"Put on your war paint" Fall Out Boy fans. The band has returned and they are better than ever.
It seems like a hiatus was the best thing that could happen to Fall Out Boy. At first listen it's very hard not to give their long awaited comeback album, Save Rock and Roll, 5 stars (Decaydance/Island Def Jam). The lyrics are thoughtful, the musicality is spot on, Patrick Stump's voice seems to improve with each track, and Butch Walker's production value is top notch. It is tough to find flaw.
"The Phoenix" brings us into the band's first album since 2008 on an energetic note. Bass player Pete Wentz's signature lyric style hums in our ears with lines like "time crawls on when you're waiting for the song to start so dance alone to the beat of your heart."
Save Rock and Roll's first single, "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)," is the second song on the album. While it's not the best track on the record, it was the best choice to re-introduce the world to Fall Out Boy. Hints of Fall Out Boy's past remain hidden amongst the thumping riffs serving as comfort for long-time fans that the band they know and love are not gone, they're just growing up and maturing in their music.
The blues infused pop song "Young Volcanoes" at first seems out of place on Save Rock and Roll. In fact, it hardly sounds like a Fall Out Boy song at all. The tune, rhythm, and even vocals are unlike any other track on the album and previous albums as well. All of these facts together further highlights that Fall Out Boy is moving forward and experimenting with their sound and not treading water over the same style album after album.
The kids have a new anthem with the album's closing track, "Save Rock and Roll" (featuring Elton John). As with any anthem of its time the lyrics are relatable and get right to the point: "You are what you love not who loves you. In a world full of the word yes I'm here to scream no." It's simple intensity hands down makes it the best track on the album. The guest vocals by Elton John are merely a bonus.
Elton John aside, a few listens of the album deep and it becomes clear that the most disappointing tracks are the ones featuring guest vocals (the album's title track excluded). "Rat a Tat" (featuring Courtney Love) and "The Mighty Fall" (featuring Big Sean, also on Island Def Jam) both come off as a little contrived. "Just One Yesterday" (featuring Foxes) is reminiscent of Fall Out Boy's prior album, Folie a Deux, but even with it's Adele-esque opening (think "Rolling In The Deep") it can't hold a candle to the stronger tracks on the rest of the album.
Fall Out Boy managed to sell out 930 Club on May 31 in Washington, DC in about a minute (give or take). The general admission for their fall arena tour stop at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA sold out quickly as well. Reserved seats are still available for the show via Ticketmaster.
Save Rock and Roll will be released nationally on Tuesday, April 16, but can be pre-ordered right now on iTunes for the discount price of $7.99. The price will go up on Tuesday.