Panic! At The Disco has officially closed shop. Other emo and pop-punk bands repeatedly release disappointing albums to disappointed fans. Meanwhile, Fall Out Boy is outshining its peers. Twenty years after the band’s debut, Fall Out Boy has released its 8th studio album, So Much (For) Stardust.
The album embraces the styles and subjects one would expect from a Fall Out Boy album. I was hooked on its singles, especially “Love From The Other Side,” which features a dramatic chorus that played in my head for days, transporting me to past years of listening to classic Fall Out Boy. The full album lives up to fans’ expectations of fast-paced songs to rock out to and nostalgic, angst-touched lyrics. Given the band’s origins within the emo scene, listeners expect
Fall Out Boy to make the types of songs that sad teenagers would play in their headphones as they pensively stare out the car window. “Fake Out” and “Heaven, Iowa” fulfill this role with slower intros and contemplative lyric delivery. The band also continues to feature the mature themes that form part of its identity, including vulnerable lyrics about substance use in “The Kintsugi Kid.”
Fall Out Boy also ventures into new musical territory, vital for a strong album. Songs like “Hold Me Like a Grudge” and the two monologues between features introduce rhythmic style changes and prevent a monotonous tone. As our world has changed since the band’s last album, Fall Out Boy does well to address the COVID-19 pandemic in “What a Time To Be Alive,” a song that contrasts its upbeat instrumentation with cynical lyrics like “livestream the apocalypse” and “dreams started bursting at the seams.”
When a band I’ve followed for years comes out with new music, I’m often nervous about finding out if it’s any good—Fall Out Boy quenched that fear with a musically fulfilling and nostalgically transportive album.
Grace Stephenson is a freshman in the College studying Linguistics.