Fall Out Boy
Folie A Deux
15 December 2008
by Ollie Connors
We knew it was coming on previous effort Infinity On High, and the cynic in me wishes to destroy Fall Out Boy‘s completed transformation into a pop band, but this album is irresistible.
Five albums in and the Chicagoans have gone from a fairly workaday pop-punk band with an extra touch of class, through one of the few albums where every track is unskippable with From Under The Cork Tree to this, a record that I have been awaiting with almost equal amounts of fear and excitement.
It is so incredibly easy to hate Fall Out Boy for what they are – accessible to your little sister, having an egotistical “frontman”, and the evolution of their sound could be easily thrown under that strange umbrella term of selling out.
However, this album is simply bursting at the seams with quality songwriting, and Patrick Stump’s vocals are sounding better than ever before, benefitting from the extra polish and gloss expensive production brings.
Watch the video to ‘I Don’t Care’ by Fall Out Boy
Opener, ‘Disloyal Order Of Water Buffaloes’ ignites like Infinity… track, ‘Thriller’, pushing the listener into the void between old and new, and it was from this point I was hooked and knew I couldn’t possibly hate this record if I tried. Big single, ‘I Don’t Care’ is concrete proof that the new Fall Out Boy are a pop band that rocks, despite sounding more than a little like Depeche Mode’s ‘Personal Jesus’.
The album carries on in this great vein of quality, even counting ‘The (Shipped) Gold Standard’‘s virtual re-run of last record’s ‘I’m Like A Lawyer With The Way I’m Always Trying To Get You Off’, until ‘What A Catch, Donnie’. The boys may be masters of many trades, but M.O.R. ballads should be left well alone and this dip in the pace lowers the overall quality of the record.
Watch the video to ‘Beat It’ by Fall Out Boy
This record follows in the footsteps of Infinity On High with a slightly poorer second half, although this is not to say joy cannot be found. ‘Tiffany Blews’ begins like one of Timbaland’s best, and ’20 Dollar Nose Bleed’ sounds like everything Panic At The Disco‘s last record should have been, perky piano and buoyant brass bringing an eclectic edge to proceedings.
However, all good things must come to an end, and the couplet of ‘West Coast Smoker’ with Pete Wentz’s abhorrent “scream” and the abysmal cover of ‘Beat It’ ensures that the album doesn’t merely go out with a whimper, but with a steaming pile of cack ejected from the back end of Folie….
Despite the screeching halt of quality towards the end, this is a top record, and having been released so close to the end of the year, will be one of the must-hears of 2009. This foray into the world of mainstream could’ve so easily fallen flat on its face, and it does remain a great shame that the band have left behind their pop-punk roots completely. However, the style remains consistent and this album sees the band evolving into a different beast altogether, ready to take on the world.
Fall Out Boy – Folie à Deux tracklisting
Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes
I Don’t Care
She’s My Winona
Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet
The (Shipped) Gold Standard
(Coffee’s For Closers)
What a Catch, Donnie
Tiffany Blews (feat. Lil Wayne)
20 Dollar Nose Bleed
West Coast Smoker