x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Album review: Fall Out Boy's Save Rock and Roll

The American pop-punks are back with their signature immodest bombast.

Fall Out Boy
Save Rock and Roll
Island
**
When Fall Out Boy disappeared on hiatus in a blaze of overindulgence, celebrity divorce and creative burnout, it was tricky to see a future for the American pop-punks.
Four years later, with signature immodest bombast, they return to rescue music itself, tongues at least partially in cheeks. The irony that Save Rock and Roll is their least explicitly rock record won't be lost on a band as self-aware as Fall Out Boy.
It begins promisingly, rising from the flames on the dramatic opener The Phoenix, before maintaining a penchant for smug sentence-length song titles with the handclap-tastic lead single My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up).
A landslide of pop production gloss soon threatens to engulf the entire record, however, rendering mini-epics like the Rihanna-robbing Alone Together. An eyebrow-raising guest list typifies the disarray. When a less-than-lucid Courtney Love rants semi-entertainingly over Rat a Tat, rock and roll is being pulled back from the brink.
The horrifically overblown title track duet with Elton John, on the other hand, suggests Fall Out Boy themselves need saving.
artslife@thenational.ae
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