Fall Out Boy is back and have been accused of selling out even more than before with their new album “American Beauty/American Psycho”. Being a product of the 2007 pop-punk trend (think bands like FOB, Panic at the Disco, Mayday Parade etc.) I have a soft spot for this band; even this is not enough to blind me from seeing how easily Fall Out Boy have sold themselves out. Their new album is catchy, I know the lyrics to most of the songs only after one listen, and the instrumental style gives a faux impression that the album is not pop… but it so clearly is.
What is selling out? Fall Out Boy is a band that started by calling themselves punk. Most people will agree that Fall Out Boy was never really punk, but they were at least emo – appealing to depressed (real or faked) alternative teenagers with easy-to-relate lyrics and some smashing guitar solos. When artists become pop and hand over the production to producers whose goal is just to make radio hits, this is selling out. At this point a band or artist loses what I like to call their “musical integrity”.
The best thing about selling out is the catchy somewhat generic music that comes of it. I won’t pretend to be a big enough music snob to not dance along to the album, the music was literally created for this purpose. As usual, the lyrics are the best part of Fall Out Boy’s music; they are relatable and a little interesting.
Sadly, selling out can mean an artist re-appropriates a melody, or in Fall Out Boy’s case, a whole song where they just changed the lyrics. Their first single from this album “Centuries” is the same song as Drake’s 2009 track “I Get Paper” and you can listen for yourself.
Fall Out Boy’s Track (2015):
I have to give “American Beauty/American Psycho” a B because I know people will buy it and listen to it, and I will be one of them. There is nothing wrong – except the loss of any strand of respect you have as a musician – with selling out and making cookie-cutter pop, the masses eat that shit up. Woo hoo for generic pop!