Today Fall Out Boy released their second studio album after returning from a five year hiatus in 2013. American Beauty/American Psycho is ultimately a new direction for the pop punk band, but it’s a direction that fits them well.
Five years is a long time for a hiatus, so it’s understandable that after so much time the general sound of a band has changed. Additionally, five years ago pop punk was a much more significant and popular genre, so bands within that realm have had to figure out how to shift to appeal to new audiences and be able to compete with new popular genres. While some bands fall short of this adaptation, Fall Out Boy has proven that they have the ability to remain relevant while still maintaining their individuality.
American Beauty/American Psycho is their sixth studio album, following Save Rock and Roll in 2013. Overall, the sound has a heavier pop and electronic influence than their previous albums. The choruses are more lyrically simple and repetitive, but they’re matched with more complexly poetic verses that add to the pop punk crossover. The blend of pop and electronic influences with Fall Out Boy’s traditionally punk vibe lends the album and the band a new definition of pop punk. While tracks like American Beauty/American Psycho, Novocaine, Irresistible, and Uma Thurman are traditionally punk and throw back to the sounds of Folie a Deux and From Under the Cork Tree, Fourth of July and Favorite Record are heavy on the pop and electronic blend. Additionally, The Kids Aren’t Alright and Jet Pack Blues give the album anthem-like ballads. Overall, the sounds all work together almost surprisingly cohesively. While some of the tracks seem experimental in nature, so far they have been well-received and mark a new and definitive direction for Fall Out Boy and pop punk itself.
American Beauty/American Psycho is available for purchase in stores and on iTunes and is streaming for free on Spotify.
– Erin Walker