Review: Fall Out Boy – Save Rock and Roll

Fall Out Boy have left their ’emo’ days behind and pledge to Save Rock and Roll with their new post-hiatus album.

Caroline Bursell

The return of American pop-punk band Fall Out Boy after a teenage-angst-inducing three year hiatus comes as a sudden but welcomed new sound, with their album Save Rock and Roll proving to be the comeback kid of the year.

This song is on fire

Opening track and latest single The Phoenix is a thing of tenacity, escalating with punchiness as frantic, passionate lead singer Patrick Stump showcases the vocals that gave Fall Out Boy their original appeal. Throw in an undeniably infectious beat and the single is as electrifying as its thriller film-esque music video

My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark boasts the familiar ridiculous-amount-of-words title template of the band’s earlier releases, but its style is a refreshingly new one, with the bonus “WTF” moment of rapper 2 Chainz’ cameo in its video. The excitingly sinister rock track with crowd-pleasing “light em up” chants really is on fire.

Feminine touch

Stump’s vocals on third track Alone Together sway with pulsing bass and pop hooks again unlike the band’s former ’emo’ material, and the catchy, never-boring melody lifts spirits. 

“Na na na”s and electronic notes make Where Did The Party Go a potential Cobra Starship track to the tee, but where fan bases collide, magic (or cyber-thrashing) is bound to happen; it’s almost as if the band added a pinch of Carly Rae Jepsen’s Good Time to an updated This Aint A Scene, It’s An Arms Race, but there are few complaints here.

The album slows down for a throaty Just One Yesterday with the feminine touch of Foxes’ Louisa Rose Allen, a weaving together of sounds that continues to stray from Fall Out Boy’s earlier repertoire and proving their maturity.

Big Sean, big mistake

Faith in their return falters slightly with The Mighty Fall, elements of their classic grit and guitar riffs still present but compromised when rapper Big Sean shatters the flow and instead adds the element of confusion.

Death Valley dares to ask: your foot, it’s tapping, isn’t it? The pent-up energy of a three-year ‘indefinite’ hiatus explodes onto this wild “show me your animal side” track, and a We The Kings’ We’ll Be A Dream-style adolescent anthem follows on Young Volcanoes, an “aww” moment for fans to enjoy Stump’s vocals without unnecessary cacophony.

“We won’t go”

“Let your teeth sink in” sings Stump on Rat A Tat, following a frenzied monologue from guest addition Courtney Love, a fast-paced protest of a song with a round-up-the-troops swelling chorus (“put on your war paint” sang Stump in The Phoenix).

Final track Save Rock And Roll is wrought with drama, thriving to the soundtrack of featured guest Elton John’s piano playing, a composition that firmly states: Fall Out Boy is all grown up, and will defend their music “going down swinging.” 

With this well-rounded, multifaceted collection of songs, the promise that “we won’t go, because we don’t know when to quit” is happily accepted.

Save Rock and Roll is released on April 15.

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