Review: Fall Out Boy misses with ‘Save Rock and Roll’

Ryan Morris

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

Springing back from an indefinite hiatus since 2008’s “Folie A Deux,” Fall Out Boy has returned with a surprise attempt to save rock ‘n’ roll with their newly released album “Save Rock and Roll,” decidedly the band’s most un-rock ‘n’ roll-like work to date.

Most of the songs on the album contain shouting and chanting, with a sing-along style, but the novelty of this wears off quickly, especially when coupled with the band’s signature insult/compliment lyrics about holding grudges against lost loves.

The opening track “Phoenix” immediately sets an edgy tone to the album, coming off as a more angry and relevant version of Fall Out Boy’s unmistakable signature pop-punk sound.

While “Phoenix” and the following track “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” might not stand out from most songs on the radio today, they are still masterfully executed and Patrick Stump’s powerfully soulful belting will definitely stick in your head for days.

Other songs don’t carry this genre-melding as well. “Alone Together” and “Death Valley” sound like forced attempts at new styles, with too cutesy pop vocals and even an unexpected dubstep drop.

This hit-and-miss nature unfortunately leaves some tracks sounding forcibly trendy. “Young Volcanoes” is an adorable summertime campfire song, but the overarching theme of background group chanting that permeates all the songs on the album leaves this track a little sickeningly sweet.

By far the best track is “Where Did the Party Go.” With driving bass lines and disco-esque pop melodies, this song is infectious and poppy in the best way possible.

For recording the album in secret, Fall Out Boy managed to score a lot of celebrity collaborations, and quite strange ones at that – Big Sean, Courtney Love and Elton John all have their own respective solos at various points throughout the album.

None of these individuals make much sense outside of their name-dropping abilities, and their collaboration efforts are just uncomfortable to listen to.

Most of the songs on this album, even the good ones, would perhaps have been better suited for individual releases over the course of the band’s hiatus, not as a single concentrated effort, no matter how “highly personal” the band thinks they are.

Overall, “Save Rock and Roll” does nothing of the sort, and leaves all parties involved quite confused.

Rating: Two out of four stars.

Story: LOVEY COOPER, Senior A&E Reporter