Review: “American Beauty/American Psycho” by Fall Out Boy
I kinda had a lightbulb moment the other night. I love music. I love blogging. I make monthly music videos about the music I love. Why on earth have I not been writing reviews about the albums I’m buying?! Like, seriously. Why has this not occurred to me before this weekend? So, that’s all changing too! Just in time as well, because SO many of my favourite bands are releasing new records soon! I haven’t been buying as much music so far this year as I have been over the past couple of years. The primary reasons for that are a) I’m trying to avoid spending lots of money this year (something that’s really not going so well right now) and b) I’m starting to run out of space to put CDs. You guys know how much I love having physical copies of music; it’s just not the same having it all on a hard drive (although if I said I actually listened to the CDs instead of using my iTunes, I’d be totally lying).
I was a little bit sceptical of “AB/AP” because I’d heard some mixed reviews about it. Some people who are die-hard Fall Out Boy fans weren’t keen on it. Others absolutely loved it. I wouldn’t consider Fall Out Boy to be in my top 5 favourite bands, or even top 10 possibly; I like the singles, and I like some album tracks, but I don’t own the full back catalogue or know the words to every song or anything like that. I had heard a couple of tracks from the album because they’re constantly played on the Internet Takeover on Radio 1 – but then after seeing Big Hero 6, I’ve become obsessed with “Immortals” (if you’ve seen the film, you KNOW). I ordered the album so I could play it on repeat – then got impatient and bought the single off iTunes half an hour later.
In short, I absolutely love this album. I think it might be my favourite album from Fall Out Boy. It’s a bold statement, but it’s one I’ll stand by. Before the hiatus, I was more of a “From Under The Cork Tree”/”Infinity On High” person. I almost started to lose interest after that; I’m not sure why, maybe I didn’t find the singles quite as catchy. They came back with a bang of course; “Save Rock And Roll” is a fantastic record. But it was a change of direction for FOB, and “AB/AP” seems to be steering back towards the original course. That’s most likely why I love it so much. There are some amazing tracks and, like all albums, there are some that are a bit weaker.
The introductory fanfare of “Irresistable” makes the song an ideal opening track – the drum rhythms also command your attention and it’s apparent that the guys mean business on this album. This theme is continued right throughout the album, and is particularly present in single “Centuries”. In additional to the commanding lyrics, it has the perfect balance of all things FOB. A simple but effective chorus, catchy verses and an incredible sample from “Tom’s Diner” to boot – Patrick Stump assures me that I’ll remember him for centuries, but that sample sent me into a time warp! I was a tad concerned that Fall Out Boy had attempted a cover of The Offspring when I spotted “The Kids Aren’t Alright” – thankfully, the boys’ days of covering classics stopped with MJ! This track is one of the strongest on the album in my opinion. It slows things down a little, but it’s one of the tracks that I think a lot of people will relate to – not necessarily a track to release as a single, but a very strong album track with an amazing chorus.
I’ve had “Uma Thurman” stuck in my head since I first heard it on Radio 1’s Internet Takeover. I still can’t get it out of my head. The lyrics are quite apt, then. If you’re not dancing by the end of the song, you need to re-evaluate your life. And I’m not talking cool dancing. I’m talking Pulp Fiction dancing. Well done, boys. “Novocaine” is another dancey track. The beat is brilliant, and Patrick’s range is fantastic. We all love a Patrick high note. “Fourth of July”, for some reason, reminds me of Panic! At The Disco’s Miss Jackson. Which is a bit odd, because that song reminds me of “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”. I have no idea why my mind went to P!ATD as opposed to earlier FOB. I think it’s the way the chorus kicks in. Although, the more I listen to it, the more it sounds like a less prominent version of “My Songs Know…”. “Immortals”… well. What can I say about “Immortals”? I heard it on the radio first of all, I liked it. I saw Big Hero 6, I loved it. The song was beyond perfect for the movie. It’s one of those tracks that instantly makes me feel empowered and inspired and all fired up and ready to take on whatever is gonna be thrown at me. Armed with Baymax at my side, of course. One of the stand-out tracks of the album by a mile.
Unfortunately, the title track of the album is one of the weakest links. Although the beat is catchy, the repetitive nature of some of the lyrics left me feeling almost bored by the end of the song. “Jet Pack Blues” was a bit of a non-starter for me. It’s an okay song, just nothing outstanding. “Favorite Record” is perhaps the grower of the album. At the moment, it’s nothing special to me, although I have a feeling that the more I listen to it, the more I’ll like it. It’s one of those songs that’s just… nice. the sort you bounce along to in your chair thinking ‘this is a nice song’.
“Twin Skeleton’s (Hotel in NYC)” is a nice round-off to the album. It’s a bit of a breather after preceding track “Immortals”; it has an almost haunting edge to it which goes along nicely with the title!
Overall, a brilliant album. I’m not gonna do some cheesy rating system, partially because I hate those, but also because hopefully I won’t buy any albums that I end up not liking! Definitely pick up this album, or stream it online if that’s what you’re into. Just make sure you check it out.