I’ll admit it. When Folie a Deux first dropped, I couldn’t stand it. It seemed so bland, boring and different from the Fall Out Boy that I’d come to know and adore. Where was the pop-punk band that made the classic (in my eyes at least) From Under the Cork Tree?
The first single “I Don’t Care” seemed a misstep from a band used to churning out hits their fans could relate to. But when the song was combined with the errant music video laced with product placements, the message came across as: “Hey, we’re Fall Out Boy, we make money, you’re our fans, whatever.” I sat through the album a few times but still… nothing clicked. None of the songs really resonated with me and on hindsight, it was likely to do with the fact that I had not expected Folie to have been the album that it was.
It was almost a year-and-a-half later that I just so happened to give the album another spin, and I finally got it. I’m not ashamed to admit that I wasn’t ready for the Folie when it was first released, and judging by the reaction from a large majority of their fan base, I was far from alone. Yet, something finally made sense – the album finally gelled for me. “Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes” finally kicked off a much-delayed appreciation of the record, and despite its single potential, it never was given the chance to shine as one.
Songs such as “America’s Suitehearts” and “The (Shipped) Gold Standard” saw Fall Out Boy writing some of the more addictive hooks throughout their existence, and I found myself wailing along with vocalist Patrick Stump after a few listens. Musically, this album is unlike anything we’ve come to expect from the band. Truly, this is not the Fall Out Boy you have come to love and know – and while I might have hated initially, I have come to love it now.
One of the best songs on the album is the ballad (I KNOW) “What a Catch, Donnie,” in which Stump croons over a piano intro before the whole band jumps in for the chorus. It’s a fantastic track featuring Elvis Costello‘s beautifully contrasting wail with Stump’s crooning. Even more interestingly, the last 30 seconds of the song see the band sing the choicest lines from their hits over the years. On the darker side of the multiple guest appearances throughout the album (Brendon Urie, William Beckett, Gabe Saporta, Costello, Lil Wayne, Pharrell Williams and Debbie Harry) is Lil Wayne‘s appearance on “Tiffany Blews.” His “singing” is so digitally altered he sounds like a whiny android, and should have been cut out entirely.
Folie is a very good album, though I have to admit that my musical tastes weren’t yet ready to accept and appreciate it when it was first released. But now that I’ve had the time to come back to it, I find myself constantly spinning the record while singing along at the top of my voice. They could’ve released a “new” album blending sound-alike songs, but I think a majority of their fans would agree that they wouldn’t have had FOB do it any differently. Roll on Save Rock and Roll.