If you’re anything like me, Fall Out Boy holds a special place in your heart. Their melodic, emo-esque tracks provided the soundtrack to my high school life, and it was a particularly solemn day when the group announced their hiatus from the business.
Lo and behold, however, because the group has reemerged in recent years and taken the mainstream pop world by storm, dominating airwaves with their new sound and revitalised look (I mean have you SEEN how much weight Patrick Stump lost?). The fedoras are still here (sadly) but the appeal of Fall Out Boy is clearly back and bigger than ever.
Which brings us to the groups latest foray. Hot on the heels of their 2015 release American Beauty x American Psycho, FOB have teamed up with a collective who’s who of the rap game, for a completely remixed version of the album entitled Make America Psycho Again. This isn’t a complete surprise however, as rap has been long ingrained into the influence of this punk pop band, and their associations with hip hop are long spanning.
None other than Jay-Z himself provided the intro for Thriller, the opening track for the group’s 2007 release Infinity on High. The HOV relationship extended to a track entitled The Take Over, The Break’s Over, which (for the unaware) are the first lyrics uttered by Jay-Z in his brutal diss track to Nas, Takeover.
After their hiatus, the group shot back into the limelight with a video featuring none other than 2 Chainz, whilst Big Sean provided a feature on the album that brought them back into the music business.
Make America Psycho Again delivers a track list that would make even the most hard to please hiphophead grin; A$AP Ferg, Wiz Khalifa, Migos, Azealia Banks, Big K.R.I.T, Joey Bada$$ and Juicy J all lend a hand in turning a punk album into something more worthy of the rap genre.
For those that have listened to the original album, it might be hard at first to shake your familiarities with the lyrics and melody that you grew accustomed to, but an open mind reaps dividends when approaching this album. For fans of the band it is clearly going to be divisive, but as mentioned previously, they have made no secret of their association with hip hop, and their admiration for the genre as a whole.
The lyrics on the album itself are far from astounding, (it would seem that the album is unsurprisingly catering to the mainstream styles of hip hop) but there are some clear highlights. At the very least, the album provides an eclectic mix of genres and styles; something that may not appear often in the genre. The beats, lyrical styles and flows vary from track to track, and there is a real variety as you listen through the album front to back.
When Azealia Banks isn’t being an absolute moron, she is helping FOB transform The Kids Aren’t Alright into a sombre and heartfelt track, backed by plenty of 808’s. Ferg delivers his trademark style on American Beauty x American Psycho, creating an upbeat anthem that also announces his presidential campaign (watch out Waka Flocka).
The standout on the album, however, comes from New York native Joey Bada$$, who is unsurprisingly assigned to the Twin Skeletons (Hotel in NYC) remix, and he does not disappoint his hometown by any means.
Even if you’re put off by the Fall Out Boy label, this is an album that should be checked out; at the very least it gives an example of what can happen when genres collide and musical expression and experimentation is left to run free.
But hey, if that doesn’t float your boat, why not enjoy Fall Out Boy, Demi Lovato and a video filled with pugs? You’re welcome.