What came out was a little surprising. Those waiting to have definitive reasons to hate this album and everything Fall Out Boy-related are going to have a little bit of difficulty getting their hanging orders from the disc.

The first single, “I Don’t Care,” is a bit misleading as far as the content of the rest of the record. The song sounds like Stump was listening to a lot of Michael Jackson and 80’s power ballads before going in to record, producing the almost annoyingly catchy hook. When he starts belting out “I don’t care what you think, as long as it’s about me,” (and don’t forget the cameo appearance by MTV reality’s ultimate douche bag Spencer Pratt in the video) you’re ready for just a continuation of “Infinity,” but no one is getting off the hook that easily.

Musically, the album is just as ambitious as “Infinity On High,” but admittedly FOB does a much better job pulling it off this go around. Rather than guest spots for all-star rappers, “Folie A Deux” features deeper experimentation with instrumentation from the strings on “America’s Suitehearts” (the second single) to the saxophone on “20 Dollar Nosebleed” that makes it impossible to stand still.

“What A Catch Donnie” slows the pace down but the harmonies are impeccable and the collage homage to all their previous singles as the outro is an unexpected and brilliant touch.

Throughout the album are dips and rises in speed and syncopation, removing the pressure from Stump’s voice to carry entire songs. While “Folie” overall has the same polished aspect that made “Infinity” irritating to so many, Fall Out Boy returns to guitar driven basics, pushing the R&B influences to the background (but Stump’s throwback to 1920’s southern gospel at the end of “w.a.m.s.” is very impressive), and brings back the rock melodies they became famous for in the first place.

Though Wentz has said in numerous recent interviews that lyrically this is the least personal record he’s written, the poetic potency of “Folie A Deux” is the most reminiscent thing of “Take This To Your Grave” involved in the entire album.

“Headfirst slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet” brings one of the most notebook scribble worthy lines, “I will never end up like him. Behind my back I already am.” “Coffee For Closers” takes on the turmoil felt by a lot of America sorting through presidential candidates this year, “I will never believe in anything again. Oh change will come, I will never believe in anything again. We will never believe again, kickdrum beating in my chest again.” Wentz may not be saying what you want to hear, but you can be sure you haven’t heard it before.

The sad truth is that Fall Out Boy is never going to make another “Take This To Your Grave,” but at the same time is it fair to expect them to? “Folie A Deux” represents the idea that Fall Out Boy is still four guys from Chicago that love playing together, but now they’ve grown up quite a bit.

No matter what spin you want to put on it: sell-outs or ultimate success stories, Fall Out Boy at the end of the day is just really good at what they do – delivering rock melodic anthems that won’t leave your head for days. Love ’em or hate ’em, they aren’t going anywhere.

Highlights: “20 Dollar Nosebleed (feat. Brendon Urie)”, “Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes”, “She’s my Winona” and “Coffee for Closers”

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About The Author

Megan Vick is a Blast editor-at-large

One Response

  1. Calysta

    Thank you for this article. I really liked how you traced their progression as a band. I especially appreciated your focus on the music.


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