It’s been less than two years since Fall Out Boy made their return to music with ‘Save Rock And Roll’, an album that reaffirmed that the Chicago four-piece are no longer a pop-punk band who are what one would imagine what sarcasm would sound like if it were music. ‘Save Rock and Roll’ largely eschewed guitars in favour of synths, pianos and far too many guest appearances. Out of touch as it may have been, ‘Save Rock And Roll’ seemed to be them finding their feet after a few years out of the game, and now their latest release ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ is undoubtedly a more cohesive album.
They’ve still largely ditched the guitar-driven sound that launched them into the stratosphere in the early noughties. While some will despair that they’re not returning to their roots any time soon, those who take a leap of faith will be rewarded with an album that largely manages to exceed expectations.
Patrick Stump’s voice; powerful, a bit sassy but never straying into self-indulgent diva territory, carries the best songs and elevates a few to ‘anthem’ status. ‘Centuries’ is a big sing-along tune and is proof, not that it was needed, that Fall Out Boy can write arena-conquering songs like few others can. With its uplifting hook of “You will remember me for centuries” it’s a slick bit of rock steeped in pop sensibilities, and one of the high-points of the album. Elsewhere, ‘Immortals’ is a blinder that’s fitting of soundtracking a blockbuster film. They’ve managed to create one of the catchiest choruses ever with essentially, just the word “Immortals”.
Of course, with hits comes a few misses. Title track ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ is as hyperactive and annoying, as a kid who’s eaten too many Haribo, and ‘Favourite Record’ starts with a promising riff before deteriorating into something more forgettable.
Thankfully, the great outweighs the bad on this latest effort, and they’ve succeeded in making a fine album of catchy, danceable rock. This might not be their finest work, but it’s a welcome return to form that proves Fall Out Boy are still relevant and have far more to offer than a nostalgia trip back in to your teen years.