Fall Out Boy surprised everyone when they came back from their indefinite hiatus on February 4 after denying countless rumors on the subject. Upon the band’s return, they announced a brand new album, entitled Save Rock and Roll, ready for release on the ten-year anniversary of their debut album, Take This To Your Grave. After seeing their fans’ reaction, Fall Out Boy pushed their record release a month early to April 16, and even then decided to stream the full album on their website a week earlier.
If you want or expect to hear another From Under The Cork Tree, you will be disappointed. If this is the case, go home. Save Rock and Roll is representative of the band’s ever-changing musical style—I mean, have any of their records ever sounded much like the one before it? If the first two singles “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” and “The Phoenix” didn’t turn you on to the shift, then maybe you should sit down.
The former of the two singles reflects a new age for the band. Stump’s vocals have grown significantly better and clearer than before, and the song has a mainstream hip hop vibe to it. The latter single is a little more akin to the band’s previous work. The lyrics are classic Wentz, much like the rest of the songs on the record. Much of the instrumentation is reminiscent of the band’s 2008 album, Folie à Deux, their single, “Alpha Dog,” and the side projects each member pursued during the group’s indefinite hiatus.
The boys went pop for this record. Tracks like “Alone Together” and “Where Did The Party Go?” are meant to be blasted through the speakers and sung along to on summer nights, and “Young Volcanoes” is a perfect road trip song to sing with your friends at the top of your lungs.
“Rat a Tat” was surprisingly good. Featuring Courtney Love’s spoken vocals, the song is upbeat, catchy, and contagious. It’s far from “another bad poem.” The only issue I have with the track is a minor one: “It’s Courtney, bitch.” That’s a little tacky, a little cringe-worthy. It doesn’t detract from the overall greatness of the album.
The closing track, “Save Rock and Roll,” is a beautiful piano ballad played with power and conviction. Referred to by some fans as part two of the heart-wrenching “What a Catch, Donnie” and with nods to both “Chicago Is So Two Years Ago” and “Sugar We’re Goin Down,” the song is both a reflection on the past and a promise for the future. Past eras of past albums are over, but Fall Out Boy will keep moving forward.
Fall Out Boy has evolved since day one. This isn’t the same Chicago garage pop-punk band from the early 2000s, but the heart and passion they put into their work is still ever-present. To quote the closing track, “we won’t go, ’cause we don’t know when to quit.”
The future of Fall Out Boy starts now.
Written by Paula Mirando.
*You could stream the album below as well.