American Beauty/American Psycho album review

Island Records

Fall Out Boy started off 2015 with streaming their seventh LP, American Beauty/American Psycho, one song at a time – shocking and exciting their fans in the process. The song “Centuries” debuted in September of 2014.

American Beauty/American Psycho is a compilation of fast-paced, head banging anthems like “Novocaine,” to slow, mournful ballads such as “Jetpack Blues.” A handful of the pop-punk band’s songs featured samples from songs such as Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” in “Centuries.” Even the theme song of The Munsters, a popular sitcom in the 1960s about a family of monsters, was used in the refrain of the raging party anthem “Uma Thurman.”

“Centuries,” one of the more popular songs on the album, stands out for a good reason. “Centuries” is simply written but is an inspiring anthem, with a powerful chorus: “Some legends are told / some turn to dust or to gold / but you will remember me / remember me for centuries. And just one mistake is all it will take. / We’ll go down in history/ / Remember me for centuries.” The message behind “Centuries” is overcoming the hardships that hold you down and achieving victory, a message that many can identify with, and use to encourage themselves to try their hardest and strive for the best. “Centuries” was the official anthem for ESPN’s coverage of the College Football Playoffs in 2014.

“You know, kids get told that they’re weird or they’re not good enough or the thing that they’re doing is strange and it’s because they’re far ahead, you know? And I don’t want people being shut down who are thinking that kind of thing… there’s a lot of people that just stop and I think that’s what the idea behind the song is: that anybody can become a legend,” lyricist and bassist Pete Wentz said for VH1.

Meanwhile, the song that is the album’s namesake is an over produced, repetitive track that does not show the true potential of the band. Lead singer Patrick Stump’s usually soulful vocals seemed strained in the clamorous track.

Fall Out Boy redeems themselves with one of their many chart-topping singles, “Uma Thurman.” The title of the song is in reference to the American actress and her iconic dance scene with John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. It has passionate, jumpy piano segments and a catchy hook; “I can move mountains / I can work a miracle.” The song produces a 60s surf rock vibe due to the Munsters sample.

Fall Out Boy has come a long way since “Thnks fr th Mmrs” and “Sugar We’re Goin Down,” but they still retain the blend of  pop and punk that makes this album an American beauty.

The Parkway West Pathfinder gives “American Beauty/American Psycho8.5/10.