Fall Out Boy Reach For The Brass Ring

Dec 8th, 2008 // 20 Comments

ARTIST: Fall Out Boy
TITLE: Folie A Deux
WEB DEBUT: Dec. 6, 2008
RELEASE DATE: Dec. 16, 2008

ONE SIX-LISTEN VERDICT: “I feel like this record probably needs the non-compressed experience to be appreciated,” Mike said to me when we were discussing who would write up Fall Out Boy’s fifth album, which leaked over the weekend. He’s kind of right; the one thing that ties all of Folie A Deux together is a sprawling ambition that can’t be contained by crappy laptop speakers (although the amp I’ve hooked into my computer’s audio-out jack performed the job about as ably as it could). Yeah, this is another one of those instances where I bemoan technology and its effects on how we consume albums. It happens, you know?

I’m only doing it because the songs are so good, though. The tracks that have already leaked—the robot-stomp “I Don’t Care,” the half-strident, half-dreamy “Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet—set the table for the jaunty “20 Dollar Nose Bleed,” the slick, yet agitated “w.a.m.s.” And then there’s “(Coffee’s For Closers),” which, er, closes with a sprightly string interlude that’s reminiscent of “Swami Plus Strings” from the Monkees’ Head. It seems sort of odd that no one’s yet drawn parallels between that movie, a richly surreal look at what meanings lurked beneath the notions of “celebrity” and “art” in the pre-paparazzi era, and Fall Out Boy, who’ve dealt with the current age’s skewed spin on those phenomena in their own way, going so far as to milk the way heightened craziness over fame for their own viral-marketing purposes in the weeks preceding Folie A Deux‘s release announcement. (The blogs, the Tweets, the quotes to the ever-ready celebrity press—stitch them together and they could all serve as the Web 2.0 take on a movie.)

THE BEST TRACK: I pretty much figured this would be the case when a snippet of it surfaced on that mix tape over the summer, but I’ve listened to the soaring “America’s Suitehearts” a lot. But “w.a.m.s.” is coming up quickly behind it.

  1. Anonymous

    She’s My Winona is really good too! Folie is a little bit less rocking than i had hoped (the lead single had me excited for more rocking!) but the album is pleasing me greatly, after two and a half plays. Big Pop Songs!

  2. jopari actually likes the G1, thank you very much.

    @Varina: In a related note, is Costello also singing backup on “…Headfirst Slide”? I honestly can’t tell.

  3. sXenester

    Album’s so good.

  4. Anonymous

    @Varina: what is the thought here on how much Patrick helped the Cobra Starship album? He was credited on almost every track, right? Maura, can we get a ruling here?

  5. Anonymous

    How do you pronounce the album title?

  6. KurticusMaximus

    When is Patrick finally going to come out with a solo album of all-out R&B? He’s clearly itching to do it.

    Hey, now that they’re just killing time on Jimmy Fallon’s show, maybe he can get the Roots to be his band for it. That’ll really piss off the hipsters.

  7. ObtuseIntolerant

    @owenmeany: Foe-lee Ah Doo (poor version of how it really sounds with a French accent, tho.)

    @KurticusMaximus: Love any ideas intending to piss off hipsters.

    Thanks to all for getting me unexpectedly, unplannedly excited for this album…I have really never listened to Fall Out Boy (yes, I live in a sort of a cave) and have been curious.

  8. Anonymous

    @jopari finally figured out how to do this!: No, but he cameos back to “Headfirst” on “What a Catch, Donnie.”

  9. Anonymous

    @drinkypuss: Helped, in what sense? In addition to production, he provided backing vocals, and I know he had instrumental tracks set aside for the album, but who knows how much of that made it to the finish.

  10. Anonymous

    @Varina: agreed, a little too slick, i would love to hear the demos with just guitar bass drums and vocals, if such a thing exists. That said, the album is really awesome as is. Worth purchasing fo sho.

  11. Anonymous

    @Maura Johnston: THey’re playing their release show at Nokia in NYC. Tickets go on sale @ 10am tomorrow.

  12. BigRicks

    @drinkypuss: You can add Gym Class Heroes to the list of bands that have benefited tremendously from the Stumpman. Production and backing vocals, It’s rare to see the Midas Touch from someone as young as he is (24).

  13. Anonymous

    @BigRicks: He did “Guilty as Charged,” which, while not breaking any new ground, is a pretty fun song, as Maura pointed out last month.

    Wentz often refers to Stump as a sort of mad scientist.

  14. Anonymous

    @drinkypuss: I’m interested to see a) which songs make it to the live show, and b) how much they get stripped down. A girl who saw them in Phoenix thinks they might be using loops for “headfirst” and “I Don’t Care.”

  15. Maura Johnston

    @KurticusMaximus: When is Patrick finally going to come out with a solo album of all-out R&B?

    not soon enough.

  16. Maura Johnston

    @Varina: i only saw ‘i don’t care’ live when i saw them in philly, but yeah, i think there might be some sweetening going on in the live version.

  17. Anonymous

    @Varina: helped, in the sense that maybe he wrote everything and produced it all, or maybe he just was somebody to bounce ideas off of. He’s probably got a long career behind the boards ahead of him. Good on him!

  18. BigRicks

    @2ironic4u: I’m interested to see what kind of crowd this will draw. I plan on attending. A tuesday night show in Manhattan should skew a bit older, especially it being a smaller theater show and tickets being available only a week ahead of time. When they played MSG in 2007 the adolescent screaming reverberated off the walls for a solid hour and a half.

  19. Anonymous

    @Maura Johnston: Maura, I just have to note that it’s a pleasure to come and read this site and discuss bands like FOB and Panic in a positive light, and then switch gears and discuss regular indie stuff or obscure world music.

    I feel like the little breakdowns in “Shipped Gold Standard” and the end of “wams” are previews for a potential Stump solo album. I can see him maybe becoming a more well-known producer (beyond Decaydance bands), and then maybe doing his own material (when the band breaks up).

  20. Anonymous

    It’s a big, big album. Some of it has me scratching my head (a little too slick in some spots, too many layered vocals in others), but most of it is awesome. I’m happy to see Patrick continuing to stretch his voice and I’m happy that the much ballyhooed cameos are not that intrusive. As always, I’m curious to see how it sells in this current climate.

    He really wants to be Elvis Costello at the beginning of “Disloyal Order…,” doesn’t he?

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