by Sam Russell
Five years after the release of their most controversial album, Fall Out Boy came back stronger than ever with So Much (For) Stardust. Many Fall Out Boy fans love the Chicago native band for their alternative rock sound mixed with frontman and bassist Pete Wentz’s poetic lyrics. Their previous release, MANIA, left many fans disappointed, as it had been so different from the band’s previous albums. MANIA was more of a synthpop sounding album that most fans simply weren’t used to. Due to this, the release of So Much (For) Stardust was both highly anticipated by and nerve-wracking for longtime fans, but Fall Out Boy pulled through.
So Much (For) Stardust could be compared to Taylor Swift’s Midnights, in the sense that it’s a culmination of every style Fall Out Boy has done. From the rock sounds of From Under The Cork Tree to the synthpop of MANIA, Fall Out Boy did an incredible job using elements of each album within So Much (For) Stardust. Starting off strong, So Much (For) Stardust opens with “Love From The Other Side,” the record’s lead single. “Love From The Other Side” paid homage to the intense guitar that can be heard in Fall Out Boy’s older albums, such as Infinity On High. The stark contrast in the amount of guitar between MANIA and So Much (For) Stardust is definitely refreshing, as the latter highlights the incredible talents of guitarist Joe Trohman. It was exciting for fans to see Fall Out Boy return to their roots of guitar heavy music. The guitar also gave the song a more nostalgic feel, recreating the essence of the 2005 grunge scene. While the album’s first single channeled the sound of pre-hiatus Fall Out Boy, many songs successfully channeled Fall Out Boy’s post-hiatus work.
While not a personal favorite from the album, “Heaven, Iowa” did a great job at recreating the sound of MANIA. It was much more experimental and its lyrics described a situation in which there was a messy love story. One thing that has always been timeless and admirable about Fall Out Boy is the lyricism within every song. A poet first and foremost, Pete Wentz has always done a great job working his poetry into songs. The mix of heartfelt lyrics and intense instrumentals makes the music really feel like the musical embodiment of specific emotions. As with “Heaven, Iowa,” listeners could really feel the intensity of this messy love story. It added a nice difference to the classic rock sound of the previous tracks. This song was one of quite a few differences from the first few songs on the album.
Something that has become more popular over the last few years has been adding a speaking track to an album. It’s been popularized by artists such as Billie Eilish and other artists have begun to create them as well. On So Much (For) Stardust, the tracks “Baby Annihilation” and “The Pink Seashell” are speaking tracks done by Pete Wentz and Ethan Hawke, respectively. The speaking tracks of So Much (For) Stardust are reminiscent of the bits of older Fall Out Boy songs like “Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying” and the ending of “20 Dollar Nosebleed.” The speaking tracks make for an interesting break in the midst of songs of different genres. The poetry of the tracks really reminds fans that Pete Wentz doesn’t simply write lyrics, but writes poetry and works it into songs.
After 22 years of making music, people may think that Fall Out Boy isn’t as good as they used to be, or even that they’re ready to quit making music. However, the release of So Much (For) Stardust proves otherwise. Even if a five-year wait between albums was agonizing for fans, it was absolutely worth it. So Much (For) Stardust is a masterpiece both lyrically and instrumentally. The use of movie-score like orchestras and thoughtful metaphors makes every song even better than the last. With the songs that Fall Out Boy chose for this record, anyone who listens will be able to find a song they relate to. After listening to So Much (For) Stardust it’s evident that they’ve done it again; they’ve created another fantastic record that fans will love for years to come.