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Fall Out Boy - So Much (For) Stardust (Album Review)

Thursday, 30 March 2023 Written by Emma Wilkes

Photo: Pamela Littky

It’s been a while since Fall Out Boy have been truly great. Released in 2015, ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ was a sanitised attempt at radio rock that periodically came off as bland, while 2018’s ‘Mania’ was a maximalist car crash that buried the band’s idiosyncrasies under ultra-processed production. 

Five years later, however, they've circled back to themselves. In a way, ‘So Much (For) Stardust’ feels like the return of an old friend, and a means for the past to shake hands with the present.

Crucially, they manage that without repeating themselves. It would have been easy for the Chicagoan quartet to mine the current seam of emo nostalgia, especially with ‘From Under the Cork Tree’ producer Neal Avron in tow.

Beyond the fuzzy nostalgic hug of a track that is opener Love From The Other Side, the focus is instead on evolution, but in a way that feels true to the essence of Fall Out Boy in a way that it hasn’t in the past. 

Hold Me Like A Grudge shimmies in the narrow space between pop and rock with the kind of indelible sass that frontman Patrick Stump can wear very well, while the outrageously big What A Time To Be Alive is a theatrical take on the band’s staple happy sounding sad song, made for dancing through the apocalypse. 

It's not the only song to flaunt a theatrical twist. I Am My Own Muse, for example, is  lavish with orchestral trills in a way that’s subtly reminiscent of their late noughties output. This particular track isn’t just a standout, but one of the best examples on the record of what makes it so miraculous: Fall Out Boy’s quirks are back in the spotlight. 

That aspect even comes through during the interlude The Pink Seashell, which samples an Ethan Hawke speech from Reality Bites that could have come directly from Pete Wentz’s mouth (and on that note, Baby Annihilation’s opening monologue couldn’t be more Pete Wentz if it tried). 

It’s partly for this reason that ‘So Much (For Stardust)’ is easily Fall Out Boy’s best post-hiatus album to date, and their renewed appreciation for what makes them distinctive is bound to woo back the fans who feared they’d lost their way.

Fall Out Boy Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri October 27 2023 - LEEDS first direct Arena
Sat October 28 2023 - GLASGOW OVO Hydro
Sun October 29 2023 - MANCHESTER AO Arena
Tue October 31 2023 - BIRMINGHAM Utilita Arena
Thu November 02 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Fri November 03 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Sat November 04 2023 - CARDIFF Cardiff International Arena

Compare & Buy Fall Out Boy Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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