Fall Out Boy, Marketing Geniuses

(From The Campus Lantern – October 17, 2013) 

After being on hiatus for over three years, Fall Out Boy came back this year, bigger and better than ever before. In April they released “Save Rock and Roll,” the follow up to their 2008 album, “Folie à Deux.” “Save Rock and Roll” has had positive reception from the critics. Simon Vozick-Levinson at Rolling Stone gave the album 3.5/5 stars. Vozick-Levinson got it spot on when he said, “There are sleazy disco grooves and a fat dubstep breakdown; there’s a semicoherent rant by Courtney Love, a random Big Sean rap verse and a song that manages to bite both Willie Nelson and Adele.” As a long-time Fall Out Boy fan, it was interesting to hear the band grow from their pop punk days of “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” to the pop rock anthem from their new album, “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up).”

After coming off hiatus and releasing a new album within only a few months, Fall Out Boy fans everywhere rejoiced when the band announced that they would be releasing yet another album in 2013. The album, which is technically an EP, is called “PAX•AM Days.” Although it was officially released on October 15, it was put up for streaming earlier in the month. The album was made for fun in only a few takes in the studio. Although they were released in the same year, this 8-track album is significantly different from “Save Rock and Roll.” While “Save Rock and Roll” is a solid pop rock album, “PAX•AM Days” is a tribute to the Misfits, Black Flag and other late ’70s and early ’80s punk bands (www.fuse.tv). The seemingly only similarity between the two albums is leader singer Patrick Stump’s voice. The music is almost entirely indistinguishable.

From a marketing standpoint, Fall Out Boy are geniuses. They released one “safe” album with melodic choruses and catchy hooks, yet with the same bizarre, sensory lyrics that the fans love (for example, “We are the jack-o-lanterns in July / Setting fire to the sky”). Months later, they released “PAX•AM Days,” which is perfect for listeners who are fans of the more “punk” Fall Out Boy from so long ago – “Take This To Your Grave,” anyone?

As if two albums (and quite a few tours supporting them) weren’t enough, Fall Out Boy is also releasing a music video series called “The Youngblood Chronicles.” The band is releasing a music video for all eleven songs on “Save Rock and Roll,” and they all make up a mini-film. So far the band has released six of the videos, and they are filled with violence, evil women antagonists, and lots and lots of suspense. Stay tuned for what Fall Out Boy will be up to next, because they seem to always be up to something, and it’s always something good.

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