An Album a Day: Folie á Deux

January 17, Folie á Deux by Fall Out Boy

Genre: Pop punk, light on the punk though.
Year: 2008
Runtime: 50:23
Total Number of Tracks: 13
Songs you might know:
– “I Don’t Care”
– “America’s Suitehearts”
– “Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet”
– “What a Catch, Donnie”

My prior relationship with this album: I remember “I Don’t Care” getting played almost constantly on the local alternative rock station when it first came out. It was my jam, and deserves almost as much credit as “Dance, Dance” or “Sugar, We’re Going Down” in terms of turning me into an FOB fan. Yet as much as I loved it, I never bothered to listen to the full album prior to now. I loved From Under the Cork Tree and Infinity on High so much that I almost felt like this album was a waste of my time, because there was no way it could outdo its predecessors.

My impressions this time around: I’m mad at myself for not giving this album more of a chance earlier because it’s pretty fantastic. While Infinity on High is a bunch of rock anthems with a token ballad, Folie á Deux shows that Fall Out Boy can incorporate both of those moods into a single song.  “What a Catch, Donnie” is a great example, blending the more intimate feel of piano and vocals with the bigger sounds of rock and orchestral instrumentation as well.

This allows Folie á Deux to be a cohesive album that still has a fair amount of dynamic contrast. There’s no song that sticks out the way that “Golden” does on Infinity on High, yet I’m not listening to the same song over and over again either. It is currently the median FOB album, so it makes sense that you can hear that damn near perfect balance between old and new Fall Out Boy. There’s just enough experimentation that it doesn’t feel like a rehash of prior albums, all while being similar enough that anyone who likes those albums will still like this.

Who would enjoy it? This is a great pick for people who love to see subtle hints of orchestra in their rock music. It’s also good for people who like the concept of pop punk or alternative rock that might’ve found more extreme examples of the genre off putting. This is still very much a rock album with the intensity of pop punk, but more commercial than say RIOT! by Paramore or Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance or even the earlier Fall Out Boy albums.

* This post is part of a theme week, where I listened to all 7 Fall Out Boy studio albums in one week. Check out my other reviews here:

– Take This to Your Grave
– From Under the Cork Tree
– Infinity on High
– Save Rock and Roll
– American Beauty/American Psycho
– M A N I A

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