Fall Out Boy is finally back.
After a brief hiatus that began in 2009 the internationally recognized band is set to release an all-new record entitled “Save Rock and Roll” worldwide April 15 and 16. The 11-track album includes songs featuring by Sir Elton John, Foxes, Big Sean and Courtney Love.
In its entirety, the album plays out like a movement.
The tracks flow together smoothly and sound like a single work rather than 11 separate songs.
“Save Rock and Roll” opens with the band’s lead singer Patrick Stump telling fans to “put on (their) war paint” in a powerful call to arms called “The Phoenix.” The strings in the beginning are reminiscent of the opening of “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” off the band’s 2007 album “Infinity on High.” It starts off the album with a bang and sets the mood for the rest of the album.
“My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up)” was released as a single in February to the delight of long-awaiting fans. Almost a reflection of the first track, the first two songs play off each other creating an energized sound and building a cinematic atmosphere.
Track 11 closes the album with a heartfelt ballad that shares the album’s name and features the voice of Sir Elton John. The combination of Stump and John is brilliant and one of the most memorable parts of the album.
“Save Rock and Roll” pays a bit of a tribute to Fall Out Boy’s previous work and ties the record together with all of the emotion of the first track but with the soul of a hymn. The pronounced rhythm coupled with dynamic blocked piano chords paint a background that perfectly accompanies the vocals.
Other highlights include “Just One Yesterday,” which could be comparable with Adele’s music. The song features blues-ridden verses and contrasting female vocals supplied by Foxes.
“Death Valley” also stands out. Mixing Stump’s signature voice and range with a driving beat and more contemporary music styles, the song includes a touch of dubstep, to create a classic Fall Out Boy dance track. “Young Volcanoes” sounds a bit like Of Monsters and Men and adds a lighter dynamic to the album.
“Rat A Tat” is the only low point of the album. While the lyrics and Stump’s highly distinctive voice are classic of Fall Out Boy’s work, Courtney Love’s performance from beginning to the end is cringe-worthy and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the song.
Listeners looking for something familiar will be in for a bit of a shock. The album caters to the style of 2013 rather than that of 2003 and more heavily reflects Patrick Stump’s solo work than any of Fall Out Boy’s earlier work.
As time goes on musicians must evolve lest their music become boring or repetitive. While some bands botch change, some change for the better and create a new sound while maintaining their distinctiveness. Fall Out Boy is not the same as they were when “Sugar, We’re Going Down” was released, but neither are the fans. Despite what purists may say about “Save Rock and Roll,” Fall Out Boy is back and sounds just as good as they always have.
Fall Out Boy is scheduled to play at the USF Sun Dome in September. But in the mean time, fans can purchase “The Phoenix” and “Light Em Up” on iTunes.