Are Fall Out Boy Really Saving Rock and Roll? (Album Review)

Save Rock and Roll is arguably one of the most anticipated albums of the decade so far, after Fall Out Boy promptly announced that they were back from their 4 year hiatus before bombarding fans with new material and promising the whole album within a mere few months.

Now you can stream Save Rock and Roll in full online, a whole week before the album’s release date and there’s many questions arising about whether the album lives up to its name and whether Fall Out Boy are still dominant in their scene.

So are FOB living up to the hype? Does this release really save rock and roll?

Well for one, the album is definitely one of the most impressive of the last few years. It’s impossible to be disappointed with any vocal performance lead singer Patrick Stump gives. During the hiatus he worked on his solo career, producing his album Soul Punk completely on his own and polishing up his already impressive vocals. Now, upon Fall Out Boy’s return Stump’s vocals are astounding. Where he was more hesitant and unsure of himself as a front man before, after the success (though limited to some) of his solo career, he doesn’t hold back one bit. The result is amazing, it’s hard to describe how powerful Stump’s vocals are – guiding us through the album, showing fans that Fall Out Boy are back and determined to prove themselves, and Stump to prove himself as a front man, deservingly stealing some of the limelight that Pete Wentz has basked in for so long.

Musically, the album is equally as impressive. Although the album is less rock and roll than its title suggests, it’s still something that makes you sit up and listen. There will always be the critics who cry things like “this isn’t anything like From Under The Cork Tree or Take This To Your Grave” and complain about the band changing too much, but this is 2013, not the 00s days of pop-punk, and Fall Out Boy have evolved into something refreshing yet still current enough that it’ll be incredibly surprising if songs such as Alone Together and Young Volcanoes aren’t dubbed the songs of this summer.

So yes, Save Rock and Roll is far from the pop-punk of the band’s first two albums, but 2007’s Infinity On High and 2008’s Folie A Deux paired with the individual careers the band pursued whilst on hiatus (Stump’s previously mentioned solo career, alongside Wentz’s other band Black Cards, who ended up as a dubstep project, whilst guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley joined heavier bands) inevitably led to the sound of this album. It might not sound like rock and roll but it’s distinctly Fall Out Boy and whatever that means, it’s certainly going to be appreciated by many. The band have experimented down the more electronical route, with Death Valley even showcasing Wentz’s dubstep influences, but somehow it works. Not to mention the surprising appearance of rapper Big Sean on The Mighty Fall. Again, though, Fall Out Boy pull this off and still manage to make it sound like a rock record, the rap grows on you with every listen and shows how the band strive to stay current in the best ways.

Big Sean isn’t the only guest artist on the album either, in fact, the names only get bigger. There is a powerful duet from Foxes on Just One Yesterday, whilst Courtney Love puts her unique stamp on Rat A Tat, providing a very catchy and punky song (for the sceptics who think the album might be too mainstream or something) Yet all of these appearances are overlooked due to the incredible performance put in by none other than Sir Elton John on the final track, Save Rock and Roll, a tear-jerking song which not only inspires but drives you when you listen to it.

The album as a whole is a wonderful experience to listen to. Yes, it’s not old school pop-punk, but the scene has moved on since then (see Paramore’s refreshing change of direction) and Fall Out Boy are definitely still kings on the rock scene and unlikely to lose their crowns any time soon. With the promise of more albums to come, Fall Out Boy are definitely not dead and their impressive chart records show that the world is definitely going to be ready for them, accepting that everything they produce will be incredible.

The album might not sound distinctly like rock and roll but Fall Out Boy are doing their part to save the scene and following the split of My Chemical Romance their efforts are warmly welcomed by many teenagers across the whole world. So although they may not sound like it, I would say that Fall Out Boy definitely are superheroes in the music scene, saving rock and roll.

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