American Beauty/American Psycho - Rolling Stone
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American Beauty/American Psycho

Pop-punk heroes continue their evolution toward noisy, no-holds-barred pop mania

Fall Out BoyFall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy

Pamela Litky


Open an album with a horn fanfare? Repurpose Suzanne Vega’s beloved “Tom’s Diner” refrain? Sample Mötley Crüe? Anything officially goes for Fall Out Boy on their sixth album, the group’s biggest, broadest, most unabashed pop smorgasbord yet. The emo survivors jump-started their transformation into all-out omnivores on Save Rock and Roll, the 2013 LP that marked an end to their four-year hiatus, and they slam on the gas on this follow-up, which is daringly named after a classic Grateful Dead album and a Bret Easton Ellis novel. When everything connects – like on the single “Centuries” – FOB are a glorious nexus of Seventies glitter rock, Eighties radio pop, Nineties R&B and Aughts electro stomp. But the LP still runs the risk of being too cutesy and referential. “Uma Thurman” contains a surfy piece of the Munsters theme song (and is named “Uma Thurman”), and much of guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley’s most virtuosic playing is buried under blaring production, reducing what might be Metallica-heavy riffage into background buzz. The shouty title track is on too much of an ADD seesaw to make larger points about American culture, despite its ripe title. The band’s best tracks still start simple and whip themselves into frenzies, like the furious disco-punk explosion “Novocaine,” where frontman Patrick Stump brilliantly scales his upper register. On “Centuries” he vows, “I can’t stop till the whole world knows my name.” If the band keeps on this track, it won’t be soon before long.

In This Article: Fall Out Boy


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