I want to preface this review by saying that I’ve never listened to Fall Out Boy before – aside from hearing their singles – and I wouldn’t really have considered myself a fan before.
However, I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the band’s most recent endeavor.
The first album after a three-year hiatus, “Save Rock and Roll” blends elements of Fall Out Boy’s old sound with their new sound, and has a handful of guest artists on the album, ranging from rapper Big Sean to Elton John.
The first and second tracks of the album – “The Phoenix” and “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up),” respectively – are both exciting anthems with a strong, catchy beat. “The Phoenix” is supported by strings in the background, which create a sort of epic sound to the song.
Overall, the album tends to alternate between catchy, exciting songs such as the first two tracks and “Death Valley,” and songs that fit along with some of Fall Out Boy’s “vintage misery,” as they put it in “The Phoenix,” such as “Just One Yesterday” and “Miss Missing You.” Even songs with a more mellow theme tend to have a catchiness about them, however.
The guest artists on the album, for the most part, make the album feel a lot more complete. English singer-songwriter Foxes contributes a solid bridge to “Just One Yesterday,” and Big Sean’s rapping interlude in “The Mighty Fall” actually fits surprisingly well. Elton John’s piano-playing and vocals really complete the title track and make it one of the strongest tracks on the album. Courtney Love’s addition on “Rat A Tat” is probably the weakest. Although her part later on in the song fits decently well, her introduction to the song is hard to get used to, particularly given a reference to Microsoft PowerPoint, making it difficult to take seriously. It’s a shame, because otherwise “Rat A Tat” is a pretty solid track.
Overall, Fall Out Boy hasn’t abandoned their typical sort of pop-punk sound, but they’ve definitely mixed it up in an interesting way on this album. I wholeheartedly recommend “Save Rock and Roll,” but if you’re looking for specific songs to look into, I’d recommend checking out “Alone Together,” “Death Valley,” and the title track.