Review: Fall Out Boy – Save Rock and Roll

I’ve been a Fall Out Boy fan since Sugar We’re Going Down, back in 2006, in my ugly dark room filled with nothing but music. Their hiatus made me at least a little sad, but I can’t say their album at the time (Folie a Deux) was memorable.

In the meantime, I entertained myself with Patrick Stump’s new EP (Truant Wave in 2011) and his new solo album (Soul Punk, 2011), my idea of a redheaded white Michael Jackson on eurodanced LSD.

Save-Rock-And-Roll Nothing prepared me, back in 2012, for a new Fall Out Boy album. When their first single, My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up), got out, I was like „WTF?! This isn’t Fall Out Boy!”. I didn’t press play again. I just stood still enjoying God knows what.

The next single, The Phoenix, was awesome. It was what I expected from their comeback move, the thing I didn’t get with My Songs. Released on April 12th, Save Rock and Roll didn’t save rock and roll. It didn’t bring us back the old FOB. It wasn’t unexpected. I’m not sure how to define it, it’s raw and mature at the same time, lyrically and musically. It’s old FOB mixed with Patrick’s black beats. I can almost swear I hear arena songs in there, but I’m too afraid to admit it. What if that doesn’t come true?

Because it’s something so out of the blue, you are caught unprepared and while the musical genre is not quite saved, I can say it is revived.

The Phoenix (10) is the second single and it benefits from a sexy video. It’s core is the power of string instruments that dominate the whole composition. I like the raw power this song has and it’s a very good workout entertainer (as is the whole album, of course).

Cross walks and crossed hearts and hope-to-dies
Silver clouds with grey linings

So we can take the world back from a heart attack
One maniac at a time we will take it back
You know time crawls on when you’re waiting for the song to start
So dance alone to the beat of your heart

Hey young blood
Doesn’t it feel like our time is running out?
I’m gonna change you like a remix
Then I’ll raise you like a phoenix
Wearing our vintage misery
No, I think it looked a little better on me
I’m gonna change you like a remix
Then I’ll raise you like a phoenix

My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up) (9.5) was the first single off of the album and, as I said before, it didn’t impress me much. After the release of Save Rock and Roll, I really fell in love with this one, especially Patrick’s vocals and the chorus. It really strikes me as a summer song and I find it perfect for this hybrid sprinsummer we have in Romania. Also, I’d love to hear this one on a stadium (I’m in love with rock anthems! But who isn’t?).

A constellation of tears on your lashes
Burn everything you love, then burn the ashes
In the end everything collides
My childhood spat back out the monster that you see

My songs know what you did in the dark

So light ‘em up, up, up
Light ‘em up, up, up
Light ‘em up, up, up
I’m on fire

Alone Together (8.5) is a teen-angsty song, with Wentz’s unmistakeable signature (lyrically wise). If you ignore the poetry for just a little, you get great power and rhythm and, though it’s not quite rock-y, it’s a great summer afternoon song.

My heart is like a stallion
They love it more when it’s broken
Do you wanna feel beautiful?
Do you wanna?

‘Cause I don’t know where you’re going
But do you got room for one more troubled soul
I don’t know where I’m going but I don’t think I’m coming home
And I said I’ll check in tomorrow if I don’t wake up dead
This is the road to ruin
And we’re starting at the end

Where Did the Party Go (10) is, supposedly, the first song they wrote (Stump and Wentz) for Save Rock and Roll. It has a new vibe, it is party-like (as the title suggests) and it has young energy and optimism, so I would play it in my favorite clubs (if they would allow me to bring weird music to the scene). It’s one of my favorites on this album and it makes me want to start dancing (and when I say dancing, I mean I look like Elaine from Seinfeild, if she was in a whole body cast, while slipping on a banana peel).

I’m here to collect your hearts
It’s the only reason that I sing
I don’t believe a word you say but I can’t stop listening
This is the story of how they met
Her picture was on the back of a pack of cigarettes
When she touched him he turned ruby red
A story that they’ll never forget
Never forget

And all the boys are smoking menthols
Girls are getting back rubs
I will drift to you if you if you make yourself shake fast enough
My old aches become new again
My old friends become exes again

Oh, where did the party go?
We’re ending it on the phone
I’m not gonna go home alone
Oh, where did the party go?

(Sorry for my obsession, I really love this song!)

Just One Yesterday (8) features Foxes (and that’s all I can say about this singer). It is a song for the heartbroken people (which I am not), so I can’t say much about this one, except that it has a nice rhythm, even though the lyrics are not the most happy ones.

Letting people down is my thing, baby
Find yourself a new gig
This town ain’t big enough for two of us
I don’t have the right name
Or the right looks
But I have twice the heart

Anything you say can and will be held against you
So only say my name
It will be held against you
Anything you say can and will be held against you
So only say my name (name)

The Mighty Fall (9), another song featuring someone (they are plenty on this album!), this time is Big Sean. I have a very Kanye West-vibe, circa Niggas in Paris and also Katy Perry‘s ET. This doesn’t mean it’s bad. I’ve heard of Big Sean before, but this song can be easily named his best one until now. If you’ve read so far, you’ve noticed that I said something about Patrick’s black beats. So here they are, please enjoy them!

Yeah I know you said not to call unless I’m dying
But I’m driving and I can’t stop staring at my eyelids
But even though my eyes closed, I still see you
I just hope that when you see me I’m not see-through
You know how we do
Some times I swear, I need a day just for me to lay
With some T and A, but the way we, they way we is do deeper
Baby straight up chemistry DNA
Make me wanna give you every dollar out my B of A
Like, I let her climb on top
I’m either fuckin’ or workin’, so the grind don’t stop
They say I got screws missing, well hell, only when I’m missing you
And hell yeah I’m a dick, girl, addicted to you

Whoa, how the mighty fall
The mighty fall
The mighty fall
They fall in love

Miss Missing You (9) is so simple, yet so good! Like all the good things, this one takes its geniusness (is that even a word?!) from simple music with simple words. Love is the base, people. Love.

Baby, you were my picket fence
I miss missing you now and then
Chlorine kissed summer skin

I miss missing you now and then
Sometimes before it gets better
The darkness gets bigger
The person that you’d take a bullet for is behind the trigger
We’re fading fast
I miss missing you now and then

Death Valley (8) has a nervous side. It’s animalic and raw. It’s mature. It’s everything at once, even though it misses something (but I can’t put my finger on it).

I wanna see your animal side
Let it all out
Oh there you go; undress to impress
You can wear the crown but you’re no princess

So put the “D” in „dirt” now, baby, baby
Let’s get you wasted and alone

Young Volcanoes (10) is my favorite (I know I said that about some of the songs before, but bear with me). This is the third single off of Save Rock and Roll and the video continues the story from The Phoenix. I have a strange feeling of accapella and stadium, combined with a jungle of emotions, energy and love. How can I not love this one?!

When Rome’s in ruins, we are the lions
Free of the coliseums
In poison places, we are anti-venom
We’re the beginning of the end

Tonight the foxes hunt the hounds
It’s all over now before it has begun
We’ve already won

Come on make it easy, say I never mattered
Run it up the flagpole
We will teach you how to make boys next door
Out of assholes

Rat a Tat (9.5) is for the people who didn’t love Courtney Love. Because she is just awesome on this track. You know her as the drunk widow of Kurt Cobain, but here she gives me the impression she’s bigger than Madonna (and that’s hard to pull off!). If Madonna had talent, she could’ve been what’s Courtney on this track. With a Britney refference (It’s Courtney, bitch!) as an intro, the song dives into punky soul phase that is this new Fall Out Boy thing they’re doing now.

We’re all fighting growing old
We’re all fighting growing old
In the hopes
Of a few minutes more
To get on St. Peter’s list
But you need to lower your standards
Cause it’s never
Getting any better than this

I’m about to make the sweat roll backwards
And your heart beat in reverse
Our guts can’t be reworked
As alone as a little white church
In the middle of the desert getting burned
But I’ll take your heart served up two ways
I sing a bitter song
I’m the lonelier version of you
I just don’t know where it went wrong

They saved the best for last. If they didn’t saved rock and roll until now, maybe Elton John can lend a hand? Who knows? Save Rock and Roll (10) is a beautiful musical combo of young and new, not very rocky, but very rollable, filled with soul and patience and time. Even though it’s not as alert as the other songs on Save Rock and Roll, this one is its heart.

I need more dreams
And less life
And I need that dark
In a little more light
I cried tears you’ll never see
So fuck you, you can go cry me an ocean
And leave me be

You are what you love
Not who loves you

In a world full of the word yes
I’m here to scream

No, no
Wherever I go, go
Trouble seems to follow
Only plugged in to save rock and roll
Rock and roll, no
Wherever I go, go
Trouble seems to follow
Only plugged in to save rock and roll

Blood brothers in desperation
An oath of silence
For the voice of our generation
How’d it get to be only me?
Like I’m the last damn kid still kicking
That still believes

I will defend the faith
Going down swinging
I will save the songs
That we can’t stop singing

This album is more than I can expect from a comeback album. I can only compare it (sentimentally speaking) with Blink 182‘s Neighborhoods. It shows us a grown up version of our lovable punk kids that help granny cross the street, a version in which they love love and they suffer and they want to party, in which they are angsty and annoyed and worried and so human.

Leaving the album for a second, I can’t wait for the whole The Young Blood Chronicles, inspired by Daft Punk‘s Electroma. Until now, there are three episodes available, for My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up), The Phoenix and Young Volcanoes.

This is the album I’ve had on repeat for three weeks now. I listened to it while walking to work, doing chores, getting ready to get out and party, while working out or doing nothing. It has grown on me and I’ve come to love it more and more. Please be gentle to beautiful music!


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