Long gone are the days when Fall Out Boy was a straight up pop-punk band. So are the band’s days when they were experimenting with dance-punk. They’ve shed both for a much harder sound, which seems to be here to stay.
American Beauty/American Psycho is very similar to the band’s previously (and beloved by many) album, Save Rock and Roll. They’re both sonically overwhelming during the first listen — but are strong albums all-around (and less overwhelming on repeat listens). There are a few missteps here, though. The title track,’American Beauty/American Psycho’ is the least coherent song on the record as it’s just a strange mix of hard rock and rapping. Things get even stranger with ‘Uma Thurman,’ which samples The Munster’s theme song, however, unlike the title track, the strangeness works here.
That’s the takeaway from American Beauty/American Psycho — every song is different but works as a whole. The split in the album’s title truly reflects the noticeable difference of the songs on the record. For example, songs like “Irresistible” and “Twin Skeletons (Hotel in NYC),” are rock music for the club scene, while “The Kids Aren’t Alright” and “Centuries,” are more rock radio-friendly that will (and have in regards to “Centuries”) have a home on the rock Billboard charts. The latter style, the rock radio-friendly style, make up most of the album, which is for the best.
Fans of Save Rock and Roll won’t be disappointed with American Beauty/American Psycho. The music rocks and the lyrics are still as wordy as ever. Those who are still holding out for another album like Take This To Your Grave should move on and stop being disappointed at glossy records Fall Out Boy puts out. Fall Out Boy is no longer trying to fit in or impress anyone. They’re just making damn good music.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Allison Lips is the Founder of Wait! What’s a Dial?, a television blog that showcases the writing of millennials. Allison graduated from Rowan University in May 2013. She has a passion for TV history, especially late night and game shows. If she could go back in time, Steve Allen would still be hosting The Tonight Show. Follow her on Twitter @waitwaitsadial.