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Fall Out Boy - Folie a Deux

Fall Out Boy, Folie a Deux

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

FALL Out Boy are the current kings of emo, according to many American music critics. Hence, expectation surrounding their latest LP Folie a Deux was very high when it was released in the run-up to Christmas 2008.

In truth, it’s quite ordinary. Not bad. Not great. Sometimes slipshod. But mostly good. It also boasts a who’s who of guest artists that suggests they’re reach and appeal isn’t merely confined to frat-boy rock circles.

Gym Class Heroes’ Travis McCoy, Lil Wayne and Pharrell also appear from the unlikely world of rap, while Elvis Costello, Debbie Harry and John Maher also crop up. There’s even a cover tune of a well-known pop classic – Michael Jackson’s Beat It – to sink your teeth into.

In an effort to break away from the one-note emo sound, they also attempt to mix things up – often several times on the same track.

W.A.M.S, for instance, is – by turns – melodic, heavy and even includes a blues sample as it fades out, while 20 Dollar Nose Bleed charts the same type of territory as label-mates Panic At The Disco, in its upbeat approach to incorporating melody and a retro vibe more akin to bands like Supertramp. Oddly, it also closes with what most bands would call an intro… and one that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Jay-Z/Linkin Park mash-up at that!

Ironically, the album probably works best when keeping things relatively simple. Former single I Don’t Care, with its Goth-rock elements and T-Rex nods, is a fun, volatile listen that’s already been embraced as an anthem of sorts for disaffected youths.

America’s Suitehearts, meanwhile, is just a good emo listen… complete with Beach Boys-style harmonising and a gripping chorus.

Their cover of Beat It rocks ever harder than Wacko Jacko’s original, Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet is a steady foot-stomper complete with nice stabs of brass, and Coffee’s For Closers is a useful showcase of the band’s ability to deliver witty lyrics.

And say what you will about my own personal tastes, but I rather liked the pure, simple honesty of a good ‘ol track such as Tiffany Blews, which boasts such fratboy-style lyrics as “ob baby, you’re like a little black dress”.

All in all, then… not bad in a guilty pleasure, American rock kind of way.

Download picks: I Don’t Care, Beat It, Tiffany Blews, America’s Suitehearts, Coffee’s For Closers

Track listing:

  1. Disloyal Order Of Water Buffaloes
  2. I Don’t Care
  3. She’s My Winona
  4. America’s Suitehearts
  5. Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet
  6. Shipped Gold Standard
  7. Coffee’s For Closers
  8. What A Catch Donnie
  9. 27
  10. Tiffany Blews
  11. W.A.M.S.
  12. 20 Dollar Nose Bleed
  13. West Coast Smoker
  14. Beat It – Fall Out Boy & John Mayer