Fall Out Boy brings the noise and the fire, reminding fans that their music (and legacy) are undeniable.
So Much (For) Stardust is such a fun album. And...hooo, boy! Does it start off with... Well, not so much a bang than a contained detonation.
One thing Fall Out Boy’s gonna do is open an album! “Love From The Other Side” is an explosion of sound and emotional weight. Though it bounces from the theatrical alt-rock they’re known for, to popified funk that takes clear notes from Earth, Wind & Fire classic “September (“What a Time To Be Alive”) to dramatic, swirling melodic pop-rock, it certainly doesn’t bore you. There’re so many musical directions the band is able to access with great clarity and competence in every single track, there’s something here for every listener.
The foundation is always Patrick Stump's voice and the powerful musicianship of each band member at this point in their career. If the overall musicianship provides the framework, the lyrics are the bricks that keep the house standing. The ever-present power behind their storytelling sets them apart from similar bands of their ilk. They manage to compose lyrical scenery that allows listeners into their world, holding their hand and pointing out the sights.
The album has slower moments that fade comfortably into the background (“Heaven, Iowa”; “Fake Out”), but as So Much (For) Stardust opens the album with a detonation, the band ends the album just as explosively with the title track. Adding their time-appropriate rendition of Billy Joel classic “We Didn’t Start the Fire” (proliferating the song with socioeconomic and pop cultural references that are relevant to the 30-odd years since the original’s release) seems a bit arbitrary given the profound magnanimity of the album’s true ending. It’s not a terrible cover by any means, but it just seems a little unnecessary when ending on the title song left the album resonant. Adding the cover track (well-rendered though it may be) just leaves a weight in the stomach, like overindulging on food when you know you were more than satisfied before you added that extra helping to your plate.
That being said, So Much (For) Stardust is a fun listen, carrying all the dramatic hallmarks of Fall Out Boy and showcasing exactly why they’ve earned a spot of reverence on the Millennial Playlist.