Fall Out Boy came out and blew up at the height of my teenage years. They helped me when I felt conflicted, confused, and would rather be left alone. Their sound was one of the major influences I had and would always be something I loved listening to every now and then. But they took a break and left fans like me wanting to hear their signature sound and captivating, amusing, and downright cheeky lyrics.
And then finally, the boys came back and, I will dare say, at their best with their new album, Save Rock and Roll. I won’t be able to do it justice with a technical review but I can just talk about it as I did with The xx and expound on what the songs meant for me.
The Phoenix starts off the entire album on such a powerful note. Weird and slightly amusing/disturbing video but such a powerful opening song. It is easy to get riled up with someone screaming/singing at you to “Put on your war paint.” And you have to hand it to Pete because his lyrics always know how to get to me. My favorite line out of a lot of the songs off this album has to be from this song (mainly because I can completely relate to it at the moment).
My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up) was the first preview we got of Save Rock and Roll and with long song title we thought we’d get the “old Fall Out Boy” but the sound this time around feels more powerful and forceful and more pop rock instead of pop punk. I know they don’t really like being boxed into a particular genre (as Patrick as expressed countless of times on his Twitter account) but this definitely didn’t sound like anything they released in the past. And I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing.
The third song off the album, Alone Together, probably has one of the biggest impacts on me though. I rely heavily on lyrics to fully appreciate a song and opening a song with lyrics that invite me to join someone and be “alone together” with that said someone as he is the same “troubled soul” as I am was just enough to hook me in. It just feels very youthful and hopeful, which I’ve noticed they’ve tackled a bit on this album.
It took me a while to take Where Did The Party Go seriously. I was mostly laughing at the opening line every time I heard it. But it has won me over with it’s fun, dance-worthy beat.
“I’m here to collect your heart, it’s the only reason that I sing.” —Where Did The Party Go
Next up is Just One Yesterday. It shares a few lines from the Willie Nelson song, I’d Trade All My Tomorrows (For Just One Yesterday). It could be influenced by that old country tune or not, I’m not really sure. What I am sure of is I do like British singer Foxes contribution to this song. She reminds me a lot of Birdy and this has to be my second favorite collaboration on this album.
While they slowed down a bit for Just One Yesterday, they picked the pace right back up with The Mighty Fall. I liked the swag and the cheeky lyrics but felt like Big Sean wasn’t really needed for it. Maybe he added a bit of hip-hop vibe to it but I think the song would’ve stood on its own if it was just the boys.
Lyrically, Miss Missing You has to be that underdog that I’ve just grown to really love. It was tugging at my heart strings from the beginning but it completely had me at: “The person that you’d take a bullet for is behind the trigger.”
I can’t seem to connect with Death Valley as much as I want to. It’s an okay song and quite easy to jump/dance along to but I’ll probably skip over that more than any of the other songs on this album.
And they come out with Young Volcanoes next. While it has me smiling and feeling all good about myself, I felt a momentary feeling of confusion when it came out. I do believe this was the last song they previewed before they released the album and I was just caught completely off-guard by the sound. Not as loud, had more acoustic guitars, and carried this “tribal” feel to it. But I really do adore the youthful vibe it exudes. And I stand by the idea that “We will teach you how to make boys next door out of assholes” is a lyrical gem, even though some may see it as unnecessary to the song.
For Rat a Tat, I don’t quite know what to make of Courtney Love on this track. But this is definitely one of my faves. Yes, I came prepared for another bad poem. This is one of those songs that will have me “bad dancing” every single time it comes on.
And then they close off this entire masterpiece with title track, Save Rock and Roll. This is just such a magnificent and powerful song. I get goosebumps every single time I listen to it. It is one of the best songs I have had the pleasure of listening to in my life. It’s just pure magic. I don’t really listen to Elton John but I have a lot of respect for him and I knew they were going to make something amazing when he collaborated with Fall Out Boy.
This definitely didn’t sound like anything they released in the past. And I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing.
This is the first album I’ve given a full listen to with headphones on without doing anything else because I feel like it needed it. I took my afternoon walk with Save Rock and Roll and just had so much fun listening to all the tracks. I’m beyond happy that they decided to come back and sounding braver and more self-assured. Excited to see what else FOB will bring us in the future.
*Featured image is taken from Fall Out Boy.com