I don’t think I will ever forget the sadness that came with the day the band that influenced my life so heavily went on hiatus. I did my waiting from then on, four years fraught with Chinese whispers of them re-uniting. Then out of the blue, they catch everyone with their pants down with the knowledge they planned a full US tour and wrote and recorded a full album in secrecy. Elation ensued, but also did trepidation as with great success from previous albums, comes great expectations for such an anticipated release. Whilst Save Rock and Roll is utterly different from albums such as Take This to Your Grave and From Under The Cork Tree with their emo-tinged pop-punk, and Infinity on High then Folie a Deux with a mix of RNB, pop and punk; this album will not disappoint.
The album storms in with second release The Phoenix inciting people to break down barriers and dance to their own drum. The infectious beat is accompanied by the doomsday thumping of a kick drum mixed with melodic guitars leading into a driving chorus igniting the ashes of the song into a full blown assault of sound. This blends effortlessly into first single My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up), demonstrating more than ever Patrick Stump’s solo Soul Punk album in the respect that it reflects a mix of soulful and suave vocals laced with an RNB-esque beat with a punk attitude, it commands the listener to pay attention now more than ever.
Stand out tracks on the album include that of Where Did the Party Go? with lyrics and a funk inspired beat evoking imagery of summer and vocals that resonate harmoniously with the slap of a bass and simplistic yet beautiful chords making the perfect dance track. This contrasts with edgy tracks The Mighty Fall featuring Big Sean and Rat-A-Tat featuring the one and only, Courtney Love; both of which bring unique edges to each song. Big Sean’s small rap interlude within the song quickly changes the pace of a relatively slow and droning song to a fast-paced and energetic track, with a slightly angry and buzzing feel; whilst Courtney Love further accentuates the punk feel surrounding Rat-A-Tat and instead of creating a fast paced tempo, she encapsulates it as her spoken word gospel intertwines with Patrick Stump’s vocals and take you on an exhilarating journey.
Changing the pace entirely is acoustic, up-beat track Young Volcanoes making toes tap instantly and a huge smile erupt onto your face as you sing along. Closing song Save Rock And Roll featuring legend Elton John sends the album out in atmospheric fashion. Stump’s vocals bring the track to soaring new heights mixed with the effortlessly strong vocals from John, but this is not to mention the instrumentals within. With a voice like Stump’s to contend with, it is easy to go un-noticed; but in this track it is incredibly hard to ignore the heartbeat of the drums pumping throughout, the riffs adding pure electricity to the song and bass, a quiet yet crucial component.
This album was an incredibly bold move for Fall Out Boy, one that I believe has paid off. It shows diversity that some write off as an unwelcome change, but one I embrace as it explores a direction the band has always searched for which shows maturity both lyrically and musically. It is the album Fall Out Boy have always wanted to gift their fans with, and one I feel lucky to receive.