Fall Out Boy - American Beauty / American Psycho

by Shannon Smith

I have a soft spot for Fall Out Boy. The album that they have created is one of enthusiasm, energy, and pure pop-punk passion. The more I listen to it, the more the songs stick in my head. Although FOB are, shall we say, an acquired taste, dedicated fans will love it, and maybe there will be a few converted fans. Yet I’m said to say that I think this album will be ignored by a large majority of people - not that it should be.

The first song of the album, Irresistible, is classic FOB. The song starts with trumpets, which signal the calling, the battle cry, for all FOB fans to come out of hibernation. Wentz has been cited as saying that this song was influenced by the torrid love affair of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spuggan – and knowing how that one ended, you can get a sense of the fury within this song. The repetitive lyrics (“Another way you hurt me baby”) are filled with such anger and such feeling, making the audience feel like their brooding teenage selves. Or maybe just this writer… The point is that this is a high energy start to Fall Out Boy’s sixth album. It is a definite strong starter – and I’m not ashamed to say that I love it.

Nevertheless, the album’s continuous manic nature is a little exhausting, though it is a journey that is worth the migraine. It is a constantly strong album, which is refreshing considering the state of the music industry at the moment. But moving past my industry bashing – there are two stand-out songs for me.

Firstly, Uma Thurman is a classic high-calibre FOB contribution. And of course, any song called Uma Thurman is going to be a powerhouse – a killer. The fact that Thurman heard the song and approved the use of the name is enough of an argument as to why this song is pretty epic. Lyrics such as “I can move mountains, I can work a miracle, work a miracle” were the kick I needed during exam week. These lyrics along with the powerful backing mashup is a head banger of a tune. Sitting in the Law library trying not to dance to this was one of the most frustrating moments of my exam week - I always want to “dance like Uma Thurman”.

The opposite of the spectrum was another of the key songs on the album, Jet Pack Blues. It follows the continuing theme of modern love which Wentz has discussed within the media to be a pulling force within the album. It reflects the pop-rock roots that FOB have become synonymous with. Lyrics screamed by Stump such as “Baby, come home / Did you ever love her? Do you know? Or did you never want to be alone?” reflect the sense of frustration which the emo label is renowned for.

Fall Out Boy have produced an album which is refreshingly feeling. They have taken the anger, frustration, and lust that modern love has become associated with, and they push it down your throat. I am so glad that such powerful songwriting, along with insane rock backing, has been delivered. This is an album which pop-rock fans can embrace without guilt and without disappointment. It has restored my faith in an increasingly commercialised and abused genre.

Thank You, Fall Out Boy. #FaithRestored