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CD Reviews:
The Listening Room: Fall Out Boy, The Decemberists, Marilyn Manson. Sleater Kinney and more...
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Fall Out Boy

"American Beauty/American Psycho"

(Island)

Grade: B-


When it released 2013's "Save Rock and Roll" after a four-year hiatus, Fall Out Boy promised it was back to stay and didn't waste much time proving it -- or in pushing its sound even further on its sixth studio album. The 11-track enterprise is a gleeful and episodically successful mess, a lyrically bleak set (likely to chase away those who prefer punky guitar crunch (Joe Trohman's and Patrick Stump's six strings are buried and barely audible throughout) but does establish the quartet's desire to stand alongside Imagine Dragons, Maroon5 and even Kanye West and Jay Z in the contemporary marketplace. The big, bash beats and anthemic choruses aof "Irresistible," "Centuries," "Jet Pack Blues" and "Fourth of July" are exuberant pop/R&B/hip-hop mash-ups while "The Kids Aren't Alright" starts with a de rigeur whistle and "Novocaine" has a sugary, nah-nah appeal that belies its violent lyrical imagery. Fall Out Boy tosses a few curveball samples into the mix, too -- Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner" into "Centuries," Motley Crue`s "Too Fast For Love" in the driving title track (the album's nod to the group`s punk past), Son Lux`s "Lost It To Trying" in "Fourth of July" and the "Munsters" theme in "Uma Thurman," which sounds pretty much as silly as it looks on paper. It's a stretch in a number of different directions, an aural candy shop that's big on sonic fun if not entirely nutritious.

New & Noteworthy

Woody Allen, "The Stand-Up Years 1964-1968" (Razor & Tie): Something a little different; the reissue of Allen's comedy club compendium from before he became a film auteur. No surprise; he's a very funny guy.

The Decemberists, "What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World" (Capitol): The Portland group returns form a hiatus following 2011's chart-topping "The King Is Dead" with its seventh studio album.

Lupe Fiasco, "Tetsuo & Youth" (1st & 15th/Atlantic): the Chicago-born rapper is joined on his fifth album by Ty Dolla $ign, Nikki Jean, Trae the Truth, Guy Sebastian and more.

Marilyn Manson, "The Pale Emperor" (Hell, etc.): The shock rocker and "Sons of Anarchy" star's first new set in three years was inspired by a book good pal Johnny Depp gave him back in 2000.

Sleater-Kinney, "No Cities To Love" (Sub Pop): The all-female Seattle rock trio's eighth album is its first in a decade and first since reuniting in 2014 after nearly eight years apart.

Dr. Ralph Stanley, "Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow" (Cracker Barrel): The bluegrass legend is joined by pals such as Robert Plant, Josh Turner, Lee Ann Womack, Elvis Costello, Dierks Bentley and more on this collaborative collection.

Also Out: Above & Beyond, "We Are All We Need" (Ultra); Joey Bada$$, "B4.DA $$" (Cinematic/Relentless): Belle and Sebastian, "Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance" (Matador); Ryan Bingham, "Fear & Saturday Night" (Axster Bingham); Pat Boone, "Legacy" (Lamb & Lion); Jim Ed Brown, "In Style Again" (Plowboy); Caitlin Canty, "Reckless Skyline" (self-released); Etienne De Crecy, "Super Discount 3" (Ultra); Mikky Ekko, "Time" (RCA); Enter Shikari, "The Mindsweep" (Hopeless); King Crimson, "Live at the Orpheum" (Discipline Global Mobile); Phil Perry, "Better Man" (Shanachie); Red Baraat, "Gaadi Of Truth" (Sinj); Josh Ritter, "Acoustic Live Vol. 1" (self-released); Serious Black, "As Daylight Breaks" (Massacre); Sodom, "Sacred Warpath" (SPV); Tanya Tagaq, "Animism" (Six Shooter); Various Artists, "Back Against the Wall -- A Tribute to Pink Floyd" (Cleopatra); Various Artists, "2015 Grammy Nominees" (RCA);

From The Vaults: Jackson Browne and David Lindley, "Live at the Main Point 1973" (Echoes); Chavez, "Ride the Fader" (Matador); Extreme, "Extreme II: Pornograffiti (Deluxe Edition)" (Interscope/UMe)

Soundtracks: "On The Town: New Broadway Cast Recording" (P.S. Classics)

New Music DVDs: Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, "Cheek to Cheek -- Live" (Interscope); John Oates, "Another Good Road" (Phunk Shui)

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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