Overall Score: 9/10 Songs: 9/10 Diversity: 8/10 replay value: 9/10 Pros: A brilliant return to form for the emo legends Cons: very little
It’s been five years since Fall Out Boy released their polarizing album Mania. An album which came and went with very little in the way of fanfare, it did however leave a lot of fans questioning the fate of the band going forward.
So Much (For) Stardust then is a breath of fresh air, and somewhat of a rebirth for the Chicago quartet. It seems some time off to regroup & re-evaluate has done them the world of good, and all signs are pointing to the old magic being back.
As one of the last remaining pillars of the emo golden age, expectations for new Fall Out Boy material is always sky high. But after the muted response to Mania, would the fans be rewarded, or were they being set up for another fall?
It opens with an instant classic Love From The Other Side. The mission statement is clear from the first notes, Fall Out Boy is back!. Heartbreak Feels So Good & Hold Me Like a Grudge keep the momentum going as they run through the speakers like pure unfiltered sunshine.
Heaven, Iowa changes the mood drastically, starting out isolated and desolate, Patrick Stump sings over a simple piano line, building to a full blooded rock out crescendo at the end.
So Good Right Now is an irresistible earworm of a song that’ll have you nodding your head & tapping your toes to. It will take up residence in your head, and you’ll be hard pressed to get it out again.
Ethan Hawke makes an appearance on the Pink Seashell, as his monologue from Reality Bites is repurposed for a moment of reflective pause and breath catching.
I Am My Own Muse comes crashing in on a wave of orchestration so bombastic & theatrical that Brendan Urie would probably tell them to tone it down a bit.
What a Time To Be Alive is a jubilant disco laced adrenaline rush of a track. It shows that even after all of these years they still know their way around a delicious pop hook. The title track is the complete antithesis of this, seeing the album out on a more understated tone.
So Much (For) Stardust is an impressive return to form from a band that never ceases to amaze with their creative leaps. This is the most layered and cohesive record they have put together since their return album Save Rock and Roll a decade ago.
This feels like a classic Fall Out Boy album in every sense of the word. The clever wordplay and emotionally resonant lyrics are back in abundance, making this one instantly relatable and over time it will become endlessly quotable. Musically this feels like the most locked in they have felt as a band in a long time, this is an album that has every inch of that band that made it coming out of its pores.
So Much (For) Stardust is an album that will reward the listener over repeated listens, as it continues to reveal new things about itself over time. This is a top tier record from a reinvigorated and re-energized band that have come back swinging in a big bad way.
So Much (For) Stardust is out now via Fueled by Ramen and is available to purchase on the band’s online store.