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So Much (For) Stardust: First Impressions

FALL OUT BOY IS BACK! Figured I'd note down my first impressions of each of the songs on the album!
Love From The Other Side: Technically not a first impression, since it was a single. You know, at first I was so-so on the instrumental opening, just length-wise, but nah. It's a great opening. "I'd never go, I just want to be invited" is a. banger line. Idgaf if it's corny. It's REAL. Such a fantastic, "YEAH BABEY ROCK IS FUCKING BACK" intro to the album. In their recent Kerrang! interview, they talk about how they work to make a song sound whole. Make sure nothing is missing. And damn! That's true! It does just feel magnificently full. Pete also says this song "feels like Infinity On High but in a way that we couldn’t have ever made it then," and as a IOH lover, you've won me over!

Heartbreak Feels So Good: Another not-technically-first impression, another single. It's impossible to choose which single I favor. "We can dance the tears away" is another line that resonates so hard with me. Another just fantastically well-built, whole song. Again in that Kerrang! article, Patrick says this album is about an "adult anger," a kind of anger you don't experience when you're 16 and can just slam your door and kick the wall. An anger you're forced to repress because you have responsibilities. And though I don't think FOB expected this to resonate with a twenty-year-old, I have the burden of a lot of responsibility, both external and self-imposed, that really makes this concept hit close to home. This song definitely exemplifies that.

Hold Me Like a Grudge: Also, just barely not a first impression. I heard it less than an hour ago live on The Tonight Show. And it left me SPEECHLESS. Patrick's vocals? Never been better. "Can't do it on my own / Part-time soulmate, full-time problem / So hold me like a grudge" Oh my god. The guitar on this song? Fucking stellar. I'm seriously just still floored by this one. It's... it's like they've said multiple times now, this isn't "nostalgia." This isn't a callback to old Fall Out Boy. It's new. And it's fucking fantastic.

Fake Out: A bit of a mood change! "Or do I just need more therapy?" So true bestie! "Make no plans, and none can be broken." Another lyric that hits close to home, as someone who struggles trusting people, and reacts poorly at perceived rejection.

Heaven, Iowa: Another mood change! "Half your life, you've been hooked on death." Oh Pete Wentz, my beloved... OOH I just got to the point where the guitar and drums come in. Such a great buildup, and such a fantastic use of Patrick's vocals. In that same article I keep referencing, it mentions how Patrick was scared of kind of his voice " feeling naked." He shouldn't be.

So Good Right Now: Kicks in pretty high-energy! Reminds me of the start of Young Volcanoes, almost? Very different otherwise though! The band talked about there being Motown influences in this song, I kind of hear it! Definitely toned down, as they said, though."I know I've made mistakes, I know, I know, but at least they were mine to make, mine to make." I love these lyrics I don't know man they just resonate, and the rhythm of them are great. I'm not a leading man, I'm crashing and burning, but if you ask, I'm feeling so good right now!

The Pink Seashell: This is simply a minute-long interlude that uses a clip of Ethan Hawke's character from the movie Reality Bites (1994) It's a really depressing line, too. Rather brutal.Apparently this film is a favorite of Pete Wentz.

I Am My Own Muse: THE ENERGY IN THIS ONE JUST RIGHT OFF THE BAT! GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY! I'm struggling so hard to keep writing anything coherent I'm just awestruck by this entire album. This is another one where that idea of a song being "whole," not missing a single piece, but not having too much, really stands out. THE STRING SECTION! "I'm trying to keep it together..." Patrick Stump's scoring and soundtrack influences come through here too, with the full orchestra and all. It's fucking... majestic.

Flu Game: ANOTHER BANGER I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT FROM ME! "I've got all this love I've got to keep to myself / All this effort to make it look effortless" This album is coming for my entire soul... so many of these lyrics have me like ...haha, I do that!

Baby Annihilation: Another interlude, but this one is Pete Wentz speaking. My god... I could write an entire essay on this. Instead I will keep it all inside my head. My god. I'm not usually the hugest fan of interludes in albums but these really let you catch your breath, while being on-theme and fucking brutal.

The Kintsugi Kid (Ten Years): Starts a little slower but picks up! Another reference to drugs, wanting to die, for a large amount of one's life. "I spent ten years, ten years, in a bit of chemical haze, and I missed the way that I felt nothing, nothing." It's like a window into Pete Wentz's self reflection, looking back on his youth. It's... I keep saying brutal but that's what it is! Why is there a small child barking at the end-

What a Time To Be Alive: I LOVE HOW THIS SONG OPENS. AW LORD ITS SO GOOD. Won't try to transcribe the lyrics just yet because there's one or two lines I might mishear just slightly, but I fucking. Love them! And the bitterness of the lyric and title "what a time to be alive..." spoiler, it's a bad time to be alive. At least a little bit. This is one of the few songs that's explicitly written post-pandemic, talks about quarantine and other things. Best to do it!

So Much (For) Stardust: Oh god I'm scared for this one based on what the band has said about it. Starts with violin and piano, very different... AW GOD IT'S SO GOOD... the trumpet sting... the lyrics... "my pain isn't cool enough" I'm short-circuiting. How do I go about being a normal person in normal society after this. Christ, the repeat of the lyrics from Heartbreak Feels So Good... I'm on the fucking floor... I know the FOB renaissance has already killed Panic! at the Disco but the raw power of this album is going to kill someone else, mark my words...

I don't even have any closing remarks I need to process this shit. They said it's their best album to date. I saw people who attended the listening parties say it was their best album to date. I still couldn't believe it but... holy fucking bingle

3 Kudos


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