Can Fall Out Boy Save Rock and Roll?


Jason Wiese | Lindenlink Reporter

Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighters) would probably have two things to say about the title of Fall Out Boy’s first studio album in five years, Save Rock and Roll:

1. “Rock and roll does not need to be saved. It is doing just fine,” and 2. “Fall Out Boy? Saving rock n’ roll? Seriously? (laughs incessantly).” As far as I am concerned, if these emo pioneers’ true intention goes with what the title claims, they are not doing a bad job.

Three years after a break up, Fall Out Boy (comprised of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, lead guitarist Joe Trohman, and Andy Hurley on drums) kicked off their reunion with the release of their new single “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up).” Without knowing the title at first (the band is famous for giving their songs unnecessarily long names), I could not deduce that this was the band that released 2007’s light Infinity on High and the perky love song “Sugar We’re Goin Down” the year before. “Light Em Up,” with thrashing guitar riffs and pounding drums, gives me the impression that they have what it takes to live up to their new album’s title. It is a new direction for Fall Out Boy musically and much darker than their earlier lyrics.

The same goes for “The Phoenix,” which opens the album with Stump commanding you to “put on your war paint.” He proves that he means it. The lyrics are quite violent. Yes, I am still talking about Fall Out Boy. They sound more familiar as the album progresses with love songs, such as “Alone Together,” and an anthem for the youth, “Young Volcanoes.”

On the album’s title track, they call in reinforcements for their quest to revive their favorite music: rock and roll legend Elton John. Adding piano and additional vocals, Elton’s appearance on this album merits Fall Out Boy with the privilege of being a genuine rock band.

I became a fan years ago with hits like “Sugar” and “Thriller” (not to be confused with the Michael Jackson classic), but lost interest quickly. I am proud to say that this thrilling effort has put me back on board. But the question that remains is, has Fall Out Boy “saved rock and roll”? No. They have saved themselves.

Save Rock and Roll is now available in stores everywhere and available for download on iTunes.