(Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone) “Fall Out Boy returns after a five-year hiatus from albums with their newest effort.”
Grab the black eyeliner and don a pair of ripped jeans, 2013 is back with a vengeance. Pop-punk icons Fall Out Boy are back with their first album since 2018 and their first well-received album since 2015. “So Much (for) Stardust,” released on March 24, 2023, brings back everything fans fell in love with in the band’s early work. With new music from Paramore, All Time Low and now Fall Out Boy, pop-punk is finally being saved by someone other than Machine Gun Kelly.
The album opens with “Love From The Other Side,” which perfectly sets the mood for the next 13 songs. The song talks about love, the apocalypse and sending love across the desolation. It displays lead singer Patrick Stump’s vocal ability along with the rest of the band’s talent on their instruments. The song sets up what the rest of the album will entail, welcoming fans into the new era of Fall Out Boy.
“So Much (for) Stardust” feels much more personal than previous albums, telling stories from the band about their lives. The track “The Pink Seashell,” which features Ethan Hawke, starts with a voice recording from lead singer Patrick Stump talking about his childhood and losing his father. The song tugs on fans’ heartstrings, bringing them closer to the band. One of the shorter songs on the album, it packs the punch it needed to.
Other tracks on the album include “Heaven, Iowa,” a slower song about love and pain. The song details the concept of ‘star crossed lovers,’ a common theme in pop punk love anthems. It breaks up some of the heavier and faster songs and is perfectly placed in the album. It slows down the energy just for the album to keep kicking right after.
The song “The Kintsugi Kid (Ten Years)” pays homage to movies of the past. With a similar bass riff to that of the opening of the 1987 vampire cult classic “The Lost Boys,” it exposes some of the inspirations of the album. Much of the album feels inspired by older works of Fall Out Boy and other bands. The album perfectly blends Fall Out Boy’s older tracks with newer works in a way that both new and old fans will enjoy.
The title song “So Much (for) Stardust” closes the album out in the perfect way. This song talks about self-pain and being stuck. It talks about how the singer thought they had it all with someone. This brings the new Fall Out Boy sound and mixes it perfectly with their older albums. It perfectly encapsulates what pop-punk will be for years to come.
Fall Out Boys bring 2013 into 2023 with a great example of what new pop-punk could continue to be. Their newest album raises the bar for contemporary music from similar bands as the pop-punk renaissance takes full swing. Fall Out Boy will be touring this summer with the new album, accompanied by Bring Me The Horizon, Four Year Strong and Royal & The Serpent.
Overall grade: A