2013 has been a year full of comebacks and break-ups of all kinds and Fall Out Boy’s reunion appears to be one of the most talked about. Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Andy Hurley and Joe Trohman have been working on album number five out of the spotlight up until they announced they were coming out of their hiatus earlier this year. But what have fans waited four years for? Will they even be able to compete with the fantastic Folie á Deux of 2008? Or the awe inducing Jay Z intro to Infinity on High of the previous year? Well, the boys have given it a pretty damned good effort.
The album opens with latest single ‘The Phoenix’, a smack right between the eyes from the word go. With this track their is no holding back, no easing us in, Fall Out Boy are back and they’re not going to be quiet about it. Following ‘The Phoenix’ is their comeback single ‘My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark’. A brave move from the pop-punk quartet as they dare their listeners to switch off at that point; considering the band have already demonstrated the songs fans have already heard. I think it’s a brave, but sensible move from the band. It means the rest of the songs aren’t simply filler around the singles, it allows the band to flourish with new material nurturing new favourite tracks from the rest of the album. ‘My Songs…’ however, is the worst track on the album. As I said to fellow Fall Out Boy fans: I loved the idea of them getting back together more than I actually loved the comeback single. Yet, with full faith in Stump et al I persevered with the record.
Luckily the next track ‘Alone Together’ is reminiscent of the Fall Out Boy I loved in my teenage years. It’s lyrically brilliant and has just the right amount of the angst all of us felt during our teens. The touch of an acoustic guitar in the track is a lovely release from the rock-heavy record. ‘Where Did The Party Go’ doesn’t really fit in, attempting to be a sing-along, but with a lack of substance. Fit with a ‘Na-na-na’ section, it all seems rather banal. ‘Just One Yesterday’ luckily brings it back to the standard we’re used to seeing from the quartet. Despite the opening sounding almost identical to Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ it manages to be a uniquely great track. With fantastic guest vocalist Foxes (she supported Marina and The Diamonds on her last UK tour) it’s a catchy, loveable track.
The end of the album is very hit and miss. ‘The Mighty Fall’ is another one that seems out of place, especially with Big Sean featuring on the track. ‘Miss Missing You’, ‘Rat-A-Tat’ (oddly featuring Courtney Love) and ‘Death Valley’ (a track with some weird dubstep section) aren’t going to go down in history. In my opinion they saved the best until last with ‘Save Rock and Roll’ featuring the mighty Elton John. The emotion seems to come to a head when Patrick Stump screams “Fuck you! You can go cry me an ocean and leave me be!” Despite being very reminiscent of the Lion King soundtrack (maybe I’m just side-tracked by Elton) it is honestly a great track and restored my faith in the band.
Lyrically Fall Out Boy are still on top form in terms of wrenching the heart strings of people around the world. You can read a statement from the band below which sounds very much like a pretentious preach but I can’t help soaking in every word. It’s just a shame that the album contains a lot of filler in comparison to their hard-hitting second album From Under The Cork Tree.
“We recorded it in secret from the music industry, critics, and even our fans… We made this music for ourselves and no one else at the end of the day. This is meant be played loud, with the windows down on summer nights. Four friends with our backs to each other fighting in the darkness against anything and everything that is out there. We bowed our heads, took a knee and plugged back in. From the first strings to the last shouts—this is us.”