by Amanda Bateman
Chicago-based-punk-rock band Fall Out Boy released their newest full-length album, “American Beauty/American Psycho,” on January 20. This is the band’s sixth studio album and the second full-length album Fall Out Boy has released since their hiatus, from 2010-2012.
“American Beauty/American Psycho” managed to hit No. 1 on the “Billboard 200” album chart in its debut week. The album art of a boy with an American flag painted across half his face is sure to be copied by concertgoers this summer.
Fall Out Boy are among the small number of rock groups that have songs in Billboard’s “The Hot 100” singles chart and are played frequently on the radio.
Vocalist Patrick Stump told Radio.com, “It’s kind of weird being ‘that band,’ though, because I don’t think we ever expected that. When we started, there was lots of rock music on the radio. There was lots of rock on pop radio. So, to suddenly be an island is a very strange thing.”
“Centuries,” the first single off the new album, premiered on September 8, 2014, on BBC Radio 1. This single is another huge sports hit for Fall Out Boy and can be heard locally on “Pittsburgh Penguins” advertisements. In fact, “Centuries” was played so often during the “College Football Playoff” games that the band issued an apology.
In an interview with Fox Sports, Pete Wentz, the band’s bassist, said, “[i]t’s a little bit crazy to watch [college football] with your song in it so much. People are always like: ‘Hey it’s starting to get annoying!’ But, at the same time, there was [sic] a lot of people who probably wouldn’t have heard of our band . . . Hopefully [sic] we didn’t annoy you too badly!”
“Immortals,” another hit from “American Beauty/American Psycho,” was featured in Disney’s movie “Big Hero 6.” The song was short-listed for an Academy Award but unfortunately did not receive a nomination.
The fifth track, “Uma Thurman,” had to be approved by the actress herself before the album was released. Although different from their pop-punk roots, “Uma Thurman” gives off a surfer vibe that’s unlike anything Fall Out Boy have put out. Dark lyrics and an upbeat sound are combined into a song that really works. This catchy track has been getting a lot of attention and will likely be one of the bigger hits from the album.
“Irresistible” was a poor choice for the first track. Compared to “The Phoenix,” which was the first track from their last album (“Save Rock and Roll”), “Irresistible” feels lackluster. The album would have been better off starting with the title track, “American Beauty/American Psycho.”
My favorite track, “Fourth of July,” showcases Patrick Stump’s incredible vocal ability. With the American theme placed on the album, the title “Fourth of July” set high hopes for me. Stump’s vocals, paired with Pete Wentz’s lyrics, make the song stick out from the rest and sound unlike any of Fall Out Boy’s other songs.
This May will mark the tenth anniversary of Fall Out Boy’s album “From Under the Cork Tree,” which includes many of the band’s staple songs, like “Sugar We’re Going Down” and “Dance, Dance.” A big difference of “American Beauty/American Psycho” from Fall Out Boy’s previous albums is their use of samples from other works. Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” and the theme from the TV show “The Munsters” are incorporated into some of the album’s tracks.
Fall Out Boy continue to challenge themselves in this album, never sticking to the same sound. Fall Out Boy have turned from a band that loved to torture DJ’s with obscurely long song titles to a band that aren’t afraid to push the limits.
This summer, Fall Out Boy will be going on tour with an unlikely co-headliner, Pittsburgh native Wiz Khalifa, in the “Boys Of Zummer” tour. This will be Wiz Khalifa’s first major tour with a rock group. They will be in Pittsburgh, on July 2, at First Niagara Pavilion. Here’s hoping that, because of the tour date, Fall Out Boy choose to play “Fourth of July,” from their new album.
After this album, fans can only guess what Fall Out Boy will come out with next. However, one thing is clear after this album’s release: Fall Out Boy are a band that will continue to experiment and evolve with their fans.