Fall Out Boy’s first album since taking a hiatus in 2009 “Save Rock and Roll” is released today to decidedly mixed reactions from critics and fans alike. This should be nothing new to the band that have alternately been praised as the be all and end all of the popular music scene or sell outs pandering to the lowest common denominator throughout their careers.
Featuring collaborations with everyone from musical royalty like Sir Elton John on the title track “Save Rock and Roll” to musical train wreck Courtney Love in the somewhat lacklustre “Rat a Tat” the album is nothing if not experimental. The band seems to be redefining their musical style and while there are traces of their trademark pop-punk sound the album, the time apart and solo careers of each member seems to have allowed Fall Out Boy to find a new voice, experimenting with a more folksy sound on “Young Volcanoes” and with a Hip-Hop/Rock fusion on “The Mighty Fall” featuring guest vocals with Big Sean.
The album as a whole leans more to the pop side of the Pop/Rock divide but while the band has been criticised in some corners for moving away from their roots this is not necessarily a bad thing. The music, as always, is catchy and sticks with you and while Wentz’s lyrics are at times less than spectacular, vocalist Patrick Stump manages to deliver them with an energy and gusto that allows the listener to let some of the worse lyrics slip by.
Talking about the rather ambitious title of the album, lead singer Stump said in an interview “Obviously, we don’t take ourselves all that seriously, we’re very tongue in cheek – but there is a level where if you define rock and roll as a few guys with some guitars making music, there’s not a lot of that on the radio right now, there’s not a lot of that in pop culture right now, so maybe that does need to be saved.”
Listen to the album below;
Fall Out Boy may not actually manage to save rock and roll with the album but they have at least managed to contribute something to it. It may be a long way from the golden days of “From Under the Cork Tree” and “Infinity on High” when they were the pop/rock darlings of the world but Fall Out Boy have delivered an overall strong album of catchy summer songs that is well worth a listen to both old and new fans alike.
Save Rock and Roll is available on iTunes from the 15th of April