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Fall Out Boy “Folie A Deux” (2008) December 26, 2008

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2008, Fall Out Boy.

Written by Andrew

Fall Out Boy has been having a falling out with it’s fans for years. While garnering the attention of the masses with power-punk-pop singles like “Dance, Dance” or “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” the popular band has slipped away from the indie punk roots it was once famous for, choosing instead to write the most unique and catchiest music on modern radio. The audience it’s developed since then will gladly stick up for the band’s move to stay in it’s ear-friendly direction, but long time followers need not be completely left in the dark, as Fall Out Boy continues it’s musical evolution with Folie A Deux.

Keeping in touch with their standard insane track names, Folie A Deux opens with “Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes” which features significantly less hook than more recent Fall Out Boy singles but is more than welcome with a unique vibe throughout. Whether it be the slow intro with Patrick Stump’s vocals accompanied by only a piano, or the climactic bridge in which the entire band chants “Detox, just to re-tox,” the opening track is like a Fall Out Boy Through The Years collection. The newest sound of Fall Out Boy emerges in “I Don’t Care” a guitar fueled romp with tons of energy. Stump’s vocals have a darker tone to them during the verses to “I Don’t Care”, the first single, a theme that pops up once or twice more throughout the album, and is a welcome addition to Fall Out Boy’s act.

The trend emerges later on “w.a.m.s.”, which minus the final few seconds of random beats, may be the highlight of an ecclectic album. The writing of bassist Pete Wentz shines through with lyrics like “My head’s in heaven, my souls are in hell, well let’s meet in the purgatory of my hips and get well,” and the chorus is catchy in a different sense than most of the band’s previous affairs. Stump’s aforementioned drop in tone is in elegant use in “w.a.m.s.” and his use of falsetto is brilliant as well. In fact, Stump’s voice seems to be in better shape than ever, as is made even more evident on pop jingle “The (Shipped) Gold Standard” and others.

However, for every standout like “w.a.m.s.” and “Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet” there are a number on surprising downers on Folie A Deux. Among them, the Elvis Costello-lined “What A Catch, Donnie”. I’ve reiterated several times since Infinity On High’s “Golden” that a slowed-down tempo is the last thing Fall Out Boy needs to be touching on, and “What A Catch, Donnie” reaffirms this notion. Boring is the perfect word for this mid-album downer, which cleverly features several guest vocalists dropping lines from past Fall Out Boy tunes toward the end, but it sounds like a jumbled mess on top of an already uneventful track. “What A Catch, Donnie” is a disaster at best. Thankfully, the band doesn’t touch on the slow song again throughout the album, but songs like “20 Dollar Nose Bleed” and “27” are relatively bland pop-punk affairs as well.

The biggest problem with Folie A Deux, and this shocks me to say, is the overall lack of good hooks. While Stump’s voice is good enough to drag people in with it’s fantastic changes of pitch at the drop of a hat and it’s very different sound, the rest of the songs are typically not enough to support it. Those more content with riveting guitar or fantastic drum beats will not find much to enjoy, though honestly the guitar work is more interesting than past Fall Out Boy outings. This time however, it seems Patrick Stump is the only one who really tried to make this album anything beyond mediocre, and while he certainly does his best, the rest of the band can’t seem to bag a catchy enough tune to save the entire album. Hit and miss is the perfect term for Folie A Deux; some songs will be stuck in your head for days while others float to the bottom of your library.

The Point – Patrick Stump is at the top of his game and establishes himself as one of the best vocalists in the game with Folie A Deux. Sadly, the rest of the band doesn’t do near enough to make many of the songs any more than average, and the album suffers for it. Still, the album is likely to grow on you after some time, and thus should be given a few chances to succeed.

6.5 out of 10

Download This – “w.a.m.s.”



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