Fall Out Boy released their latest studio album, American Beauty/American Psycho, on January 16. Based on the singles released up to the album date, I had mixed feelings on how the new music would turn out. As a fan of Fall Out Boy, I had listened to the new songs with excitement as I anticipated AB/AP. When “Centuries,” the first single, came out back in September, I had recently seen FOB and Paramore in Monumentour a few months earlier, and couldn’t wait for new music by them. Centuries impressed me, and made me eager to see what they had in store for us, but the singles went downhill from there: “Immortals” was released in October, and ceased to amaze me, and seemed lacking after the high-standard Centuries had started out with. When “Irresistable” came out not long after, I became worried on the direction this album was taking…and I am still not convinced now, after listening to the entire collection of new songs, that this album pleased me.
The track list consisted of titles like ‘Uma Thurman’, which I found, as a song, repulsive at first, but it grew on me in the sense that now I don’t mind listening to it. The eponymous ‘American Beauty, American Psycho’ wasn’t as bad; I loved the first few seconds, with the upbeat energy, but found the rest of the some somewhat lacking- as a whole, I like it in a offset way. It seems to be Fall Out Boy’s very own version of Falling In Reverse’s “Bad Girls Club”; an energetic and fun song that strays from the norm of the band.
But “The Kids Aren’t Alright” is the biggest disappointment. First off, any artist should be aware of the unwritten rule that you can not make a song with this title. The Offspring’s “The Kids Aren’t Alright” is the only passable one. Secondly, even ignoring the title the song itself is extremely lacking; yes, it gives the album diversity by acting as the slower song, but does not live up to any standards, especially to the standards set by the Offspring.
In addition to this new album, Fall Out Boy is touring this summer with Wiz Khalifa. In their The Boys of Zummer tour, they will also be teaming up with Hoodie Allen. As much as you could argue that this new tour is ‘admirable’, in a way, for FOB to be branching out into other genres to tour with, but come on. This is just another indicator that Fall Out Boy is taking the plunge into the pop scene, with a new poppy album and a new poppy tour. The main focus on the album seemed to be catchy choruses, like in “Immortals,” “Twin Skeletons (Hotel In NYC),” and “Fourth of July,” as well as many other tracks, which is a common characteristic of pop songs these days.
Overall, I’m disappointed in Fall Out Boy; most of the songs are more pop than punk, and there is none of the classic rock element that can be found in their older songs, like ‘Sugar We’re Goin’ Down.’ I’m not pleased with the new direction they are headed in, even if they are experimenting with new sounds after having a similar ‘punk rock’ sound for x amount of years. As freshman Carie Feigeles says, “It belongs with Oscar the grouch…in the trash.” She also believes that “the album doesn’t show their artistic ability; Patrick could handle more difficult vocal ranges, and Andy could easily handle more intense drums beats, etc.” As much as I’ll admit that yes, some of the songs grew on me as I continued listening to them, I was not blown away with this new music, and did not fall in love with it as I had with previous Fall Out Boy work. In my opinion, the album fell short as a whole in comparison to the previous standards FOB had set for me in the past.