Fall Out Boy- Save Rock And Roll

Fall Out Boy returns to the spotlight: Billboard loves them, do you? Read here or on Pop ‘stache.

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Chicagoland native Fall Out Boy returned to the spotlight this month with its fifth studio album, Save Rock And Roll, released on April 16 via Islands. A surprise to fans and critics across the world, Fall Out Boy decided to record the album in secret which, according to its website upon release, allowed for the production of new music under minimal supervision and nonexistent expectations.

The members note their intentions to make music for themselves and nobody else. After a nearly five year gap since the group’s last release, we can say to that decision: Fair enough, Fall Out Boy.

And the results? An adaptation toward this decade’s new style of hyper-collaborative pop music, a definite transformation of energy with each of the album’s 11 tracks. FOB declares together that this album is “meant to be played loud, with the windows down on summer nights. Save Rock And Roll indulges a large generation of nostalgic, moshing, 20-something mega-fans hoping to scream along with catchy beats and sovereign statements.

There might not be anything on the album as catchy as Infinity On High’s “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race,” but “Young Volcanoes” certainly makes a great runner up. “Just One Yesterday” is possibly the closest track to saving rock and roll on the album, hosting sublime, punch-driving bass rhythms and sexy, Evanescence-esque vocals. These songs as Fall Out Boy’s transitory vehicles are familiar enough to grasp and fresh enough to stick.

“The Phoenix” opens the album with a hard-hitting, ambitious sound. Words hint at change and revelatory sentiments. Lyrical self-reference carries over from previous albums: “So we can take the world back from a heart attack” implies a personal role in rock and roll’s salvation.

“My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)” follows suit as the album’s grand anthem single, as does the t(w)een pop jam “Alone Together.” These flirty and self-righteous pop melodies are fit to ruffle the skirts of another generation of young romantics.

Fall Out Boy explores a far less emo production style on Save Rock And Roll, disposing of the full-belted vocal tags from past signature hits “Sugar We’re Goin Down,” “Dance Dance,” and “Dead On Arrival.” Instead, we see an inclination toward gentler pop anthems and multi-genre conditions. A versatile lineup of guests heightens the album’s relevance in a pop generation that seems increasingly interested in off-beat collaborations.

Elton John, Courtney Love, Foxes, and Big Sean each add their vocals to Save Rock And Roll. The oddly diverse cameo roster and a brief morph into dubstep on “Death Valley” project a bit of Fall Out Boy’s soul/sound searching attitude.

Perhaps referencing hip hop, folk, and dubstep is a tip-off to the band’s appreciation of contemporary pop music as it exists since the mid-2000s, or maybe it’s an older band’s sheer strive for relevance in a space that might not have room for emo anymore. Either way, it’s hard to avoid the slight smell of desperation while wondering what the next track will have in store.

Fall Out Boy –  Save Rock And Roll  tracklist:

  1. “The Phoenix”
  2. “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)”
  3. “Alone Together”
  4. “Where Did The Party Go”
  5. “Just One Yesterday (feat. Foxes)”
  6. “The Mighty Fall (feat. Big Sean)”
  7. “Miss Missing You”
  8. “Death Valley”
  9. “Young Volcanoes”
  10. “Rat A Tat (feat. Courtney Love)”
  11. “Save Rock And Roll (feat. Elton John)”
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