Fall Out Boy Returns

by Ama Debrah

Nope, you didn’t just pull a reverse Rip Van Winkle and wake up in the summer of 2007. It’s true, your favorite middle-school obsession is back—Fall Out Boy has finally released a new single since taking an indefinite hiatus in late 2009. On February 4, Fall Out Boy announced that they were releasing a new album, Save Rock and Roll, and going on tour. Four days later, the band released the music video for their first single, and in true Fall Out Boy fashion, the single, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up),” has a long title with no clear meaning. However, this is where the similarities stop. It’s clear from the beginning of the music video that Fall Out Boy is trying to discard their punk-pop emo image from last decade. The beginning of the music video features two women (who have a stunning resemblance to the back up dancers in A$AP Rocky’s video for “F**kinProblems”) throwing a series of items into a bonfire in slow motion. Upon further investigation, we realize that they’re actually burning vestiges of Fall Out Boy’s past, including guitars, concert posters, and most notably, Fall Out Boy’s first album, Take This to Your Grave. Then, 2 Chainz (yes, TWO CHAINZZZZ!) suddenly appears and opens the back door to a van, revealing all four members of Fall Out Boy tied up with bags over their heads. If this wasn’t enough, Fall Out Boy’s television appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live for their new single featured all the members wearing full body glow-in-the-dark skeleton suits.

Fall Out Boy on the Jimmy Kimmel Show

Although the general reception of Fall Out Boy’s new style is hotly contested, I’m actually fine with it. Yes, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” is no “Sugar We’re Goin Down,” but it is an extremely catchy song that I quite enjoy. And yes, the unexplained appearance of 2 Chainz in the music video was a little odd, but I appreciate that Fall Out Boy is attempting to reach a broader audience rather than simply singling out their previous target audience of emotional pre-pubescents. Though some fear that 2 Chainz’s appearance is a signifier of rap/rock collaborations on Fall Out Boy’s new album, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Though some collaborations can go horribly wrong, (see Keane and K’naan’s “StopFor a Minute” or Ellie Goulding and Tinie Tempah’s “Hanging On”), sometimes they can be absolutely fabulous, like “Numb/Encore” with Linkin Park and Jay-Z. The message is clear: Though Fall Out Boy has returned, they understand that the musical climate is much different than it was when they first took to the scene in 2003, and they’re ready to adapt. And I, for one, am excited to see what they bring to the table.

Ama is a junior at Barnard and the New York and On Campus Editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Image from About.com and The Examiner.

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