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.