Overall Score: 9/10 Catchiness: 10/10 Happiness: 8/10 Originality: 7/10 Pros: Fun | Happy | Catchy as the cold Cons: Some filler...but not much
Fall Out Boy have always been my guilty pleasure. Treading a very fine line between rock and pop, on a mission to make accessible contemporary music. The onomatopoeic ‘American Beauty/ American Psycho” was never going to be ‘From Under The Cork Tree Vol.2’, but then would we want it to be?
Far from being American Psychos, Beauties or even Idiots, the crux of the matter (whether you like it or not) is that Fall Out Boy have never been a particularly heavy rock band. Sure they play their own instruments, write their own songs and they’re very talented composers….but that is where the rock stops. They’ve always appealed to the masses, and now they are capitalising on the meteoric rise of mainstream arena rock. As the band themselves said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, “We aren’t the last rock band, but we’re the last rock band that doesn’t think that pop is a four-letter word.”
The title track blows away and cobwebs as it tells the story of mismatched star crossed lovers while ‘Centuries’ has a glorious chorus that makes you want to throw your head back and sing along. With a sample from ‘The Munsters’ theme, I defy anyone to stand still during ‘Uma Thurman’, and ‘The Kid’s Aren’t Alright’ may not be the most original of song titles, but that shouldn’t take away from the magnitude of the song. ‘Novocaine’ is packed full of smashing stomp along goodness and ‘Fourth of July’ has all the things you love in a pop song with the classic Stump vocals. There are a couple of filler tracks, but the majority are vastly superior….oh and by the way, ‘Immortals’…killer track!!
Sure the album has some experiments with electronics and vocal effects, but despite the transformation of their early raw sound, the style and glamour that made us love Fall Out Boy is still there in abundance. Reflect for a moment, if you will, on the initial response to Green Day‘s now classic album ‘American Idiot’. I’m old enough to remember people hearing the title track and declaring them “Sell outs”, not understanding the melodic ‘Wake Me Up (When September Ends)’ and generally scoffing at the concept, yet now it is generally viewed as the defining album of a generation. History writes the heroes, and I suspect this will very much be the case with Fall Out Boy.
I’ll give you this, ‘American Beauty/ American Psycho’ is a deviation from the older Fall Out Boy efforts, but it is most certainly not a departure. This album is butterflys, unicorns and rainbows. It is sunny days, summer dresses and strolls in the park. ‘American Beauty/ American Psycho’ is everything we love about Fall Out boy but bigger, better and bolder!
If you don’t get it, you don’t get Fall Out Boy.
Written by: Lisa Fox