• Album review: Folie a Deux by Fall Out Boy
  • Album review: Folie a Deux by Fall Out Boy
    Written by battye
    Sun May 17, 2009 12:19 pm

    Again, my album review comes quite a long time since the album was released. The main reason for this is that I like to let the album settle in - it was a good thing I did as well, because since the last few singles were released I have gained a better appreciation for this album.

    The album was initially meant to be released on November 4 to coincide with the US presidential election. The band later felt this was not a good idea, so its release was postponed until December 16 (December 13 in Australia).

    Let's backtrack to September 2008. "I Don't Care" was the first single off the album. It is the main track, and still is the most well known. In much the same vein as "Thnks fr th Mmrs" it is not surprising.

    "Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet" and "What a Catch, Donnie" followed as digital releases on iTunes a little over a month later. Both are extremely under-rated tracks. "Headfirst Slide" is like nothing else Fall Out Boy have released, it is much more monotonous (but becomes less so as the song progresses) than their other work but strangely captivating, largely thanks to a chorus which is quite powerful - in fact, nearly 6 months since it was released it finally struck me just how good this song is.

    But "What a Catch, Donnie" is simply a fantastic track. Fall Out Boy's only ballad. It has always struck me as a "reflective" song. The lyrics go back on Fall Out Boy's journey, with guest appearances by the likes of Elvis Costello, Brendon Urie, Travis McCoy and Alex DeLeon singing parts of the tracks "Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet", "Dance Dance", "Suger, We're Goin Down" and "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs" in tune to the theme of "What a Catch, Donnie". They have gone all out in getting the big names to collaborate on it, and it really is something worth hearing (~3.45 minute mark) - far too hard to explain in words. It should have been a hit release, but made it no higher than 94 on the Billboard Hot 100. Granted it was a digital release, but it seems unlikely that it would be re-released now. In my iTunes library this is the top played song from Folie a Deux - but only just. At 208 plays, it lies only 6 clear of both "I Don't Care" and "20 Dollar Nose Bleed" which are equal second.

    The next official single was "America's Suitehearts" - I'm sure this is a reference to Tina Fey who was labeled as such by Vanity Fair the previous month. "America's Suitehearts" is the second most recognisable track from the album after "I Don't Care" - again, the style of the song is the tried-and-true FOB sound characterised by a catchy chorus. This song was the first single released since the album was made available.

    "She's My Winona", a not-so-subtle reference to actress Winona Rider, was released in Australia in January but didn't receive regular airplay until March. It's airplay on radio was the catalyst to get me to listen to it more, it's play count in iTunes steadily rising thereafter. The same applies to "The (Shipped) Gold Standard" which has also begun airplay in Australia and is most likely going to be the next single.

    "20 Dollar Nose Bleed" doesn't look like it will be released as a single - unfortunate really. It is a very solid song with a unique and memorable chorus. The track itself is a lead-in to "West Coast Smoker", so both songs are best listened to together in that order.

    "Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes" is an interesting one. It never really seemed like anything other than a average-to-decent song, but like "Headfirst Slide" it has taken nearly 6 months to appreciate the repetitiveness of "boycott love" and "detox just to retox" and the accompanying drum beat of the latter.

    Interestingly, besides the two English language Tata Young albums "Temperature Rising" (79) and "I Believe" (57), "Folie a Deux" has the highest play count for its worst performing song (which is W.A.M.S currently with 54 plays). I think this just goes to show how consistently good the songs are in the album, that there are no standout poor songs.

    Folie a Deux is French for "a madness that is shared by two".

    Track listing

    With a total of 19 songs (on the Australian release), you certainly cannot complain about not getting value for money.

    1. Disloyal Order Of Water Buffaloes
    2. I Don't Care
    3. She's My Winona
    4. America's Suitehearts
    5. Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet
    6. The (Shipped) Gold Standard
    7. (Coffee's For Closers)
    8. What A Catch, Donnie
    9. 27
    10. Tiffany Blews
    11. W.A.M.S
    12. 20 Dollar Nose Bleed
    13. West Coast Smoker
    14. I Don't Care (Machine Shop Remix)
    15. America's Suitehearts (South Rakkas Remix)
    16. Pavlove
    17. America's Suitehearts (Acoustic)
    18. What A Catch, Donnie (Acoustic)
    19. Beat It
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