For Fans Of
When Fall Out Boy announced their return from hiatus in 2013, they certainly didn’t give anyone any time to catch their breath, and for the almost two years since, they’ve done the same. With ‘American Beauty/American Psycho‘, the band has their third release in two years (that is, including the ‘PAX AM Days‘ EP of punk rock tracks), and with that comes a certain worry that the final result of AB/AP will come off as very rushed, and altogether unsatisfying. Rest assured however, if you share these fears with us, they are completely unfounded.
AB/AP feels like a natural progression from ‘Save Rock & Roll‘, and yet at the same time, feels almost completely unexpected. While it’s not too difficult to see how the band has moved from where they were when they initially reformed, listening to AB/AP is still a remarkably unique experience. With just one spin of songs like title track ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’, or ‘Novocaine’, you’ll find yourself noting that there is simply nothing that’s quite like these songs. It would be near impossible to listen to this record and accuse the group of merely reappropriating anyone else’s work.
The instrumentation for the full-length is certainly interesting. The intro to ‘Irresistible’ is helmed by a synthesised horn track that sounds like it came out of the intro of an early ‘00s hip hop song, yet boasts a powerful, hooky chorus that is undeniably pop. There is also a strong movement towards more electronic instrumentation across the board, and while at times when bands head in this direction it can feel hollow and insincere, these additions actually bring out the best side of ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’.
As any fan of Fall Out Boy would expect, Patrick Stump’s powerful vocals feature as a key point of many songs on the record. Lead single ‘Centuries’ holds a monumental vocal delivery in its chorus, while Stump’s smooth falsetto makes an appearance throughout other tracks like ‘Jet Pack Blues’ and the previously mentioned ‘Novocaine’, marking himself as a force to be reckoned with amongst vocalists in the pop/rock scene.
‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ is a far cry from Save Rock & Roll in terms of style, and it’s even further from anything else the band has released, but the quality of the release certainly isn’t compromised in any measure. Despite the quick turnaround of this record, Fall Out Boy are proving themselves to be a band that don’t do things in half-measures, and when you’re releasing material with enough strength to be considered AOTY material in January, you know you’re doing something right.
American Beauty/American Psycho
The Kids Aren’t Alright
Jet Pack Blues
Fourth Of July
Twin Skeletons (Hotel In NYC)