Fall Out Boy started their uphill climb to fame in 2005, when their album From Under the Cork Tree landed two number one hits: “Dance, Dance” and “Sugar, We’re Going Down.” They received a Grammy nomination in 2006 for Best New Artist but lost to country singer Carrie Underwood. After their release of Believers Never Die- Greatest Hits, the band broke up from 2009 to 2012 to explore individual careers. The lead singer, Patrick Stump, released a solo album in 2011 titled Soul Punk. It received some praise from critics but was otherwise unsuccessful. In 2013, the band regrouped and released their fifth album, Save Rock and Roll. It quickly topped the charts as the number one album, and the lead single, “My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark” went triple platinum.
I’ve always considered myself to be an enthusiastic Fall Out Boy fan, just like anyone else, I would find myself ecstatic over just hearing “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” on the radio or could be found singing “Sugar, We’re Going Down” at the top of my lungs. Upon the release of Save Rock and Roll, their fifth studio album, released in 2012, I was pleased but confused. They seemed to be trying to convert to pop while still sticking to their usual rock vibe, and the transition seemed a little shaky. American Beauty/American Psycho, their sixth studio album, strays even further away from their previous sound, shifting towards pop. That being said, the lyrics are relatable and the sound is very easy on the ears.
The worst song on the album, surprisingly, was the title track “American Beauty/American Psycho.” The lead vocalist, Patrick Stump sings, “I think I fell in love again/Maybe I just took too much cough medicine.” The song’s lyrics and beat suggest that the only consumption of cough medicine was during the creation of this song. The words lacked originality and depth, and the beat itself sounds like they are trying too hard to pull of punk-pop.
The opening single for the album, “Centuries,” still remains to be one of my favorites. The song starts with a solemn snippet from Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner.” (This is not the only outside musical influence that finds its way into the album- The Munsters theme appears in “Uma Thurman.”) There is just something about the line “Some legends are told/some turn to dust or to gold/but you will remember me for centuries” that is always makes you feel like you just conquered the world.
My personal favorite on the album was “The Fourth of July”. Stump comes through with his usual passion and the lyrics are some of the best on the album, with lines such as “Let the bridges I have burned/light my way back home.”
“Irresistible,” the opening song, is one of the strongest tracks lyrically. With words such as “I didn't come for a fight but I will fight till the end/This might be your battle, might not turn out okay/You know you look so Seattle, but you feel so LA,” it draws the listener in with a heavy and intense beat, having no hesitation or regrets.
The fifth track, titled “Novocaine” is addicting and makes the listener feel aggravated. While the verses aren’t really anything special, the chorus, especially when Stump hits a high note on “stuck” will be in your head for the rest of the day.
Other notable tracks include “Jet Pack Blues,” a slower song that has the same tone as “What A Catch, Donnie” from their album Folie A Deux, and “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” an anthem for the misfits in love and in life.Overall, American Beauty/American Psycho pulls you in during every single song, whether you want to listen or not. It is not their strongest album lyrically or musically, but it is definitely their most interesting and unique one yet.