Reviews

Fall Out Boy “So Much (For) Stardust” Album Review

So Much (For) Stardust

Fall Out Boy

  • Genre: Alternative
  • Date: 24 Mar, 2023
  • Content: Not-explicit
  • Region: NGA
  • Track(s): 13
  • A Fueled By Ramen release under exclusive license to Elektra Music Group Inc., ℗ 2023 Fall Out Boy Inc

The eighth album from Fall Out Boy, “So Much (For) Stardust,” is less of a return to a band’s initial sound and more of an injection of that early years’ spirit into the band you see today. Massive buildups to choruses designed for stadiums and sing-alongs characterized the band’s previous trilogy of albums. This most recent collection maintains its flare for the dramatic, but does it in a more straightforward manner that makes it appear as though the musicians were performing them live rather than using additional studio tricks.

Album Cover Art

Fall Out Boy &Quot;So Much (For) Stardust&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, February 26, 2024

Looking away from the album title and artist name, the cropped picture situated in the middle of the album cover steals the thunder. We have a picture of a dog; a really pissed dog judging from all that aggressive body language. What’s funny is, the dog’s owner somehow takes delight in their dog tantrums shown by the soap bubbles blown playfully onto the frustrated dog’s face.

Tracks and Features

Fall Out Boy knew what was expected of them from the opening piano chords of the album’s first track, “Love from the Other Side.” This song combines the band’s memorable and anthem-like traits with a sense of urgency and unadulterated emo heaviness. “Heartbreak Feels So Good” begins with a low, bassy synth until the band immediately bursts into action, merging some Save Rock and Roll bombast with an earnestness comparable to From Beneath the Cork Tree.

On “Hold Me Like a Grudge,” bassist Pete Wentz starts off with some funky notes that set the stage for Stump to spew out a rapid cadence of words over a bluesy melody. All of the pop-punk vigor takes over once the chorus begins. With its bass stomps and handclaps, the song is memorable and will stick in your head. It should energize concert audiences. An understated guitar line and developing drumming set the tone for “Fake Out.” Stump sings the chorus with his distinctive falsetto.

Even while Fall Out Boy is best known for their rock anthems, the group also excels in ballads, with “Heaven, Iowa” possibly being among its finest. Over an ethereal synth, Stump’s singing introduces the song. With a distorted guitar line and the addition of the rest of the band on the second chorus, Stump’s vocals soar and the song fully transitions into a power ballad. It’s a timeless tune that the band has recorded.

The route that things go in with “So Awesome Right Now” is completely different. It has a lot more freewheeling vibe and is a lively, bouncy, punky romp. The song’s message is straightforward, yet it’s a message that is both welcoming and really upbeat. Actor Ethan Hawke then makes a spoken-word appearance on “The Pink Seashell,” which is followed by the rock anthem “I Am My Own Muse.” Andy Hurley’s drumming drives the ferocious chorus, and the song combines tremendous drama with the fury of Save Rock and Roll.

“Flu Game’s” punk rock shuffle brings the album back to a plain emo sound, more in the vein of Infinity on High. The mid-tempo pop-punk balladry of “The Kintsugi Child (Ten Years),” which will excite fans of the band’s early work, follows one more spoken-word interlude from “Baby Annihilation.” Here, Stump delivers another another energetic vocal performance.

The rhythms of “What a Time to Be Alive” combine guitars, synthesizers, and strings with emo, ’80s pop, and funk. With the album’s dramatic title tune, the band maintains its exploratory attitude. Fall Out Boy knows how to go out with a bang, fusing rock, pop, and even some hip-hop on this mid-tempo, beat-forward track.

Tracklist

NO

TITLE

TIME

1 Love From The Other Side 4:39
2 Heartbreak Feels So Good 3:37
3 Hold Me Like a Grudge 3:35
4 Fake Out 3:29
5 Heaven, Iowa 3:56
6 So Good Right Now 2:58
7 The Pink Seashell (feat. Ethan Hawke) 1:02
8 I Am My Own Muse 3:45
9 Flu Game 3:37
10 Baby Annihilation 1:07
11 The Kintsugi Kid (Ten Years) 3:55
12 What a Time To Be Alive 3:42
13 So Much (For) Stardust 4:51

Album Theme

The eighth studio album by Fall Out Boy, “So Much (For) Stardust,” emphasizes the band’s commitment to excellence by maintaining its innovative and creative approach to their brand of pop-infused punk. Their most recent collection of work seems to be building on their history rather than returning to their revered emo roots.

Production Credits

Neal Avron produced the album.

Stream

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