Fall Out Boy – American Beauty/American Psycho
Fall Out Boy have always written anthems. American Beauty/American Psycho is no different, with each stand-out track able to hold its own. Patrick Stump’s voice has a vulnerability to it that is heartfelt and pure, which is what has always made Fall Out Boy appeal to misfits and outcasts. His pained shrieks and falsettos are emotional and open, supported by his incredible range and silky voice, which have the ability to carry huge, heavy tracks.
In recent years, their music has been appropriated for American sports channels and team theme songs, demonstrating their enduring popularity. The brash trumpet intro Irresistible shows a band who have come to play hard and win. They have not altered their sound or their personas to match these new endorsements, rather they are making the mainstream take notice of those on the peripheries. The title of the album reflects the duality of their sound and image: they are writing music for the psychos, the outsiders and yet being embraced as an American beauty, a symbol of triumph, unity and self expression.
The appeal of Fall Out Boy is their variety and ability to embrace such a wide range of musical styles even within individual tracks. They blend a huge variety of musical influences, from hip hop to stadium rock and punk, aware of the age we live in where different music genres are so easily accessible to audiences. Why be held back by one? For example, Uma Thurman uses the Munsters theme tune laid over hip hop beats to create a sinister yet sexy battle song that pays suitable homage to the actress.
There is a sense of growth on this album, as seen on The Kids Aren’t Alright and Jet Pack Blues, with subject matter of loss and loneliness that maintains their style while feeling more mature. They’ve grown up: they are fathers and family men now, and have experimented with other musical and personal projects. They bring the lessons learnt there to this album, both in terms of lyrics and composition.
Fall Out Boy are veterans in the industry, having essentially defined a subculture, yet they don’t seem to have lost any of the excitement and urgency of their earlier tracks. They still bounce off and rely on one another and that trust is implicit in their musical experimentation.
American Psycho/American Beauty is released on 20th January 2015, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Centuries here: