(Photo from: So Much (for) Stardust album by Fall Out Boy, 2023).
Track 1: Love From the Other Side, and Track 2: Heartbreak Feels So Good: Loved these two songs–two of the most dynamic and upbeat songs throughout the album, these two tracks were great choices to tease the album during the earlier promotional days leading up to the full release on March 24.
Track 3: Hold Me Like a Grudge: This was the first new track within the album and it did not disappoint! I love the collection of constant background noises as they trade off from guitars, claps, hi-hat cymbals, and drums amidst Patrick Stump’s vocals–it makes the song sound super fresh!
Track 4: Fake Out: It’s very upbeat although the lyrics are reminiscent of another time, long past, the blend is pleasant. This is a song that you could blast in the car or belt in the shower!
Track 5: Heaven, Iowa: This is the first tonal pivot within the album. It’s tame until Patrick belts the chorus with a piano backing. I liked the guitars, but found the entire song very disjointed overall.
Track 6: So Good Right Now: I enjoyed the oxymoron chorus and the drums as the song ends. It’s catchy, it’s upbeat. Overall this song is also very disconnected, like the track before it.
Track 7: The Pink Seashell: This monologue is the why of the album. Ethan Hawke spills his guts on his interpretation of the meaning of life, father-son relationships, and the impact of divorce on a young child. It’s a trauma dump, it’s relatable. “A random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near-escapes. So I take pleasure in the details…” he lists off cheeseburgers, the anticipation of rain, and “...the moment before your laughter becomes a cackle.” I dig it.
Track 8: I am My Own Muse: It’s okay–it’s just alright.
Track 9: Flu Game: This song is okay. Nothing in particular sticks out, especially when listened to within the collection of the album.
Track 10: Baby Annihilation: You’d think this was a song but it’s actually a spoken word poem! It’s a nonsense poem—which depending on your taste for the genre, definitely impacts how well it lands. I think it’s okay—I imagine it’ll add to the live tour. As a track within the album it sticks out.
Track 11: The Kintsugi Kid: Melancholic. Upon first listen, it picks up the energy from the monologue of the track prior. On another listen, it’s tragic.
Track 12: What a Time to Be Alive: It’s sunshine. This song is so bright, the horn instruments really make the song pop! It’s another banger to dance to!
Track 13: So Much (for) Stardust: I’m a sucker for referencing your own references. Like when a book title is a pivotal line of dialogue in a book—that just hits right. I love that the album ends with the premise it began on. “So much for stardust–we thought we had it all,” great fade out to end the album.