Fall Out Boy’s eighth album, “So Much (For) Stardust”, released under the Fueled By Ramen/Elektra label, marks their return after over five years since their experimental album named “MANIA”. While “MANIA” delved deeply into pop elements, leaving some fans wondering about the direction of the band, “So Much (For) Stardust”, seems to be a comeback to their pop-punk roots while still incorporating the pop elements that characterized “MANIA”. Working once again with producer Neal Avron, who collaborated with them on their earlier albums, the Fall Out Boy’s quartet pleasantly surprised fans with the first singles, which hinted at a return to their roots.
The album kicks off brilliantly with Love From The Other Side, featuring an orchestral arrangement that sets the tone before the heavy guitars and drums kick in, catching the listener off guard. The second single, Heartbreak Feels So Good, blends the “old” and “new” Fall Out Boy, incorporating modern synth influences without losing their signature sound. Hold Me Like A Grudge reflects on the process of aging and opens with a catchy bassline reminiscent of Michael Jackson’sSmooth Criminal.
Fake Out takes a more relaxed approach, serving as a perfect transition to the standout track, Heaven, Iowa, which happens to be a personal favorite on the album. This song starts with a ballad-like atmosphere, showcasing well-coordinated instruments and a harmonious blend, culminating in Trohman’s mesmerizing guitar solo. It’s melancholic undertone, combined with the ascending melody, evokes strong emotions. Another track that opens with a orchestral part is I Am My Own Muse that has a cinematic feeling reminiscent of Tim Burton’s films like “Edward Scissorhands” (1990). The next track is What A Time to be Alive that leans more towards a disco/funk due the blaring horns and groovy bassline, contrasting with its somewhat somber lyrics. The seventh track, The Pink Seashell, features a snippet of Ethan Hawke’s monologue from the movie “Reality Bites” (1994), adding an intriguing touch to the album.
Throughout the album, there are recurring references to the themes of “The Apocalypse” or “the end of the world”, yet the music often juxtaposes this with moments of optimism and deceptively cheerful melodies – a typical Fall Out Boy approach, where they play with humor, contrasts, meaning and contradictions.
The title track, So Much (For) Stardust, beautifully wraps up the album with melancholic strings, piano, soft horns and shimmering drums. The bridge poignantly reprises the lyrics from the opening track, creating a harmonious conclusion to this emotionally charged musical journey. The combination of the piano, strings and drums creates a powerful sense of melancholy, making it a perfect ending to this tragic and sorrow musical narrative. Fall Out Boy’s newest album showcases their ability to evolve while staying true to their roots, delivering a compelling and emotionally charged album for both longtime fans and newcomers alike.
Fall Out Boy’s eight album, “So Much (For) Stardust” is a triumphant return to their pop-punk roots while retaining the pop elements that characterized their previous work. It’s a compelling and well-crafted record that will solidify Fall Out Boy’s enduring place in the music industry. Don’t miss out on this album.