I have been a fan of Fall Out Boy for many years. In fact, I started listening to them in the fifth grade, right when Infinity on High came out and their song, “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” hit the radio as their next mainstream hit. I listened to the song. I liked it, and I had no clue who it was by.
It was actually my father of all people who got me fully into the band. He had the album, and would play it constantly in the car. I grew to love it, and for the next few years Fall Out Boy and the two albums I knew about were played over and over again.
After a while, though, I stopped listening to them. In fact, I had no idea Folie a Deux existed until a couple of years ago, and I had no clue they had broken up – but after giving the previously unknown album a listen, it became what is possibly my favorite from their discography, and reignited my love for the band.
Then they got back together, and Save Rock and Roll was released. I liked it, but I was disappointed – I missed my punk rock angsty Fall Out Boy… with Patrick Stump and his red hair, sideburns and glasses, Pete Wentz with that ridiculous eye liner… it was a very sudden change. And while I grew to enjoy Save Rock and Roll quite a bit, I still haven’t gotten used to this new incarnation of Fall Out Boy.
Then comes their second album after their break-up. Fall Out Boy has been back together for a couple of years now, their name back on the roster and new waves being made. I reviewed their single ‘Centuries’ a while back, which ends up being the third track on the album. I have some new opinions on it, once put against everything else – so here is, track for track, my thoughts on Fall Out Boy’s sixth album, “American Beauty/American Psycho”.
I love this track quite a bit. It opens powerfully with the sound of horns, and gives off a bit of an Infinity on High vibe, but taken to the next level. It gains momentum every second of its 3:26 run time, gathering more and more steam and hypes you up for what might be an excellent album if they can keep up the speed.
American Beauty/American Psycho
The title track of the album continues to build the hype and speed that the first track started. It has a much more fun, loose vibe to it overall that somewhat contradicts the sheer powerhouse that was Irresistible, but is still a fantastic song that makes you want to keep your fist in the air.
I don’t remember exactly what I said about this song before. But after listening to it so much more, I have to say that it is one GORGEOUS, powerful song. It lays a bit more heavy and perhaps a bit darker than the other two, and in all honesty it doesn’t really fit the album. The sort of dark narcissistic vibe would have either fit for a brilliant end to Save Rock and Roll, or as the beginning to a much different album.
But, the song on its own? Fantastic. Hard hitting. Arrogant.
The Kids Aren’t Alright
This sounds like a My Chemical Romance song title more than a Fall Out Boy title, and the song itself sounds quite like a Panic! At The Disco song. I’ve always been one out of a small number that thinks Patrick Stump’s and Brendon Urie’s voices sound entirely different, but the music sounds so Panic! like. This is a very good song, with some excellent soulful vocals and a nice melody that provides a nice rest after the first three astoundingly heavy songs.
This song, I’ll admit, has grown on me. I originally thought it to be a little overly long, but I’ve grown to enjoy it quite a bit. Once again, Stump’s vocals are in full effect, providing a twinge of… aggressiveness, perhaps? Plus the sample of the theme song to The Munsters had a strange, but a surprisingly enjoyable touch to it.
Jet Pack Blues
To be perfectly honest, this is one out of two tracks I really didn’t enjoy from this album. Feels like a filler track, and the chorus gets very repetitive, and it fills most of the track. The vocals are great, as always, but as a song it just falls short.
I enjoyed this track a good bit. Good chorus, decent hook… delivers some more of that power from the first half of the album, but while it is a good song it feels very generic. More thought was definitely put into this than Jet Pack Blues, and the lyrics sound so much better and are more fun to sing along to.
But certainly not the best we’ve seen from Fall Out Boy.
Fourth of July
Ew. I don’t know, but there’s something about this song that pulls me away big time. This is probably the most ‘pop’ sounding song from the album, and could have easily been sung by Katy Perry or Pink or something.
I guess the thing that sticks out in the most unpleasant way was the way the second line of the chorus was sung. Specific complaint, I know, but it sticks out like a sore thumb to me. Pay attention to the commas.
“You and I were, you and I were fire, fire, fireworks”
I don’t know. It’s weird and it nags at me.
This track is a strange one. I don’t like the repeating words, the (robot?) voice that pops up is unappealing, but the music itself is a quite nice change of pace, I love the beat of the chorus, and it flows quite nicely. It is slightly slower and softer, like The Kid’s Aren’t Alright was, and I gotta say that I LOVE the way they connected it to the next song. I love when that happens in any album, but it works here.
When this song first came out, I despised it. Where’s the guitar, first off? It sounded NOTHING like Fall Out Boy, and I shunned the song.
But then I heard it in action, in Big Hero 6, and it really worked. It fit really well there. So with the themes of that in place, it gained a few layers of complexity, and works very well as the second last song of the album.
Twin Skeleton’s (Hotel In NYC)
This song had a lot to live up to. This was the send-off song of the album, which is always a big thing, but for their next album after their reunion? It needed to be big. Powerful. Loud. Somber. Proud.
And it achieves all of those things. Brilliant percussion, excellent vocals, and the harmonizing? Oh my god. Fantastic.
I just had one request for the song, and as I waited for the song to draw to a close, it actually ended up granting me that: The song finishes off the lyrics, and ends with the harmonizing of the band members to draw the album to a close.
So overall, AB/AP was a success. My biggest complaint was that it ended a bit abruptly – not to say that it was short, by today’s standards its run time of 39 minutes is quite good. Compared to Panic!’s last time which came out to a measly 32 minutes, this album has a decent length. But the issue was that there was no wind down, no descension… the first half was very powerful, then it slowed down a bit… then got heavy again… then slowed to the brilliantly somber end. And while it finished well, it would have had SO MUCH more impact if there was a steady fall to that point. The songs got slower, or quieter, or perhaps a little sinister sounding. Instead, this wonderful exit comes out of nowhere. I just wish there was some build up.
Over all, though, this is an excellent album. I’m slowly coming to love this new incarnation of Fall Out Boy, and while their classic years will never be trumped by this new era, this is great music by a talented band that has years in front of them.
Go out and by the CD, whether you’re a classic fan, a new fan, or someone vaguely interested. It’s a good listen.
Fall Out Boy’s sixth album, American Beauty/American Psycho, gets a 4/5.
Good morning, everyone. And if I don’t see you later, good afternoon, good evening and good night!
– Brandon, 8:34 PM