It took Fall Out Boy six albums to sell out, but they finally did it. A band’s gotta do what a band’s gotta do. And Fall Out Boy did it, in epic style. American Beauty/ American Tragedy debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 100.
You’d think after the Fall Out Fever that swept this blog last year, I’d be all over the new album. TBH, I head “Centuries” once and decided this one wasn’t for me. But I love my FOBs. So I listened to the album on a road trip.
The first half of the album is noisy. The songs have too much going on sound- wise, and not enough going on lyric- wise. This album is filler- heavy. Expect lots of “Oooos”, “Waaaaahs” and “Whooooas”. The single “Uma Thurman” sounds like the start of about five great songs, but the parts don’t fit together. In the first half of the album, the shallow lyrics and synthesizers make the songs overmanufactured. Low Points: “American Beauty/ American Psycho”, “Irresistible”. You’d think an album/ song named after two of the 90’s most thought- provoking movies would be a little more thought- provoking.
In the second half, things loosen up. I ADORE “Jet Pack Blues” and “Favorite Record”. We get richer storytelling and more focus. This sounds like classic Fall Out Boy: desperate, poetic, and shamelessly uncool.
Although I don’t love American Beauty/ American Psycho, I appreciate the savvy. Since their comeback, Fall Out Boy have repeatedly proved what loyal listeners knew all along: they’re smart. Wether they’re writing double entendres or playing the music industry, they’re smart. They fought for their spot at the table, and they earned it.