So, I've been listening to my iPod on shuffle a lot, and also re-listening to entire albums in anticipation of the year-end list. I listened to a lot of Gaslight Anthem's 59 Sound, but for some reason that album's not scrobbling.
And then there's the new Fall Out Boy album. I've been mulling over Folie a Deux for the past week. At first, I was impatient. You know how sometimes you get something hotly anticipated and you just want to immediately understand all of it? It's a little bit harder with this album; I think because the music is infinitely layered. There's nothing especially straightforward and simple here, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I had to give it a few listens before I clicked with it - and now I really do love it.
Folie a Deux is Fall Out Boy-brand of catchy. Yet, the album doesn't have surefire hits like "Dance, Dance" or "This Ain't a Scene." This is hard to explain; though there are still gang vocals to chant along with and great hooks, it sounds more mature and a little less sugary. The musical montage of lines from their past hits in "What a Catch, Donnie," are sung by a myriad of other friend vocalists and the fact that it's all slowed down a bit kind of memorializes the past and maybe puts it to rest. This is a new era; these musicians have grown. (Also, Erica and I can't figure out why this isn't the last song - we think the track order is a bit off.)
The best thing about this album? Patrick Stump's voice. He sounds fantastic. AND! Without a doubt, he's finally enunciating. Like I said, I like Fall Out Boy, and I enjoyed the previous albums and even singing along to made-up lyrics because I couldn't understand what he was singing (like "also into cats" instead of "all so intricate"). However, Folie a Deux has Stump singing high and low and clearly and beautifully. The Boy have certainly gotten better at pacing and mixing in layer after layer of sounds that oddly work together for something that sounds BIG but personal. But while Pete Wentz's extracurricular activities and ever-evolving marketing ploys assure the band as a popular brand, it wouldn't be anywhere without the music to back up the hype - and that's why Stump is the real hero of this album.
That said, Folie a Deux comes out tomorrow, and I recommend it whole-heartedly. I think it's something older people can listen to without feeling embarassed; even Jonah Bayer, (old) rock critic extraordinaire, loves it. As far as the songs go, I'm particularly drawn to "America's Suitehearts" (their next single), "(Coffee's for Closers)," and "20 Dollar Nosebleed." The last song I listed there is my current favourite, and I'm not lying when I say I had to let out a bit of an exasperated sigh when I first heard it and the guest vocals came in - Brendon Urie, why do you haunt me? The song sounds a lot like a Panic! diddy, to be sure, but I'm in love with the horns and its big-band sound. If you know me and heard the album, you would have immediately said this would be my favourite, too. It just sounds happy (though, I assure you, the lyrics aren't quite). Also, sometimes those two vocalists sounds so much alike, it's hard to decipher which part is sung by whom.