It is impossible to be disappointed with Fall Out Boy’s lyrics and Patrick Stumps incredible vocals. Whether you are a fan of the group or not, you know songs from each of their albums because of their natural anthem quality which makes them gold to the radio. “Save Rock and Roll”, Fall Out Boy’s 5th studio album, is a triumphant and unexpected return of the group that apparently still yearns for the rock scene. This is an album meant to be played loud in headphones and even louder on tour. Each tune has a high energy that will beg the fans to sing along to, but anyone expecting the young punk sound from “Infinity on High” or “From Under the Cork Tree” might be disappointed. It was evident from the singles the group released after Folie a Duex and with Patrick Stump’s solo record “Soul Punk” after the hiatus that they were heading in an unapologetic and progressive direction. Some won’t like it, but great artists change as they grow older.
That said, “Save Rock and Roll” is one of the most catchy and thematic albums I’ve listened to. The title and the iconic Punk-Monk album cover are about a blend of the traditional old and exciting new, which I think is how the band wants to be perceived. The impressive regiment of guest artists on the album include sir Elton John, Courtney Love, Foxes, Big Sean, and even a guest appearance from 2Chainz in the music video for “My Songs Know What You Did”. While I don’t listen to these artists beyond this album, they all bring diversity to the album and in each instance fit nicely to the tracks. The album incorporates a good blend of cool electronic undertones that give it a distinctive edge particularly in their first singles which set the tone for the album, “The Phoenix” and “My Songs Know What You Did”. While most of the songs are worth listening to on repeat, if I had to pick my favorite tracks they are “The Phoenix”, “Alone Together”,” Rat a Tat”, “Young Volcanoes”, and “Missing You”.
“Save Rock and Roll” showcases some of the group’s most in-depth lyrics that memorably show off their maturity. Themes that consistently reappear are the revival of the group, growing old with the fans of this generation, and some pure nostalgia with references to early FOB songs in the final track “Save Rock and Roll”. As an album, “Save Rock and Roll” is a nod to the broad genre of rock overall and a vote for its preservation for future audiences (I will defend the faith goin’ down swingin’). They kept this album’s production in secret to avoid influence from the public and to assure a more organic and self made creative process, which clearly paid off. Patrick Stump pours his soul out in each song and at the end of the day that genuine soul is what makes the album worthy of a pick up. Music has to be more than pure synthetic background noise to get fucked up to. “Save Rock and Roll” is an affirmation of the important elements that makes good music worth listening to, at a time when a lot of popular music has abandoned those elements for cheap tricks to make money.
As an announcement of the continued experimentation and longevity of Fall Out Boy, “Save Rock and Roll” was the way to do it. It’s better than “Folie A Duex” and right up there with their best work. Anyone who gives the album a chance won’t regret the listen.