Everyone’s favorite band of the 2000’s, Fall Out Boy, recently released a new album entitled American Beauty/American Psycho, named after the two cult classic films. While I wish I could say that the songs off the record remind me of some of their older albums, otherwise known as the soundtracks of my angsty youth, American Beauty/American Psycho takes on a more pop-rock sound. There’s no point in shaming the band for it; I’m glad that they’re taking this route and continue to sky-rocket their careers, but I won’t lie and say that I kind of wished that this album was reminiscent of Infinity on High or From Under the Cork Tree.
The record starts off with the track “Irresistible”, which is introduced by the sounding of a trumpet that let’s listeners know they’re in for something big. It turns into something pretty poppy shortly thereafter mixed in with some electronic beats, but the vocals of Patrick Stump that we all know and love are still heavily prevalent.
The album moves forward with the title track “American Beauty/American Psycho”, a fun song to dance to that is very upbeat. There’s also a bit of a nudge to “Twist and Shout” by The Beatles thrown in there with some electronic beats. Lyrically speaking it takes on a pretty normal FOB theme, basically stating “I’m bad for you, but you’re still drawn to me” as can be see in these verses: “I think I fell in love again/Maybe I just took too much cough medicine/I’m the best worst thing that hasn’t happened to you yet”. However, it does get a little too repetitive for my taste later on as it says “She’s an American Beauty/I’m an American Psycho” a few more times than I would like.
From there on out listeners get a chance to hear the band’s first single off the record “Centuries”. This track is probably one of my favorites off of the album, but that just might be because I’ve given it more time to sit with me since it’s been out the longest. On the other hand, it’s also one of the more fun songs on the record. Yeah, it does have the same fatal flaw as the title track in that it’s insanely repetitive, but somehow this works out really well with “Centuries”. This song is probably the most anthemic on the album and is somewhat reminiscent of the old FOB. There’s a specific moment in which the instrumentation stops right before Patrick Stump sings in a falsetto. Not only does it show off Stump’s vocal range, but it makes it a song that would probably be a blast to hear live.
The record continues to pay homage to cult classics through the song “Uma Thurman”. The track starts off with a sample of the theme song of the 60’s television show The Munsters, not quite sure how that has anything to do with actress Uma Thurman, but maybe there’s something I’m missing. Later on the song’s lyrics reference the dancing scene between Uma Thurman and John Travolta from the cult classic Pulp Fiction by stating: “She wants to dance like Uma Thurman”.
Fall Out Boy does not neglect to remind us all that at one point or another they were the angsty boys of every young emo girl’s dreams through the track “Favorite Record” by referencing both punk band Rancid and heavy metal band Danzig. This track is the one that reminds me the most of the FOB I grew up listening to.
I’ll briefly mention the track “Immortals” because it is in the soundtrack of the animated blockbuster Big Hero 6. It’s probably my least favorite track off the record, but I do like the Asian-influenced introduction, however other than that it just kind of bores me.
The record comes to a close with the song “Twin Skeletons (Hotel in NYC)”, which is totally a great way to end it. Of all the songs, this one has the greatest focus on instrumentation, specifically it gives drummer Andy Hurley a chance to show of his talents. It’s definitely an interesting track with a nice beat and cool vocals.
While I enjoyed most of American Beauty/American Psycho I’m probably not going to be listening to it on repeat. I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed that Fall out Boy didn’t release a record that was the soundtrack to my formerly emo soul, but it’s a decent record with songs that’ll definitely be fun to dance to alone in my room.