By Cady Inabinett, Managing editor of content
Fall Out Boy has announced their first album since 2018, releasing lead single “Love From the Other Side” on Jan. 18 in tandem with their announcement that album “So Much (For) Stardust” will be released on Mar. 24.
“Love From the Other Side” feels like a return to normalcy compared to the band’s previous album, 2018’s pop and electronic driven “Mania.” But this return to form is far from trite, rather it feels like an elevated and matured take on a genre the group has helped shape for the past 20 years.
The song’s sound is much more reminiscent of the band’s earlier albums. Fall Out Boy’s career is often split into two periods: the band’s beginnings as darlings of the emo scene through the 2000s, and the band that emerged from a two-year hiatus lasting from 2010-2012. While each Fall Out Boy album often has its own sound, pre-hiatus albums generally lean into the conventions of emo music—heavy instrumentals, complex guitar riffs and emotionally-charged lyrics, while post-hiatus albums are characterized by their cleaner production and a sound that leans more into the pop side of pop-punk.
“Love From the Other Side” feels as though it calls back to pre-hiatus Fall Out Boy more than any of their post-hiatus releases. The instrumentals are heavier, juxtaposing with lead singer Patrick Stump’s soulful yet still somehow bitter voice to create Fall Out Boy’s signature sound. It’s catchy guitar riff and drum driven intro seamlessly transitions into lyrically rich verses and chorus.
At the same time, Fall Out Boy’s maturity still shines through on the track. Elements such as the string-laden, orchestral instrumentals intermixing with the tinkling piano intermixing even more with aggressive performances on guitar, bass and drums add a new element into the classic Fall Out Boy oeuvre. It feels like the best of both pre- and post-hiatus worlds, marrying the angsty sound of pre-hiatus Fall Out Boy with the sleek, masterful production of the post-hiatus albums.
This sound coupled with the news that “So Much (For) Stardust” will be released by record label Fueled by Ramen—a label that has signed some of the most iconic emo bands, but that Fall Out Boy hasn’t worked with since their debut album “Take This to Your Grave”— has set the tone for the most rock and emo inspired album the band has release since 2008’s “Folie à Deux.”
The lyricism presented in “Love From the Other Side” also feels like a return to the band’s roots. While many of Fall Out Boy’s post-hiatus hits have felt like fairly generic arena rockers—songs such as “Centuries” and “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” come to mind, on this new track the band’s bassist and main lyricist Pete Wentz proves that he still has the songwriting finesse that made Fall Out Boy iconic. Illustrative yet disillusioned lyrics like “This city always hangs a little bit lonely on me, loose / Like a kid playing pretend in his father’s suit,” place “Love From the Other Side” more in-line with the wry wit but simultaneously confessional style of earlier albums, such as “From Under the Cork Tree” and “Folie à Deux.”
Shortly after the song and video’s release on Jan. 18, came an announcement from the band’s guitarist Joe Trohman that he would be stepping back from the band. In a statement released via the group’s social media, he said, “Neil Young once howled it’s better to burn out than to fade away. But I can tell you unequivocally that burning out is dreadful. Without divulging all the details, I must disclose that my mental health has rapidly deteriorated over the past several years. So, to avoid fading away and never returning, I will be taking a break from work which regrettably includes stepping away from Fall Out Boy for a spell.”
One thing the band has proved with this track’s release, Fall Out Boy has building intrigue down to a science. The band began teasing new material ahead of “Love From the Other Side’s” release, with the band running an enigmatic full page ad in “The Chicago Tribune” in November teasing a new album—then only known as “FOB 8”—with the text “If you build it, they will come.”
The band followed this up with an even stranger claymation video released on Christmas Day featuring the guitar riff from “Love From the Other Side.”
Additionally, a website called Sending My Love From Pink Seashell Beach was launched. Users visiting the website are greeted with the image of a pink seashell with the message, “The answers are all inside of me.” When clicked, the shell flips over to reveal a baseball inside before the screen changes to say, “The beach was never real. None of it is.”
If the teasers and publicity are any indication, “So Much (For) Stardust” is bound to keep Fall Out Boy listeners on their toes—a fact Stump seemed to affirm talking to “NME,” saying that the upcoming album shouldn’t be thought of a as a throwback to and older version of the band.
“I didn’t want to go back to a specific style, but I wanted to imagine what would it have sounded like if we had made a record right after ‘Folie à Deux’ instead of taking a break for a few years,” he said. “It was like exploring the multiverse. It was an experiment in seeing what we would have done.”
Cady Inabinett is the managing editor of content for The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies and generally just being pretentious in her free time.