Released: Dec 16, 2008
Genre: Alternative-Rock, Pop
Label: Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen/Island Records
Number Of Tracks: 13
Once a full-on pop-punk band, Fall Out Boy reach for maximum commercial appeal on this collection of R&B, dance, and pop laced rock.
Folie A Deux
UG Team, on december 16, 2008 19 of 34 people found this review helpful
Sound: Love them or hate them, Fall Out Boy wrote a couple of hyper-infectious pop-punk early on in their career. It's easy to hate a media whore like Pete Wentz but the combination of his snarky lyrics and Patrick Stump's candy-coated vocal melodies made for some guilty-pleasure listening. As the band's profile has risen, they've slowly shed the pop-punk tendencies of their first two albums and opened up their sound to a host of new influences. On last year's Infinity On High the Chicago combo even brought in R&B hitmaker Babyface to lend his touch to the proceedings. If that doesn't give you a hint of what they were up to, nothing will.
On Folie Deux Fall Out Boy take their pop aspirations even further. So if you gave up on the group after their last album, this one isn't going to bring you back. The list of collaborators says it all. Lil Wayne, Pharrell Williams, and even Blondie's Deborah Harry make appearances never adding anything worthwhile enough to warrant their presence here. Tiffany Blews features a rap from Lil Wayne but it comes off like a failed moment of experimentation that it does as anything worthwhile. Even Elvis Costello's guest spot on the clumsily titled What a Catch, Donnie doesn't save the song from being a complete trainwreck. On this one, the band tries taking the ballad approach but the bloated arrangement suffocates the track in the end. Actually, most of the album is held back by its own inflated production ideas. // 6
Lyrics: Despite Folie Deux's many failures; Stump still delivers the goods on his end in the vocal department. Unfortunately the synthetic and overstuffed production values often squish his voice leaving you longing for acoustic versions of many of these songs. But the frontman manages to squeeze through some inspired work here. His honeyed vocals on "Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes reminds you why a big part of FOB's success has been his memorable melody lines. He has complete command over his higher register and uses it to powerful effect throughout the album like in the chorus to the aforementioned What a Catch, Donnie. In terms of the lyrics, Wentz brings his A game. His wordplay is as engaging and biting as ever. He has Stump sing Does your husband know the way that the sunshine gleams from your wedding band, on Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet creating the kind of line teenaged girls will be quoting on their MySpace profiles in the process. So while the album misses the mark on many levels, the singing and lyrics aren't the culprits here. // 7
Overall Impression: Producer Neal Avron commits ProTool overkill on Folie Deux and while FOB were aiming for the rafters in terms of commerciality, it still sucks the life out of the material here. Joe Trohman and Stump's guitars sound like they are coming out of army of Line 6 Pods instead of actual amplifiers. The guitars, and the bass and drums for that matter, are the victims of oversaturation and at this point in the game you would think a veteran like Avron would know better. Everything just sounds overblown and processed. This overtly digital production style might work for say, an Akon or Britney Spears album but it fails here. A touch of imperfection here and there would have done the record good. Look, there's no doubt the band are great at what they do but there's something to say about knowing your strengths and honing in on them. Like their label mates, Panic At The Disco, Fall Out Boy should focus on their infectious melodies more and lay off of the grandiose production values. While both Stump and Wentz once again prove they are forces to reckon with, they also show us here that they need the right person behind the mixing board to help them edit themselves. Time will tell if this album sells the kinds of numbers the band obviously is shooting for but here's to hoping they revisit the simpler, streamlined approach of their older material next time out. // 6
Folie A Deux
takenthecannoli, on march 19, 2013 8 of 10 people found this review helpful
Sound: Fall Out Boy entered the studio for recording of "Folie A Deux" (2008) after a bizarre relationship with the media (reflected in some of "Infinity On High", 2007 and the Great Wentz Reveal of 2006) and an apparent need to prove something (again, "Infinity"). With 2007's critically lukewarm release, the band's fanbase began to split between pretentious "I was listening to their terrible EP in the old days" fans and the obnoxious "I love Fall Out Boy's whole collection; both 'This Ain't A Scene' AND 'Thnks Fr Th Mmrs'" type. Whether this impacted the follow-up or not is up for debate, though singer/guitarist Patrick Stump stated that he intended for "Folie" to feature a bit less... Well, him. Bizarrely enough, he seems to believe there was anything else featured on "Infinity" worth listening to.
At the outset of "Folie", the band has clearly taken an entirely new (for them) direction, though 70s-80s glam-lovers will certainly pick up on the Van Halen stomp in "Disloyal Order Of Water Buffaloes". Similarly, "Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet" has some of the same hooks as the bands in the generation just preceding Fall Out Boy (namely, those who grew up on 80s hits). Die-hard fans of 2005's "From Under The Cork Tree" will probably whine distressing stories from the band report booing from crowds when they performed new songs.
Shows you what they know.
Contrary to the outcry from whatever very vocal group of bubblegum punk lovers, "Folie" is undoubtedly the band's strongest release to date. The multi-layered instrumentation, creative insertion of various inspiration (from Prince to Billy Joel), and overall performances - even from Wentz this time! - delight from the first cut to the abrupt drop into silence at the end of "West Coast Smoker". Fall Out Boy's guitar work hasn't generally been bad; here, it's often marvelous. Drummer Andy Hurley steps into the spotlight more often than before. Rather than directly follow or out-Infinity "Infinity", the band takes more chances and succeeds with greater results than ever before.
Unlike "Infinity", few songs (if any) muddle into the rest; each has a readily distinguishable character. "She's My Winona" is an alternation between typical Fall Out Boy chorus (particularly with the guitar) and an entirely new funk; "Tiffany Blews" is a sensual groove with a hint of danger; at the center of the record is the impossibly good "What A Catch, Donnie", one of the record's only autobiographical tracks with a "Hey, Jude" recollection of the band's previous work near the end and an astounding performance from Stump. "America's Suitehearts" rolls in with a delightful dream sequence of harmonies, later revisited in "W.A.M.S.", which includes a capella work from Stump.
Despite Generation Y's outrageous entitlement to "being there first", anyone still rocking "Take This To Your Grave" is in for a sore disappointment Fall Out Boy has moved on to bigger and better things. If "From Under The Cork Tree" was last year's "The Clash", this is "London Calling". It's simply more fun, and there's more fun to be had more substance. The composition especially has taken an incredible leap, rivaling 2000s giants "American Idiot" and "The Black Parade". "Folie A Deux" finally moves Fall Out Boy out of the basements of 14-year-olds and one step closer to truly deserved superstardom. // 7
Lyrics: Stump's "less me" desire certainly didn't seem to make it all the way through the door; the record showcases his abilities in a greater capacity than any previous release, whether vocally or musically. This is neither a burden nor an obstruction; as an incredibly capable singer, Stump powerfully highlights bassist Pete Wentz's vocals, whether music accompanies or not (see hidden opener "Lullabye"). If anything, Stump is the band's greatest asset various members have, at times, described him as the "mad scientist" of composition within the band. Nowhere is his musical deftness, or his vocal talent, more evident than on "Folie".
Stump has occasionally showcased soul-inspired vocals with Fall Out Boy, most notably on "Infinity"'s lead single, "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race", even parodying himself forcefully belting in its music video. With "Folie A Deux", what Stump later coined as "soul punk" is in full effect, from thrilling vibrato to incredible tenor range ("The (Shipped) Gold Standard"). Duality between the stylistic shifts in the music and Stump's vocal work is a sound to behold; while the band's singles have been catchy, never before has any track been entirely worth listening to purely for the work put into it.
Wentz steps up with his lyrical work as well, though has done so to some degree with each release. "Folie" is less of the band's typical sexed-up failed romance though shadows of it are present in "27" and more of "Grave"'s self-doubt mixed with inflated ego and a healthy dose of social commentary. Tracks like "(Coffee's For Closers)" suggest the mutual benefit between salespeople and their customers; each needing the other and so on; Western fascination with its broken idols is spotlighted in "America's Suitehearts". All in all, it isn't necessarily more profound than anything Wentz has written before, but it puts the band's narrator in a position of greater self-awareness.
"Folie A Deux" sees a vocally realized and lyrically mature Fall Out Boy; Stump certainly didn't keep his promise to step aside (or so), and the record is better for it. Wentz seemed to finally put aside his fascination with himself (it was all over "Infinity") and finally put the cliches and tongue-in-cheek commentary to work. A few guest vocalists ("What A Catch, Donnie" features Elvis Costello and others; "20 Dollar Nosebleed" is a duet with Panic! At The Disco's Brendon Urie, "Tiffany Blews" briefly spotlights Lil Wayne) do litter the record, and don't altogether add much, though "Nosebleed" further layers the record with a slightly musical theatre bounce. The moments pass quickly enough that they don't invade, and with or without them, this is a bigger and better band for both lyrical and vocal work. // 7
Overall Impression: Critics of "Folie A Deux" claim the record falls too far from the band's roots, or submit the age-old "it just isn't them". On the contrary, with this release, the band again proves its capabilities and utter security in the bigger world of music. Never before has their identity been more certain, never before have they produced such eloquently constructed music. The vaguely concept-album feel is not only tackled by the band; it is mastered. "Folie A Deux" finally gives Fall Out Boy access to the best-of-the-2000s club, alongside Muse and Radiohead (admittedly without, in each case, the Twilight connection). Patrick Stump especially steps to the plate with big names like Kanye West, Tom Waits t-shirt in hand. With "Save Rock And Roll" coming in 2013, the band may find difficulty scaling the heights this album reaches. Undoubtedly, listeners will enjoy the ride.
Folie A Deux
thunderstruck56, on december 18, 2008 3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: I'm going to go out on a limb with this one: I liked (most) of this record. No it is not the greatest CD ever made, nor is it bad by any means, it is just average. But for a band whose career was built off being better than average, it comes off as somewhat of a disappointment in the first few listens. But it is one step in the right direction. This album picks up where Infinity on High leaves off. The same melodies are there from the strings from Thks fr the mmrs on (Coffee for Closers) or however you spell that horrid song, but this time around they have been tighter wound and sent through pro tools. It is easy to make comparisons to songs on Infinity On High from the bombastic opener "Disloyal Order of the Water Buffalo" is very similar to "Thriller" and the clanky pop guitar driven "The (Shipped) Gold Standard" sounds quite a lot like "I'm Like a Lawyer the way I am coming between (Me and You)". But this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is almost like FOB took these songs and said "How could improve and reuse this riff or idea?" and bam new songs. The first 9 songs were great, they were all relatively instrumentally strong, and what you would come to expect, and it all ironically climaxed with "What A Catch Donnie" a slow piano ballad that was a reflection of their career, (Arguably the best song on the CD). This song is an improvement over the piano weepfest that was "Golden". Something about that song reminds me of Pink Floyd. After that it all goes downhill from there.
The last 4 or so songs were barely tolerable. It sounds like they just decided either that they had to rush the album and get it finishing by making lackluster It all begins with "Tiffany Blows" which almost sounds like a chris brown meets michael jackson song and crescendo's with a guest cameo from of all the people in the world Lil Wayne. Just thinking about his little cameo makes me want to throw up. w.a.m.s might as well be elevator music as far as I am concerned, and it is by far the weakest track on the album. Continuing with the elevator music theme from the previous track, "20 Dollar Nose Bleed" just sounds like a mixture of Mannheim Steamroller music and panic at the disco, and just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Finally we end up with West Coast Smoker, which sounds like 70's game show music and just ends abruptly without a definite conclusion. The musicianship on a lot of these songs just sounds lazy, like the bass and drums on most of the tracks, which is a bit of a let down for me because Pete Wentz is one of the few respectable bassists left in the world, and Andy Hurley's drums are usually top notch. But what they lack in bass, they compensate with keyboards and strings. // 6
Lyrics: Patrick Stump really outdoes himself on this album, and while the other members of the band sound they are going through the motions, Stump pushes himself to sound better than did on the last album. This just cements himself as one of the greatest modern singers. There are just too many moments on the CD that gave me chills down my spine when he belts out with his echoy croon. The most memorable being the song "What A Catch Donnie", a slow piano number where Stump shows off his singing skills. Stump also shows off the extent of his vocal range in the song "Head First Slide into Cooperstown on a bad bet" (a song dedicated to Pete Rose, the greatest shortstop who ever lived) where he goes into a note that is so low it almost sounds like it is being played in slow motion. My only complaint about his singing would be on the song w.a.m.s. His voice goes all over the place, and it just isn't pretty to listen. His instrument is fine tuned, but I wish I could say the same thing about the lyrics. The lyrics are a bit contrived (Getting famous, not wanting the fame but secretly wanting it) Pete Wentz isn't necessarily getting lazy, but he is just too happy to write about the pain and heartbreak that made him famous. I used to be able to identify with his lyrics about loosing your girlfriend to an asshole etc. I can't really identify with him on songs like "America's Suitehearts" when he talks about self indulgence. Plus Wentz has lost his ability to use clever wordplay. But thThe lyrical stand outs would have to be the "Disloyal Order", "Headfirst Slide", and "What a catch Donnie". // 8
Overall Impression: I should have seen this coming awhile back when the first single "I Don't Care" was released, but now that the album, is out it is apparent: I don't think Pete Wentz really gives a shit about his music and what people think about it. He can still make a catchy as hell pop song. but he is rich, happy and married, and all of that really shows on this album. I think this album feels rushed (it was originally scheduled to be released a year to the day after Infinity on High, but it was moved back a few weeks for mysterious reasons) and incomplete. If they had just taken a little bit more time and developed some of the songs a little better and put more musicianship into their songs, this would have easily been an instant classic. No, Fall Out Boy fans will never recieve another "Take This To Your Grave", because Fall Out Boy has the balls to go out on a limb and experiment different types of pop music. Infinity on High went out on a limb in many aspects of their music, and lots of those experimental songs just sucked.
Well they learned from their mistakes and tweaked their formula and made songs that sounded similar to those from Infinity on High, but is far superior. And on top of that, they continue to experiment with new styles of music, but those experimental songs sound happened to sound like crap, and I hope on the next album they learn from those mistakes and find a way to make something amazing. The same thing happened to Weezer this year when they released The Red Album, (except that was so experimental that none of the songs sounded good) Don't let me dissuade you, this CD has some a lot of enjoyable songs on it, the first 9 to be exact, and since the CD costs 9.99 on iTunes, I totally recommend you go buy it because the good song-to-price ratio makes the price tag worth it, and you can be the judge yourself about the 4 remaining slime songs. But if I had to recommend only 3 songs I would choose "Disloyal Order", "Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown" and "What A Catch Donnie". Would I buy it again if it was stolen? Well considering I bought a 100 dollar collectors set version, I'd think likely. But the boys better step up to their A game next time.
On a related note, there were bits and pieces of new Fall Out Boy songs put on a mixtape a few months back and only one of them was put on the album (I Don't Care) Most likely those will be released on a "Deluxe" version with like 8 bonus songs, and if there are some of the songs from the Mixtape on the deluxe, then they will be better than some of the CD songs. // 7
Folie A Deux
st jimmy666, on february 04, 2009 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Fall Out Boy have definitely changed their style from the days of Take This To Your Grave and From Under The Cork Tree. I would say there are only two songs that could really be classed as pop-punk. That said it isn't necessarily a bad thing. Most of the songs sound like those off of Infinity On High but have been improved. She's My Winona sounds a lot like Don't You Know Who I Think I am in the chorus and (Coffee's For Closers) sounds like a heavier version of The (After) Life Of The Party. If Infinity On High was an attempt change their genre then this album takes that ambition even further. // 8
Lyrics: I've always been a fan of the sarcasm that Wentz puts into his lyrics and this album doesn't disappoint. You can still feel the emotion he puts into his songwriting. Patrick Stump is one of favorite singers and his vocals on some of these songs are mind-blowing. he explores his full range in the song What A Catch, Donnie, and on (Coffee's For Closers) he puts a huge amount of effort and emotion into his singing. // 9
Overall Impression: With the exception of Infinity On High, this album is completely different from FOB's others. It is a definite improvement on their last album but I would till love to see them make a return to the old days. If this was lost or stolen I would definitely buy it again. // 8
Folie A Deux
Misery_Business, on february 27, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound of this album is very different from their other albums.Espically when you look back at the timeline from "Take This To Your Grave" to "Folie A Deux". That's not always a bad thing, but then again it's not always not a good thing. The sound is new for Fall Out Boy and it stands out on songs like "27" and "West Coast Smoker". Personally I think they should go back to their old sound but that's just me. They did however sound great with songs like "I Don't Care" and "The Shipped Gold Standard", Both had a great rock feel. Also I thought their collabaration with Brendon Urie from Panic At The Disco was great and definetley made "20 Dollar Nose Bleed" shine on the record. // 8
Lyrics: I've always been a fan of Pete's lyrics. He always hints sarcasm with a hint of seriousness. I think the lyrics on this one we're a bit off, espically in songs like "West Coast Smoker", and "W.A.M.S". Though they stood out on other songs with catchy lyrics.As far as Patrick's singing, I was very very impressed at how he stepped it up vocally for "What A Catch, Donnie" and "Headfirst Slide". Overally I loved most of the lyrics and Patrick's vocals but I wasn't a big fan of the guests (Excluding Bredon Urie) I thought the others were pretty terrible. // 8
Overall Impression: Honestley, you can't compare this to Take This To Your Grave and From Under The Cork Tree since they don't have the same sound at all. Though I love this album I'd definetley like to see them go back to their roots for their next album. The most impressive songs on this album are "What A Catch, Donnie", "Coffee's For Closers" and "I Don't Care". The thing I loved most about the album is how Patrick stepped up vocally and some of the catchy hooks, Though that was slightly overshadowed by the lame collabs with other musicians. I currentley have the '33 vynil of Folie A Deux but if it was stolen I'd definetley buy it again. Overall this was a great album but not as good as the albums that it proceeded. // 8
Folie A Deux
unregistered, on august 10, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This new album of Fall Out Boy's, Folie a Deux has a Sound of like no other, mainly because there is nothing like it out there. With punk sounds of 27 and West Coast Smoker, and the hip hop sounds of Tiffany Blews, the half rock half ballad What a Catch, Donnie, and even the Elevator Music soundings of w.a.m.s. It seems like a soup of music good for anyone, well maybe not thos die-hard punk finatics that loved their first 3 albums, Fall Out Boy's Evening out with your Girlfriend, Take this to your Grave, and From Under the Cork Tree. The sound overall appeals to me as Infinity on High with a little more "Darkness" or Edge in it. However with Singles like I Don't Care and America's Suitehearts on the Radio its hard to get Fall Out Boy out of your head. // 9
Lyrics: According to many interviews Pete Wentz has gone on record saying that for himself personaly the songs on this album are fictional in his life, but appeal to the current generation as the truth. Going very deep in his lyrics Wentz has said that songs like (Coffee's for Closers)is about change in places in the world like Africa, and Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes is how about how fast our gerneration is moving. In Mr. Wentz's lyrics he takes away some of emo stylings like "How misery Love Me" (Dance, Dance) and adds a tad use of drug references in it's place. Patrick Stump keeps up his vocal range on this album in songs like, Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet and The (Shipped) Gold Standard. The Lyrics however seem not to match up with he music for example in the song, She's my Winona the bridge has Bass and immeditly changes to acoustic guitar with no warning. All in all the Lyrics and Singing very well done but room for improvement. // 8
Overall Impression: This Album is like no other, their earlier punk is mainly gone and Infinty on High's Genius is Reinvented. With all the Artists they recorded with Fall Out Boy's sound is the most unique, well besides Panic! at the Discos Pretty. Odd. 60's sound. To me the most Imprssive songs on the album are, Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet, Tiffany Blews, and 20 Dollar Nose Bleed. I Love the Album itself all together, and many songs inspire me greatly. However the second part of the album (27 to the West Coast Smoker) seems out of place and the Artists seem to run out of ideas. If I lost it I Would buy another one, bacause it inspires me and its amazing to hear this band, I mainly think that changing from punk to this was a good idea, but as i said before there is room for improvement. // 9
Folie A Deux
katprocrastine, on january 11, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: On first hearing "I Don't Care" when it was released as a single I was shocked. Not necessarily negatively, but I knew instantly that Fall Out Boy had departed even further from their earlier sound and that this album would be controversial amongst listeners. We heard about the friction between the band members in the studio, although the chemistry between them doesn't come across fragmentated on the album. Far more "tweaked" and "polished" than their past material which some may see as a downside; I think it was overdone to a small extent but where it is done well it is highly effective and gives certain tracks like "Headfist Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet" a rich and sensual sound. Strange adjectives but considering the subject of the songs, I think they were spot on with some of the tracks.
Elements of strange elevator music pop "W.A.M.S" (although the last 30seconds are a refreshing departure), choral music, dabbling in hip-hop "Tiffany Blews" and classic piano ballads "Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes"; it appears as though Fall Out Boy threw a load of interesting musical elements into the mixing pot and the tracks that were created were very much hit and miss with the experimenting. // 7
Lyrics: Wentz has become infamous for his ironic storytelling abilities and self-centred arrogance in his lyrics. Although he claims the album is mainly political, I think the subtlty of the message was mostly missed by the average listener and it could easily be interpreted as having major themes of love, betrayal, jealousy and apathy. In that way, I think it was disappointing that they were attempting to branch out lyrically and didn't quite succeed. However, although what they do have lyrically is nothing spectacularly different or mind-blowing for them; they have been consistently witty with song lyrics and so in that way I was very impressed. // 8
Overall Impression: I was given the deluxe version as a birthday present and on listening to it as a whole; it had me dancing around my room for major parts of it. It is mostly up tempo with heavy beats that stride foward supported by catchy (I hate to say it, because it doesn't make the record horrible to listen to) guitars riffs and the occassional well-thought and unusual chord sequence. Everyone appears to be on good form here; but somehow Stump with his quiet genius manages to outshine them all. As the composer, rhythm guitarist and lead singer, it is not suprising that Stump is the main focus of all the tracks. But not only that; he seems to give everything to every syllable and scat. In my opinion; it is his passion and determination to give the listener an orgasm for the ears that makes this record.
I would classify myself as a Fall Out Boy fan, I would even go so far as to say they are my favourite band; however this album's ability to whip me into a frenzy mellowed after a few months. I love the familiarity of Fall Out Boy's sound embedded in the hit and miss experimentation and I love the acoustic version of "America's Suitehearts" over the full track. I think Fall Out Boy sound their best when stripped down and more of that should have been on this album to counter balance the studio-enhanced sound that seeped through a lot.
If it were lost or stolen (I don't know any thieves with Fall Out Boy fetishes but hey) I would buy it again although I probably wouldn't buy the deluxe version because the two hideous remixes are the most unbareable minutes of anything I've heard and the other acoustics and one original bonus are a once listen on the internet in my opinion.
There are far worse things in the charts and I think that regardless of your opinion on the band; tracks that work: "What a Catch, Donnie" (a dramatic and passionate piano-based build up), "27" (the best if standard Fall Out Boy formulated track on the album), "She's My Winona" (for the middle-8 and head-bopping drum beat)and "Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet" (for Stump's impressive vocal range). The others should be listened to, if only to have a musical gauge of how too musch experimentation can lead a band astray. Live and learn. Hopefully their hiatus will be a big learning curb. // 8