Folie à deux review by Fall Out Boy

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  • Released: Dec 16, 2008
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 7 (349 votes)
Fall Out Boy: Folie à deux
5

Sound — 6
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.

Lyrics — 7
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.

Overall Impression — 6
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.

136 comments sorted by best / new / date

    G-loony
    Melodic_Rocker wrote: Who came up with some the songs names? I don't understand why this band is still around
    Because tiny teenage girls who have no clue what they're gonna do with theire lives listen to them. I'm more concerned about the fact that theire fans are teenage girls and the album cover kind of shows a close resemblance to pedobear.
    bjovi400
    Oli_88 wrote: Melodic_Rocker wrote: Who came up with some the songs names? I don't understand why this band is still around You'd kill yourself if you saw some of The Fall Of Troys song titles.
    Song titles for The Devil Wears Prada?
    red157
    "Band flaming results in a warning." What about excessive band support? That's more ridiculous.
    Cosmia
    This album is a grower, for sure. The fact that they put most of the best songs on iTunes far ahead of the album's release didn't help much. And lol at all of the emo sucks/fob sucks comments. I knew that would happen.
    gdpunkdude
    i've been an on-off fan of fall out boy and i think i'll buy this album and give them one last chance. it doesn't sound too promising tho. they try a little too hard to be what everyone else wants them to be. i wish they would start being a rock band again like with take this to your grave.
    PrettyxOdd
    "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." wait...i cant tell, was that an insult toward Panic?
    Sloane
    "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." shoulda got Mark Hoppus to produce it then
    Vaudevillian
    Im going to carry earplugs around incase i hear this on a radio or something, sounds awful.
    MaidMaria1
    I find that to be pretty harsh but I realise that they are very controversial and a lot of people passionately hate them I am a die-hard fan and like all of their stuff, early and new. I guess the people that hate them wont change, and the people that love them wont change either. I haven't got it yet but from what I have heard of it, I love it. xD
    AndyVanHalen
    I've never really liked FOB, but I just listened to the album through and it's pretty decent. There are alot worse pop records out there, that's for sure.
    Ghrim
    Slayer 101 wrote: god i hate emo music. always the same old recycled taking back sunday riffs and like the same 4 power chords. but in other news. . . it seems that grunge is making a come back. alice in chains is back together bout to go on tour and into the studio. green river and dinosaur jr. is getting back together. i hope that grunge comes back and does the same to emo/punk that it did to hair metal and snap all these kids out of there Mtv commas. - god save the scene Hate to break it to you, but Taking Back Sunday arent emo and neither is Fal out Boy. TBS Is 99999 times better than Slayer any day. I'd even venture to say that Fall out Boy is better than slayer.
    I lol'd...you're funneh.
    DeltaFunk
    What the hell happened to stuff like Dead On Arrival? That was the only song the ever did any good on, back when they were punk, but now they're crappy Pop-Punk Sell-outs.
    friskymuffin
    To all those who listened to the album and gave it a fair comment, well done. I've been a fan from the start, from TTTYG right up to IOH, and Infinity On High was probably my favourite of the lot (which seems to leave me in a minority against all the TTTYG loving ex-FOB fans). This album has some great songs. Sure it's more pop than even IOH, but they're developing as a band and this is a good record. Some of the collaborations work, others don't. Some of the production is a little too grandiose for my liking too. But overall, a good album. And definitely a grower. I'd recommend all FOB fans to get this, regardless of which of their back catalogue is their favourite. The last two songs on the album - 20 Dollar Nose Bleed and West Coast Smoker - are just fantastic.
    Deezlink
    anywho, future generations will make fun of the 2000s, just as we make fun of the 80s, for some of the really AWFUL styles and music that emerged from the eras. the only difference the guitar players in the 80s had talent. future generations wont know what we were thinking, and neither will we. the 2000s is definitely a low in music, thanks to bands like FOB. god save us.
    Wouldn't that be nickleback? Seriously, no one is going to change anyone's opinions. Let the obsessed "I love my one genre and anything else sucks" people stay in their one genre.
    PinkIsCool
    HELLAWAITS88 wrote: jtalep: There are other bands around with way more talent but not as well heard of and it sucks. SO true dude...and it's because some music appeals to very simple minded, stupid, people (or teenage girls), that don't know (or know yet) what good music is...and yes it sucks that there are so many dumb asses out there.
    Woah there dude.... don't you think it's a LITTLE closed minded to call someone "stupid" because they like a certain kind of music?
    godspeed513
    on my scale this would probably be their third best.....from under the cork tree was theyre best....then TTTYG.... new cd sounds good i like it.
    intothe
    I actually like Take this to your grave and From under the cork tree and think they kinda went downhill from there. Infinity on high had some alright tracks and so did this new one, but nothing that beats the older imo..
    cxrlxscr
    MasterExploder0 wrote: QuantumMechanix wrote: Slayer 101 wrote: god i hate emo music. always the same old recycled taking back sunday riffs and like the same 4 power chords. but in other news. . . it seems that grunge is making a come back. alice in chains is back together bout to go on tour and into the studio. green river and dinosaur jr. is getting back together. i hope that grunge comes back and does the same to emo/punk that it did to hair metal and snap all these kids out of there Mtv commas. - god save the scene Hate to break it to you, but Taking Back Sunday arent emo and neither is Fal out Boy. TBS Is 99999 times better than Slayer any day. I'd even venture to say that Fall out Boy is better than slayer. Sorry bro but TBS IS emo (Idt FOB really is) and there's no way in hell they're better than Slayer. I don't even like Slayer but they're better in every way compared to bands like TBS.
    Moss Icon is emo, Taking Back Sunday isn't. Do both bands sound alike? No, because they belong to different genres. TBS is just pop-punk.
    alam
    they did terrible.. honestly. under the cork tree was the best. then the one that came out in 2007.. duno its name.. but they should com up anothr album b4 2009
    Kevy Absolution
    I, too, will be one of the few people with the balls to say I like this album. Yes, it has flaws, but overall I like it. What I find ridiculous are those who put down others for liking this type of music. It's ridiculous. Sorry that I'm not hardcore metal and wear my hair down my back like a woman.
    qotsa1998
    Tbh, I really am not a Fall Out Boy fan. I do kinda like their old stuff, it reminds me of how Hit The Lights was before they changed singers: catchy, memorable, very much punk-influenced but poppy, and good. But for any even formerly punk band to have a guest spot by an over-hyped rapper on an original song, thats just a bit too far in the pop direction. I Dont Care sounds like one of the many rock-inspired pop songs, with lyrics much like Pink would write. I honestly think that, altho im only judging by the lead single and past efforts from them, that this is their poppiest effort yet. For guys that warm up with Pantera riffs and have a drummer like Hurley(best member of the band imo), they have very little metal or punk left in em it seems.
    DrShreddington
    Any album starring Lil Wayne is doomed to fail, I would rather have my 8 year old siblings singing on my solo album than have Lil Wayne touch my microphone.
    bigz6006
    Toastbot wrote: Slayer 101 wrote: god i hate emo music. always the same old recycled taking back sunday riffs and like the same 4 power chords. but in other news. . . it seems that grunge is making a come back. alice in chains is back together bout to go on tour and into the studio. green river and dinosaur jr. is getting back together. i hope that grunge comes back and does the same to emo/punk that it did to hair metal and snap all these kids out of there Mtv commas. - god save the scene Hate to break it to you, but Fall Out Boy isn't emo.
    Type in Fall Out Boy on google and on their home page description, it says so.
    padgea7x
    NoQuarter1 wrote: dude tbf saying i bet you couldn't do it is such a lame argument... and grow some balls because some of us will prefer heavier music? and because we dont like fall out boy that means we got no ****ing balls? you realise how funny that sounds if you like fall out boy - you got balls LOL
    you got balls if you can listen to angela gossow all day
    MasterExploder0
    QuantumMechanix wrote: Slayer 101 wrote: god i hate emo music. always the same old recycled taking back sunday riffs and like the same 4 power chords. but in other news. . . it seems that grunge is making a come back. alice in chains is back together bout to go on tour and into the studio. green river and dinosaur jr. is getting back together. i hope that grunge comes back and does the same to emo/punk that it did to hair metal and snap all these kids out of there Mtv commas. - god save the scene Hate to break it to you, but Taking Back Sunday arent emo and neither is Fal out Boy. TBS Is 99999 times better than Slayer any day. I'd even venture to say that Fall out Boy is better than slayer.
    Sorry bro but TBS IS emo (Idt FOB really is) and there's no way in hell they're better than Slayer. I don't even like Slayer but they're better in every way compared to bands like TBS. Anyway, I have noo interest in this album whatsoever. They completely lost me after IFOH and the fact that Lil' Wayne is on one of the tracks just makes me sick. I did enjoy Take This to Your Grave though.
    koalabacon
    Kevy Absolution wrote: Sorry that I'm not hardcore metal and wear my hair down my back like a woman.
    of course youre not hardcore metal. thats a kind of music. if you dont like wearing your hair down your back like a woman, then why do you like listening to men who sound like them? in all seriousness, call zakk wylde a woman. hes a real woman huh?
    ChemyVamp
    okay just to clear that rofl "this review... i really like this album grow up UG"
    von Ziegler
    what a shame it is to have my favorite punk rock band turned into a techno-pop band
    stradivari310
    Honestly I think the production on this album is the best (as in best suited to the music) since TTTYG. The guitars sound much better, and the vocal harmonies aren't so overpowering. Everything (except some of the guest vocalists) is very clear in the mix. If you actually know anything about the band you'll realize that they ARE making music that they like. Patrick Stump loves pop music, and in a way FOB has gotten some dignity back for the genre.
    Jay Sanderson
    I quite liked the album. I think the production turned out alright. The lyrics are good. Better than Infinity on high. Best song on the album for me is Wams or coffee's for closers. I would suggest giving it a listen before you jump on the bandwagon and start bashing it.
    knoxgoalie
    Metallidethium wrote: knoxgoalie : it's kinda retarded that people who don't like fall out boy spend more time talkin about them then the bands they actually do like. go post about the bands you like and leave fob alone i can guarantee all these kids saying "there are a lot of bands better than them" are kids who are in bands that haven't gotten anywhere, there's a reason fob has gotten this big and you are still practicing in your garage. they have gotten somewhere becasue they appeal to the radio audience not because of how hard working they are. not to flame fall out boy because i do enjoy some of their music but there are plenty of good bands out there that havn't been discovered because they scare teenage girls..lol. will give this album a spin
    0 i never said anything about hard working, i'm just saying that certain bands make it and deserve the benefit of the doubt when they try something different. just cuz it's not scream-o doesn't mean they sold out or anything like that
    Toastbot
    Slayer 101 wrote: god i hate emo music. always the same old recycled taking back sunday riffs and like the same 4 power chords. but in other news. . . it seems that grunge is making a come back. alice in chains is back together bout to go on tour and into the studio. green river and dinosaur jr. is getting back together. i hope that grunge comes back and does the same to emo/punk that it did to hair metal and snap all these kids out of there Mtv commas. - god save the scene
    Hate to break it to you, but Fall Out Boy isn't emo.
    Soozy
    From the first single, I don't have high hopes for this cd at all. FOB's just trying to put out commercialized music as quick as they can because they know the spotlight's going to fade soon. And I think it will after this one. Hopefully, they'll go back to making music like they used to.
    Solo Wing
    I can't say that i like it. I Though that take this to your grave was decent, nothing special but not horrible. I really can't stand this album but i get that some of you guys can like this. Also, the pedobear cover is pretty damn amazing lol
    LOLhahaDEAD
    The album itself is solid, but like the reviewer said, the production kind of kills it. I still find it enjoyable to listen to, though.
    Deezlink
    if you dont like wearing your hair down your back like a woman, then why do you like listening to men who sound like them? in all seriousness, call zakk wylde a woman. hes a real woman huh?
    Seriously, I love how people react when the argument starts to insult their interests. Nice save man. Obviously Fall Out Boy is a group of all woman because you don't like them.
    GriphithxD
    xxhardlovexx wrote: ok i dont have time to read all the comments dissing fall out boy, but i thought folie a deux was AMAZING. if u really hate fall out boy this much, and you cant stand them, why are you here
    cuz we like to make fun of them, we love them cuz they suck
    QuantumMechanix
    Slayer 101 wrote: god i hate emo music. always the same old recycled taking back sunday riffs and like the same 4 power chords. but in other news. . . it seems that grunge is making a come back. alice in chains is back together bout to go on tour and into the studio. green river and dinosaur jr. is getting back together. i hope that grunge comes back and does the same to emo/punk that it did to hair metal and snap all these kids out of there Mtv commas. - god save the scene Hate to break it to you, but Taking Back Sunday arent emo and neither is Fal out Boy. TBS Is 99999 times better than Slayer any day. I'd even venture to say that Fall out Boy is better than slayer.
    MusicMan24
    FALL OUT BOY IS ONE OF THE BEST BANDS OF THE 21ST CENTURY, SO ALL YOU JACKASSES WHO SAY THEY SUCK AND SHIT, WHY DON'T YOU ALL SCREW YOURSELVES CUZ JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T LIKE THE MUSIC DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO INSULT IT.
    knoxgoalie
    it's kinda retarded that people who don't like fall out boy spend more time talkin about them then the bands they actually do like. go post about the bands you like and leave fob alone i can guarantee all these kids saying "there are a lot of bands better than them" are kids who are in bands that haven't gotten anywhere, there's a reason fob has gotten this big and you are still practicing in your garage.
    abel1389
    lol. "they've reached their maximum commercial appeal." that's kinda what's sad about them.
    FenrirXE
    Did they make this album in Russia? In Soviet Russia, Pedobear rides you!
    koalabacon
    Deezlink wrote: if you dont like wearing your hair down your back like a woman, then why do you like listening to men who sound like them? in all seriousness, call zakk wylde a woman. hes a real woman huh? Seriously, I love how people react when the argument starts to insult their interests. Nice save man. Obviously Fall Out Boy is a group of all woman because you don't like them.
    first of all, you need to improve your reading skills. i never said they were women, i said they SOUND like em. and before he insults wearing long hair and calling it a woman-like, he needs to make sure theres nothing sexist we can say back, ie, the singer from FOB sounding like a girl[the music he listens to], and wentz being a total dildo[have you seen his sig bass?!]. so before you try to judge me, actually read what your commenting on. youre not clever.
    Punkguitar07
    mitch311 wrote: Do any of you people here who like this band have any decent guitar skills?
    Score! Something new to add to my list of the most ignorant things ever said on the internet. Pwnd!!
    Punkguitar07
    Why does this website even bother posting reviews for albums like this? People here are so biased against the genre that there's no chance of an honest review (Note how the reviewer pretty clearly says the vocals and lyrics are really good, but only gives them a 7 compared to the 6's he gives elsewhere).