As predicted, since returning from hiatus 2013 with full-length record ‘Save Rock And Roll’, Fall Out Boy have settled back into the dizzy heights of success they were enjoying a few years previous. Hoping to maintain this high standard, the quartet have kicked off 2015 by with new album ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ which sees the band keep the same huge, infectious choruses but branch out instrumentally.
Opening track, ‘Irresistable’, starts things off with a sense of urgency in the verses before vocalist Patrick Stump delivers a trademark fantastic performance on the chorus. Later track, ‘Novocaine’, sees Stump push his voice to an impressive high pitch on the chorus, although the track sounds oddly similar to ‘The Phoenix’ from their previous LP.
The only downfall on the vocal front, an aspect that the band and Stump consistently excel at, is when an electronic effect is added on uncharacteristically all-round let down track, ‘Favourite Record’. It’s an odd move to make when Stump is renowned for his stunning vocal ability.
Fans of a huge chorus will be pleased with record’s lead single, ‘Centuries’, a song that’s designed to be echoed around a stadium with the atmosphere it creates. Fall Out Boy, however, are out to prove their range as new single ‘Uma Thurman’ shows, with a keyboard leading the bridge of the track and a country-sounding riff dominating the chorus.
The band even take a run at showing off a deeper, more emotional side on ‘Jet Pack Blues’, rather than addressing relationships purely with innuendo and catchy one-liners.
‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ is packed with colossal performances as the title track clearly demonstrates. It’s only when there’s a more reserved display that some disappointment creeps in on tracks such as ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’.
That said, it’s great to see Fall Out Boy taking some risks and trying to add more strings to their bow, because it would be very easy for them to churn out some of their classic pop-punk à la ‘Take This To Your Grave’ or ‘From Under The Cork Tree’ and watch the money roll in. Thankfully, the majority of these risks pay off and make for a fantastic record.
Written by Jonathon Barlow (@Narlow1)