“American Beauty/American Psycho” falls short for Fall Out Boy

Natalie Larimer, Online Sub-Editor

After the five year hiatus of Fall Out Boy, their album “Save Rock and Roll” became one of the most memorable albums of 2013. Now, they struck again with their newest album, “American Beauty/American Psycho” which was released Jan. 20 of this year. They currently have six studio albums reaching way back to 2003 with their first, “Take This to Your Grave.”

I have loved Fall Out Boy since I first heard “Sending Postcards From A Plane Crash (Wish You Were Here)” back when I was six years old. I used to listen to them when I went to my friends house all through elementary school and by the time fifth grade hit, I had memorized all of their album “From Under the Cork Tree.”

They have a weird mix of pop, punk, rock and soul that is very hard to pull off, but they manage it wonderfully. Their music is memorable and catchy, however, it can be difficult to understand the lyrics. Singing along consists of passionate mumbling and slurring of words that do not make sense in a sentence together and hoping it is correct.

Bass player Pete Wentz is the band’s lyricist and is consistent with incredible lyrics, all of which could be tattoo-worthy. However, in “American Beauty/American Psycho” (ABAP), the lyrics are not as prominent as the loud and overpowering music. Their last two albums have been gradually becoming more pop-like rather than their usual sound, which is not a bad thing, just unusual for this band. Before their hiatus, their songs were laced with an obvious lead guitar that guides them along and compliments the melody sung by lead singer Patrick Stump. Now it is more of, “How loud can we make this bass line before we drown out Patrick?” They are reminding me of Panic! at the Disco with the change in their sound, and I am not sure it is a good change.

The song that the radio has seemed to take a liking to from this album is “Centuries,” which is not their strongest song. It sounds like a whine when Stump sings “The kids are all wrong, the story’s all off.” I am not saying it is not a catchy song, it just does not have that Fall Out Boy feel. It is something I would expect from Panic! at the Disco.

My favorite song on the album is “The Kids Aren’t Alright.” The whistling at the beginning that ties back in at the end creates a great track for the song to follow. The tune compliments Stump’s voice and shows off what he is really capable of, as well as the brilliant lyrics that are thought provoking and meaningful, though they can be hard to understand.

Overall, ABAP is an album that takes some getting used to. When I first popped the CD into my car, I did not enjoy it one bit. I kept it in there to soak it in and now I get the songs stuck in my head and do not skip them when they come up on my iPod.

I give it a “C” grading for the lack of classic Fall Out Boy but also featuring a new sound that is not all that bad.