American Beauty/American Psycho has been all the music I’ve listened to for the past month. I was super excited when it was released because new Fall Out Boy music is always good and also Dan and Phil introduced a track during their radio show three weeks ago. And I liked it. Which is why I wanted to write up a sort-of review for it.
And by sort-of review I mean more of a comparison between AB/AP and Save Rock & Roll (2013) emphasising more on my personal preferences towards the albums rather than a genuine descriptive album review because I don’t think I’m qualified or equipped with enough musical knowledge to make actual comments about it.
Track 1: The Phoenix VS Irresistible
In terms of being the first track of an album, I feel like The Phoenix provides a relatively more “majestic” grandeur of an opening track, especially to fit the whole Youngblood Chronicles vibe they had surrounding SR&R. Plus, it’s a really appropriate track to announce their “rise from the ashes of their hiatus” (get it? phoenix? ashes? ha h a) and it’s very adrenaline-inducing, like the kind of song you listen to before shouting “FIGHT ME!!!!!1” at everyone in the streets. In Irresistible, the opening music of violins in The Phoenix is replaced with trumpets (correct me if I’m wrong) so that’s a new twist but I reckon The Phoenix wins for the more superior opening track title (although if we are to judge these two songs based on their music videos Irresistible would win without a doubt and if you don’t believe me please watch this).
Track 2: My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark VS American Beauty/American Psycho
The first time I listened to AB/AP, I was, and this is the only appropriate phrase I can come up with to describe it accurately, taken aback. The chorus, especially, sounds peculiar to me, particularly the part where Patrick’s voice instantaneously drops to a baritone. However, I tweeted this:
and that describes AB/AP accurately because the more I listen to it, the more I like it, eccentricities and all. But ultimately, I feel like Songs is considered “Fall-Out-Boy-classic”? Simply because it was their first single since hiatus and it was the song of 2013 and it was everywhere and the first song that people listened to when they found out about their return was this song and okay, maybe I’m a bit biased because of the existence of this video as well but I’ve always associated Songs with Phoenix and how they go so well together to suit the story of Youngblood Chronicles and even in terms of the second track of an album, Songs is great and will always be one of my favourite FOB songs.
Track 3: Alone Together VS Centuries
Alone Together is one of my favourites as well (let’s be real, the first three tracks of SR&R are just one great song after the other which is what makes SR&R one of my favourite albums [amidst other reasons but I’ll get to that later]) coupled with the catchy chorus lyric (let’s be alone together / we can stay young forever) which is every teenager/young adult’s poetic anthem, which is a pity that it’s pit against Centuries for the third track because I absolutely love Centuries as a different powerful, shout-it-out-from-the-top-of-the-roof kind of anthem. The sampling of Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner fits into the song seamlessly, drawing two kinds of moods (of the sampling’s and the song’s itself) which surprisingly work well together. If I were to make an accurate comparison, I’d say Centuries in AB/AP is equivalent to Songs in SR&R.
Track 4: Where Did the Party Go VS The Kids Aren’t Alright
This isn’t really a tough one: hands down, the winner goes to The Kids Aren’t Alright. I haven’t particularly been a fan of Where Did the Party Go when SR&R was released, and Kids is (surprise, surprise) also one of my favourites off AB/AP. Perhaps it’s the similarities in their titles, but for some reason, this song reminds me of blink-182’s Stay Together For the Kids. Or rather, it induces the same sort of melancholy within myself whenever I listen to it (and in the end / I’d do it all again / I think you’re my best friend / don’t you know that the kids aren’t al-, kids aren’t alright?)
Track 5: Just One Yesterday (ft. Foxes) VS Uma Thurman
You literally cannot make me choose haha there is no way because these two songs are my favourites off their respective albums. Just One Yesterday is my favourite from SR&R not just because it’s a really good song, but also because it’s one of those songs that I associate with good times (to be honest, the entire SR&R is associated with the second half of 2013 but a few songs especially stand out, one of them being this one). It’s also one of the few FOB songs I can actually sing without screwing it up and Foxes is featured in it so really, I love this song a whole lot.
Before I say anything else, can I just input that the sampling of The Munsters’ theme song in Uma Thurman is one of the most brilliant things to ever happen in the music industry thank you Fall Out Boy God bless you I am so happy this is a thing that happened. Prior to D&P announcing this fact nugget, I thought it was an original part of the song but still. I’m glad this now exists for me to devour on an endless loop. The entire “retro” theme FOB has with the sampling and also the reference to Uma Thurman’s movie scenes in Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill makes this track stand out among the rest in the album and if you’re looking for an introductory song to Fall Out Boy’s discography, let this song be it.
Track 6: The Mighty Fall (ft. Big Sean) VS Jet Pack Blues
Big Sean’s rap verse in The Mighty Fall is one of my favourite things from SR&R, but even then, I didn’t really like the song as a whole. Jet Pack Blues is also one of those songs that I didn’t like initially until the fifth or sixth time listening to it. But it slowly grew on me thanks to -and I never in my life would’ve thought I’d say this but here we are- fic prompts, and there was a whole lot of that on Tumblr, for some reason (that reason perhaps being the heart-gripping lyics – she’s in a long black coat tonight / waiting for me in the downpour outside / she’s singing “Baby come home” in a melody of tears / while the rhythm of the rain keeps time).
Track 7: Miss Missing You VS Novocaine
I hate choosing between these two because I love them both but ultimately, Miss Missing You was my song of 2013 and it was one of the few songs that, even upon first listen, hits a spot (innuendo not intended but do with it what you will) because #relatableposts and also a really catchy melody. I’d read that Novocaine was initially meant to be in SR&R but it got cut many times for various reasons but I’m glad that they eventually decided to include it in AB/AP. My absolute favourite part of Novocaine is its chorus (this part especially – filled it up with Novocaine / and now I’m just numb); I feel like it’s a very cathartic song to scream out.
Track 8: Death Valley VS Fourth of July
This is one of the choices that’s even harder to make not because both are great, but because both of quite 50/50 in my books (eg. if it was Miss Missing You VS Fourth of July and Death Valley VS Novocaine then it would be an easy competition). Both Death Valley and Fourth of July are (presumably) about destructive relationships: Death Valley sporting more of an underworld-riots-and-chaos form of destruction (’cause tonight / is just fire alarms and losing you) while Fourth of July compared it to the quick ending of a firework (you and I were / you and I were / fire- fireworks / that went off too soon) but if I really had to choose, Fourth of July wins this one simply because despite its upbeat melody, it is actually sad as hell (honorary mention of the lyric – you are my favourite “what if” / you are my best “I’ll never know”).
Track 9: Young Volcanoes VS Favorite Record
IT ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY HURTS ME TO HAVE TO MAKE THIS DECISION so you know what? I’m going to go with another tie with this. Young Volcanoes will always be placed on a special pedestal in my heart because it’s the ultimate Sem 1 song and it’s tied to too many incredible and lovely memories and I don’t ever want to share that experience with other memories so I will always choose this song in any occasion (even though the number of times I’ve listened to that song on repeat [both of my own and others’ will] was enough to make me swear off that song forever).
Favorite Record on the other hand is another thing altogether. I also made a tweet about this:
in the sense that Favorite Record also hits a spot within me and it’s just very catchy and it’s been my favourite song for the past two weeks. You know some songs that, despite not having had the chance to associate it with any memories/experiences, but because of the lyrics and the catchy tune that you immediately take a liking to, you start to mentally associate it with nice things too? Favorite Record would be it.
Track 10: Rat A Tat (ft. Courtney Love) VS Immortals
A no-brainer. Immortals, for sure, for various (biased and non-biased) reasons: 1) this song is hella catchy 2) it is the theme song for Big Hero 6 3) Big Hero 6 is my current favourite movie for many more various reasons so basically it’s just a chain of my favourite things. It’s also the kind of song that makes me want to jump up and grab life by the horns and run 500 kilometers and climb 70 trees and build a new invention that can rid the world of diseases. In short, it’s the song that I need in my idle life right now, but not the one I deserve.
Track 10: Save Rock and Roll (ft. Elton John) VS Twin Skeleton’s (Hotel in NYC)
I feel like Elton John would personally judge me if I don’t pick his titular song, which is fine because even if he didn’t, I would’ve picked it anyway. SR&R is the perfect epilogue/ending/closure etc to the Youngblood Chronicles and the whole SR&R album in general. I don’t know if anyone feels the same, but there are some songs that are absolutely perfect and fitting for the last track on an album, and Save Rock and Roll is a great example of it. (Honorary mention would also be Running If You Call My Name by HAIM in Days Are Gone.) On the contrary, Twin Skeleton’s is arguably the only song off AB/AP that I can’t quite get myself to like yet.
I think the most distinctive difference between these two albums is that I like SR&R as a whole album (again, the concept of YBC while listening to this album is too grand a masterpiece) whereas for AB/AP, I like a selection of songs off it. In short, SR&R is the kind of album you have to listen all the way through for the entire experience because the album itself is incredible, but AB/AP has many stellar songs that you can listen to individually and would make great singles.
I’d really like to know what your favourites of SR&R and/or AB/AP and/or anything of FOB’s are and whether you agree/disagree/want to fight me etc leave a comment/tweet me/whatsapp me/turn up at my house idk etc I’d really like to know
Disclaimer: please don’t take my reviews musically-seriously as I am very much biased in all these decisions/reviews/choices but if there’s one thing you should take me seriously on, it’s that you should listen to Fall Out Boy (#spon) (lol jk)