Album Reviews, Artists / Bands, Rock — April 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm

REVIEW: Fall Out Boy – Save Rock and Roll


Fall Out Boy

Artist Name: Fall Out Boy
Title Name: Save Rock and Roll
Label: Island Def Jam
Reviewed by: Jarrod Macartney


It was November 2009 when Fall Out Boy announced to their fans that they were taking a hiatus. With four albums released within five years, the four-piece rockers were arguably overexposed in the pop-world. Pete Wentz claimed that the band were “decompressing” and even went on to say, “I can’t imagine playing in FOB (Fall Out Boy) again”. During the hiatus the band moved onto other projects: Wentz formed Black Cards while Patrick Stump took on a solo project.

Late last year there were murmurs about a possible Fall Out Boy comeback, though the band quickly denied any truth to the rumours but it was in February 2013 when the band officially announced their return album Save Rock and Roll. “The Phoenix” kicks off the comeback LP in vintage Fall Out Boy fashion. This all-guns-blazing opener will get anyone and everyone dancing (or for the shy types – at least a tapping of a foot). Stump’s vocals warn the listener to “Put on your war paint” – very fitting as we prepare for the battle of Fall Out Boy’s objective to save rock and roll. The pounding percussion and the inclusion of orchestra strings create an epic feel and clearly tell us that Fall Out Boy has returned!

“My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)” was destined for radio. The album’s lead single features a repetitive chorus hook and Stump’s screaming “I’m on Fire” in a power metal fashion. The roots are clearly formed from hip hop, but still very fitting for the Illinois boys. Save Rock and Roll continues with its dance rhythms including the funky toned “Where Did The Party Go” where Stump sings about a failing relationship, and the synthy “Miss Missing You” which is upbeat in melody but downbeat lyrically.

The refreshing “Just One Yesterday” welcomes Foxes (Louisa Rose Allen), the first of many collaborations (Big Sean, Courtney Love & Elton John – are the others for those taking notes) within Fall Out Boy’s fifth studio release. The intro of the track takes a leaf from Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” with the vocal/guitar combo. The vocal focused chorus has Foxes and Stump bouncing from one another and proves to be a great chemistry between the two. The song writing also has to be given a well-deserved nod, featuring heartbreaking lines such as “I’ll trade all my tomorrows for just one yesterday” within the duet.

The album finishes with two major collaborations; firstly Courtney Love assists Patrick Stump with a verse or two in “Rat A Tat”. This had potential to be disastrous, but the clean Stump vocals and Love’s husky sound work a treat. Secondly the album title track and album closer is initiated with the percussion of drums,  hand clapping and of course Elton John’s iconic piano sound. After all, what is an Elton John song without a piano? At first it is unusual to hear John’s vocal on a Fall Out Boy album, but after that initial weird feeling it is quite moving and satisfying.

Fall Out Boy rolled out the red carpet for their epic return, bringing out stars like Courtney Love and Elton John to feature on their fifth. Did it pay off? I think it did. It offered different dimensions of the pop punk band that we have never seen before and is definitely their most personal record yet. They have come a long way from the band that brought us “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy”, which is now ten years old. On a sidenote, Butch Walker has to be congratulated on the brilliant influence and production quality in this release. I must admit when picking up this album, I did not think that it would reach the highs that it did; this is definitely my surprise packet of 2013. If Save Rock and Roll has left me with something, it is that if I need a fun upbeat album to move to, this one will be at the top of the list.


Fall Out Boy – The Phoenix