Review Summary: Radioactive Man needs to start looking for a more dependable sidekick.64 of 69 thought this review was well written
When Fall Out Boy announced their unexpected hiatus back in 2009 I felt an enormous sense of discontent in the wake of the aftermath. I’m fully aware at how cheesy it sounds when I express how much it sucked that such personal key figures in my adolescent years were no more. The band, for better or worse, shot up to a plateau of super stardom most revered but many detested. It’s evident, upon further look, how the overexposure did them in. I myself never sought fault with their steady aim to distance themselves from pop-punk roots. A move that saw a majority of old fans up in arms as the transition began to sway.
Nevertheless, it was difficult to not scoff at the try-hard attempts at celebrity status. I completely understand why they became an easy target. The newly developed bigheaded antics basically painted a bulls-eye on the back of each member. Pete Wentz, for the most part, threw everyone else into the crossfire. Feeding into the media’s laughable declaration of the “emo” rocker tag did them no favors. It was definitely unfair to be so harshly critiqued on something they never asked to join in. But the way the pressure was handled really egged on the backlash. Still, I wanted nothing but the best when it all crumbled.
Flash forward to 2012 where Patrick Stump was still desperately attempting to make a name for himself as a solo artist. The endeavor didn’t cause me to long for a reunion, nor did any other side-project from the defunct bunch. No, the thing that made me plea for a return was the disheartening treatment of Stump, revealed in a confessional blog to my dismay. At just 27-years-old, he considered himself to be a has-been, defeated by his debut album commercially tanking. To rub salt in the wound, disgruntle people were even bullying in threatening manners. It’s the same despicable events that lead to the group’s hasty demise, after Folie a Deux’s
disastrous touring, from an absence of general acceptance.
So when the news broke on the gang getting back together once again, I was ecstatic for a chance to rectify the unhappiness. Unfortunately, the outcome of Save Rock and Roll’s
overall sound seems to allude to a bitter contempt for their naysayers. The promo picture of them gathered around a bonfire burning their cherished albums should’ve been a warning sign right? On one end, I applaud the decision to stick it to the fakes who left them for dead. Though, I must wonder why it had to come at the price of quality material in the process. Only a fool would still be clamoring for the glory days, considering how much Fall Out Boy has ventured with no hint of looking back. But I fail to see how making this utter mess of an album helps their reputation. In fact, it pretty much begs for further isolation.
It’s rather hard to sympathize at this point when it’s justifiably suspected the only reason for this supposed “comeback” is cash. The low moments that appeared to make these guys so human might be unmasked as nothing more than disingenuous motives. The work put into the album, or lack there of, seems as manufactured as the band’s sense of entitlement to the finer things in life. Instead of a Fall Out Boy outing, we are treated to what this could be about, a vehicle for Stump to have his cake and eat it to. Naturally, the backup has no qualms with hitching a barely audible ride, just as long as their checks arrive in the mail.
The greatest travesty with Save Rock and Roll
is not that it abandons any resemblance to the unique flairs of Fall Out Boy. Lets forget the cringe worthy lyrics, fish out of water guest features, and all the programmed beats a rapper would sample. Refrain from noticing how “Young Volcanoes” or “Just One Yesterday” is a blatant rip-off of Fun. and Adele’s latest smash hits. Turn a blind eye to the vocals being the only distinguishable component to an otherwise scarce assortment of musicianship. See, aside from those glaring missteps that can be forgiven, as with many guilty pleasure pop albums, there’s no conceivable spark.
It speaks volumes when the less than well received singles showcase the band’s full potential pertaining to this album. Even on those hand picked tracks not much can be salvaged. Other than the only positive of the whole experience being soaring choruses that have become a staple of Fall Out Boy. It’s just a shame they’ve decided to forfeit Pete Wentz’s extremely clever and meaningful wordplay to accompany them. It’s a chore being expected to relate to nothingness from a band that used to always have a refreshing message to deliver. I find it hard to buy this vapid case after their trials and tribulations.
I still reserve hope in spite of the slow grinding nature within Save Rock and Roll
and bloated reincarnation of the band. I’m certainly going to do my damndest to place out of my mind this ever happened but it doesn’t mean things can’t bounce back. Fall Out Boy has constantly been an underdog, even at their own admission, and it wouldn’t be the first time a release didn’t click. Perhaps it’s merely a fuddy-duddy perspective, as I’m sure this will resonate with a particular audience seeking this vibe. As to my plight with the current state of these affairs...“I don’t blame you for being you but you can’t blame me for hating it.”