Track Review: Fall Out Boy’s “American Beauty/American Psycho”, “Immortals”, “Centuries”

Fall Out Boy return with three new singles promoting their upcoming LP

Shot+by%3A+Scantron+%26amp%3B+Beutler+Ink+%0D%0Awww.scantronfilms.com+%2F+www.beutlerink.com%0D%0A%0D%0AAdditional+footage+from+Skip+Singhsumalee

Germaine Coronelli

Shot by: Scantron & Beutler Ink www.scantronfilms.com / www.beutlerink.com Additional footage from Skip Singhsumalee

Fall Out Boy’s been up to a lot this year. First, they skyrocketed back following a surprise reunion releasing Pax AM Days: A collection of vicious, beat-the-crap out of your parents’ basement, throwback punk songs recorded with the alt-country firebird Ryan Adams at his Los Angeles studio Pax AM. Then, only a year after their return LP Save Rock & Roll, the band began releasing singles for their new album now revealed to be titled American Beauty/American Psycho and set for a January 20th, 2015 release. For your listening needs, here’s my review of all three tracks Fall Out Boy has dropped thus far: “Centuries”, “Immortals”, and “American Beauty/American Psycho”.

 

American Beauty/American Psycho

This song, which premiered on the star studded UK radio show hosted by Zane Lowe, unearths a small sliver of the angst present on Pax AM Days and stirs in an over-measurement of overproduced radio rock. This structure sounds great in theory if the goal is to make a likeable rock song appealing to someone who can’t quite stomach Subhumans or the grimy-wonder of Sonic Youth, but this song suffers from constantly fluctuating quality. The verses render frontman Patrick Stump’s versatile vocals vicious and assertively clever, delivering charm with lines like “I wish I dreamt in the shape of your mouth”, but the song’s chorus splits this success into a spit-fest of redundance. Instead of utilizing a post-chorus or continuing to spew the cunning lyricism of the verses, the phrase “She’s an American Beauty/I’m an American Psycho” is shot through a dysfunctional semi-automatic accompanied by lots of over engineered “oh oh oh oh ohs”. It’s nice to see that the band’s sessions with Ryan Adams shed a small, fierce light on Fall Out Boy, but this track ultimately falls short through it’s unnecessarily repetitious choruses and the polished edge of production that stomps out any semblance of “punk”.

Score: C

 

Immortals

This song appeared in Pixar’s newest endeavor Big Hero Six; a film which had us all in love with Baymax by the time the credits rolled. “Immortals” was actually perfect for the soundtrack. The song captures the futuristic quirkiness of the film and contributed a vast amount to the scene it appeared in. Please go see Big Hero Six. However, it appears I’ve gotten sidetracked. “Immortals” was a good choice for the film, but an awful choice on FOB’s behalf to include on American Beauty/American Psycho. The song opens with (and, unfortunately continues with) an uncomfortable, oriental, Shanghai-rattling riff and spirals into an overproduced seizure of pop-song nonsense. There really isn’t much to say about this track because of how overbearingly shallow it is, so I’ll leave you with a question: Remember when you could actually hear guitars on Fall Out Boy songs?

Score: D-

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9PxOanFjxQ&w=560&h=315]
Island Records

 

Centuries

After my difficulty sitting through “Immortals” enough to properly form thoughts about it, I prayed to the sonic gods that “Centuries” would help clean up the mess; to my relief, I was pleasantly surprised with this track. Carrying a fiery sense of cinematic charisma, “Centuries” comes to be everything FOB should be doing with their new style. The song is a grand, arena pop-rocker that boasts vast and illustrious production. sweeping synth instrumentation, and a marvelous aesthetic of monumental, time-shattering spirit, “Centuries” is without a doubt the best of the three singles Fall Out Boy has dropped for American Beauty/American Psycho.

Score: B

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCbS-TLEoRA&w=560&h=315]
Island Records