Fall Out Boy

American Beauty/American Psycho

American Beauty/American Psycho marks Fall Out Boy’s third album in two years. When the four-piece pop-punk outfit makes a promise to “Save Rock and Roll,” they really go for it. This latest LP seeks to evolve rock as a method of preserving it, straddling genres in a way only kids raised in the ’90s and renowned in the aughts can. The album kicks off with “Irresistible,” a catchy stadium-rock track that sets the tone for what’s to come. And if the album’s title weren’t straightforward enough, lyrics like “coming here unannounced, drag my nails on the tile / I just follow your scent” warn listeners early on what they’re getting into. This is a record about the duality and juxtaposition of beauty and lunacy, and lyricist/bassist Pete Wentz hints all the while that you cannot truly fathom one without the other. The album carries on strong through the single “Centuries” and onto “Uma Thurman,” which is arguably the best track on the whole thing (in part because it samples The Munsters’ theme song). It’s here that listeners start to understand the band’s secondary juxtaposition: the percussion and heavily sampled music against vocalist/guitarist Patrick Stump’s power-driven melodies. Alone, each is clear, clean, and catchy, but when you combine the two, you get something far more Fall Out Boy: pain and power with a dash of narcissism. The album ends strong on a marriage of the themes with the hauntingly beautiful track “Twin Skeleton’s (Hotel in NYC),” which sums up the band’s musical mantra perfectly: “Keep making trouble ’til you find what you love.”

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