Ok, I know this album has been out for a while but it was so good, I just had to blog about it.

Fall Out Boy is an American rock band formed out of Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois in 2001.  The band is made up of Patrick Stump (vocalist, guitarist), Pete Wentz (bassist), Joe Trohman (guitarist) and Andy Hurley (drummer).  The band originated from Chicago’s hardcore punk scene, with which Wentz was heavily involved.  The group was formed by Wentz and Trohman as a pop-punk side project from their respective hardcore bands and Stump joined them shortly thereafter.  The group went through a great number of drummers before landing Hurley and recording their debut album, “Take This To Your Grave,” in 2003, which sold well through their independent label Fueled by Ramen.

The band’s 2005 major-label breakthrough, “From Under the Cork Tree,” produced two hit singles, “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and “Dance, Dance.”  The album went double platinum, transforming the group into superstars and making Wentz a celebrity and tabloid fixture.  Their 2007 follow-up, “Infinity On High,” landed at number one on the Billboard 200 and produced several singles such as “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” and “Thnks fr th Mmrs.”  “Folie a Deux,” the band’s fourth album, created a mixed response from fans and commercially undersold expectations.  The band took a hiatus from 2009 to 2012 to “decompress,” exploring various side projects.  They regrouped and recorded “Save Rock and Roll” in 2013, which gave the band their second career number one and produced the top 20 single, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up).”

After several reformation attempts during their hiatus, “Save Rock and Roll” was recorded in secret at Rubyred Recordings in Venice, California, beginning in the fall of 2012.  The album sessions were marked by a desire to reinvent the band’s sound in a more modern form, with more emphasis on pop music.  The band brought in producer Butch Walker for a fresh approach, making it the first time they didn’t use their longtime producer Neil Avron.  In the bands new form, each member of the quartet was involved in crafting the compositions, although the sessions were initially difficult as they struggled to reconnect with each other.  “Save Rock and Roll” features gust vocals from “Foxes,” “Big Sean,” “Courtney Love” and Elton John (who sings on the album’s title track).

“Save Rock and Roll” debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 154,000 first week sales, earning the band their second career number one.  The lead single, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up),” has earned platinum status in the US and charted worldwide.  Rolling Stone describes the band’s comeback as a “rather stunning renaissance,” and the record received positive reviews upon its release, although most critics were hesitant to refer to the album as solely a rock record.  The band followed the release with the Save Rock and Roll arena tour along with European and US legs announced.  The band is in the process of filming and releasing music videos for every track on the album in an ongoing series titled “The Young Blood Chronicles.”

The album received fairly positive reviews from music critics.  The album received a 75 out of 100 from Metacritic.com based on 18 reviews, citing the album as having “generally favorable reviews.”  Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic commended the record’s compositions as “ambitious, admirable, and sometimes thrilling, particularly because the group never fears to tread into treacherous waters, happy to blur the distinctions between pop and rock, mainstream and underground.”  Kyle Ryan of The A.V. Club called the record “the bands most personal album yet, a tribute to being passionate and young when time makes the former difficult and the latter impossible.  It’s an arena album that longs for small punk clubs.”

The cover of the “Save Rock and Roll” album features a photograph of two young boys – one wearing traditional monk robes, the other in jeans and a T-shirt, smoking a cigarette – taken by Roger Stonehouse in Burma.  The image was found early on in the production process as the band scoured the internet for inspirational images.  They felt the photo solidified the message of the record, “one definitely indebted to the past, but definitely points toward the future.”  Summarized, the image represents old and new clashing, and tradition and change coming together.

“Save Rock and Roll” was a truly amazing album and it kind of blew me away.  The guys managed to change their sound and yet were able to keep what still makes them Fall Out Boy.  As the albums cover photo suggested, this album is all about old and new clashing and how the band was able to embrace their new sound and image.  The album was number one on the US Billboard 200 for a reason.

Check out the albums music videos that the band connected together into one story entitled “The Young Blood Chronicles” below.  So far only parts 1 – 8 have been released.  Keep an eye out for the last 3 videos that will be released soon.