the talents of lead guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley.

Until the very last track, the gothic closer, ‘Twin Skeleton's (Hotel in NYC)’, the album does not slow down its grandiose rhythmic vibes, nor does it put a halt on the tongue-in-cheek lyrics. As Pete Wentz told Digital Spy, the band wants to stay “culturally relevant” and “make art that is meant to influence pop culture” and that is what the foursome have managed to pull off with American Beauty/ American Psycho.

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