The Earbug: FALL OUT BOY

Once upon a “Take This To Your Grave,” Fall Out Boy waved the battle flag for the new generation of rock lovers. They managed to pack meaningful lyrics into catch songs, even if everyone walked around singing at least three different variations of incorrect lyrics for “Sugar We’re Going Down” for a few years. And then things went downhill fast.

There is no way to pinpoint exactly what went wrong, but “Foile a Deux” was a reflection of the mess that was happening within Fall Out Boy and many thought they would never recover.  They dropped a promising single earlier this year, and “Save Rock and Roll” was released earlier this week.  It eerily resembles the past 10 years of Fall Out Boy, starting out strong and vibrant, and then turning into something else all together by the end.

This is by far the most heavily produced album in the FOB arsenal. Filled with electronic hooks and peppered with hints of rave-happy dubstep, “Save Rock and Roll” makes for great modern music. It’s not a terrible album and it’s certainly worth a listen, but there are so many elements that bring down the final product. Don’t worry, though, it’s no “Folie a Deux” and for that all music lovers can breathe a sigh of relief.

The opening track, “The Phoenix,” is an excellent way to start the album considering the band’s veritable rise from the ashes and transformation. Listening to this song, I was glowing with happiness.

And then the song ended and the rest of the album happened. There are some gems buried in there. “Where Did The Party Go” is rich and catchy, I’ll be listening to “Death Valley” frequently and “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” is still a goodie.

If this album should teach FOB anything, it’s that they should never have other people sing on their tracks. If you put Big Sean in a song, it’s over. You’ve killed it. Point in case, “The Mighty Fall.” As soon as I heard “Oh God” I just had to roll my eyes. Sadly, this song is awesome, gritty and tough, something I would normally love; but Big Sean is out of place and destroys the whole thing. And it’s not just because it’s Big Sean; Courtney Love makes a cameo as does Sir Elton John. Both are artists I enjoy and respect (ok I don’t respect Love, but who can) but they sound out of place here.

The overall verdict: It’s not terrible. It’s not great. It’s worth checking out, certain tracks are bound to take root in your head. Just steer clear of the tracks featuring anyone other than the original four. It’s a solid enough comeback that I’m excited to see what they do next.