Review Summary: Barely a blip on the rock and roll radar.
I breathed a sigh of relief when I found out that this album was named with tongue firmly in cheek. I’m happy that Fall Out Boy have managed to come out of their hiatus fully energized and not taking themselves too seriously. I’m also glad that their sound has modernized. The emo wave of 2007 is over and as much as I loved Infinity On High
, it wouldn’t be right to recreate it 6 years later. It’s just a shame that despite the band evolving and having fun again, the immediate result was an album as below-average as Save Rock And Roll
Disappointing isn’t a word I’m going to use here. My expectations weren’t exactly high for this record and they were lowered upon hearing first single “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”, which I initially thought was a just-okay Adam Lambert song. I was just happy to have a band that I liked release a new album. That was it. I wasn’t expecting rock and roll to be saved, and that’s a good thing, because this album is barely a blip on the rock and roll radar.
Starting with a positive, “The Phoenix” is an excellent opener; it’s what I wanted and expected Fall Out Boy to sound like in 2013. Its fervent strings and impassioned vocal performance by Patrick Stump set the scene for an album never void of energy, but one sadly void of quality. “Alone Together”, “Miss Missing You” and “Young Volcanoes” are all examples of songs with big hooks and little else; there’s nothing here lyrically or melodically that sticks. Of the four collaborations on SRAR
, Foxes’ contribution on the triumphant “Just One Yesterday” is the only success, while Big Sean manages to spoil an otherwise solid song in “The Mighty Fall”.
The record avoids being horrible or unlistenable until the last two tracks, but there’s also nothing after track 1 that warrants any prolonged interest. Hints of brilliance – the funky pre-chorus of “Where Did The Party Go” and hip-hop influenced intro to “The Mighty Fall” – are overshadowed by overall ideas that feel rushed and not entirely fleshed out. The bad news for Fall Out Boy is that Save Rock And Roll
is the least impressive album of their last four. The good news for the band (and their fans) is that rock and roll is still out there to save.