I can’t explain a thing/ I want everything/ To change to stay the same oh time doesn’t care about anyone or anything now/ Come together, come apart/ Only get lonely when you read the charts/ And oh baby, when they made me, they broke the mold/ Girls used to follow me around then I got cold
The most hilarious thing of all the nonhilarious things about how Folie a Deux was received is that when people say that they like Fall Out Boy but not Folie and you say the words “send-up of American narcissism*” they go “aaah”. It’s like magic. Say the words “send-up of American narcissism” (variations include: “a record about the culture around fame”, “hedonism, apathy, and social constructions”, et cetera) and they’ll go “aaah” and the next time you see each other either they’ll say “I get it now!!!” or “it’s not for me but it’s a good record”, which, what. It’s not like the band did something different with their sound and composition and theme every album, or anything. It’s not like America’s Suitehearts was the most straightforward song in the world, or anything. It’s not like Fall Out Boy have been writing sharp self-referential records their whole career, or anything.
Folie a Deux is claustrophobic windows-down not-not-running-away music, rush-hour-trains/buses-on-expressways uprooted music, not-not-a-cynic music, and probably the only thing that could possibly have been improved on is if these utter idiots pronounced the album title consistently, so that I, too, could pronounce it consistently** during psych, instead of doing what I end up doing, which is imagine Patrick, say “folie a deux” the way he says it, imagine Pete’s face, and then laugh and laugh with no explanations for anybody, which is probably the last thing you should do when in psych. I lost my train of thought there. Folie is- well, the line is “unlike previous FOB records Folie isn’t personal”, which makes me wonder what record everyone else was listening to. Like the personal can’t be political- no, like there’s any other way for the political to be, other than personal. Folie is at once a love letter and an old-fashioned longform, turned outward, looking in.
And- look, Grand Theft Autumn is the Love Song For The Ages and Takeover knows my soul and Seven Minutes is about that time Pete Wentz nearly killed himself in a Best Buy parking lot and without it I might not be alive and quite possibly my heart beats in time to Sugar*** but put a gun to my head and ask me to pick one and it’d probably be this one. It would probably have been this one even way back during my first listen when I was calling it Fall Out Boy does All These Things That I’ve Done, because some songs you know are yours from the opening notes. I don’t know, I don’t know, I just know that nothing has ever made me feel the way I love the mayhem more than the love does, just that cynicism is tired and boring and Change will come/ Oh, change will come/ I will never believe in anything again.
*I have to double-check how to spell it every time.
**Correctly is a pipe dream.
***I’ve always been bradycardic.