|Folie à Deux|
|Released||December 16, 2008|
|Recorded||July – September 2008 at The Pass Studios and The Casita in Hollywood, California|
|Genre||Pop rock, pop punk, alternative rock|
|Producer||Neal Avron, Pharrell Williams|
|1||"I Don't Care" |
September 3, 2008
|2||"America's Suitehearts" |
December 3, 2008
|3||"Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On a Bad Bet" |
June 15, 2009
|4||"What a Catch, Donnie" |
September 7, 2009
CitizensFOB Mixtape: Welcome to the New Administration
Folie à Deux
America's Suitehearts: Remixed, Retouched, Rehabbed and Retoxed
Folie à Deux (French for "A Madness Shared by Two") is the fourth studio album by American rock band Fall Out Boy. Produced by Neal Avron, the album was recorded from July to September 2008 at The Pass Studios and The Casita in Hollywood, California. As the follow-up to the band's commercially successful 2007 effort Infinity on High, it was released by Island Records on December 10, 2008, after the original November 4 release was postponed to avoid conflicts with the United States presidential election. Like the band's two previous releases, Folie à Deux was musically composed by lead vocalist and guitarist Patrick Stump, with lyrics penned by bassist Pete Wentz. In regard to the writing process, the band considered Folie à Deux to be the band's most collaborative record at the time.
The album was recorded in relative secrecy compared to the press that its predecessor possessed. The recording sessions inspired lyricism that related to decaying relationships, moral dilemmas, and societal shortcomings, many with a political edge. It is the first Fall Out Boy album with lyrics that are less autobiographical. The album's style moved away from early emo power chords and toward a wider variation in genre. Fall Out Boy recruited several guest artists for Folie à Deux, as well as employing instruments and recording techniques previously unfamiliar to the group. To promote the album, the band launched a viral campaign based around a Big Brother-type organization named "Citizens For Our Betterment" (CFOB) and embarked on an extensive tour schedule.
Folie à Deux was released in the United States on December 16, 2008, and received favorable reviews from most music critics, although fan opinions were mixed. Positive reviews focused on the creativity and various styles touched on, while the more negative reviews expressed concern that the record was overly indulgent. The album debuted at number eight on the US Billboard 200 chart with 149,000 first week sales but was less commercially successful thanInfinity on High. As of February 2013 Folie à Deux has sold 449,000 copies in the US. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) after 500,000 copies were shipped. The album spawned four singles. "I Don't Care", the first single, reached number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum. Folie à Deux was Fall Out Boy's last studio album released before the band's 2009–13 hiatus.
- 1 Background
- 2 Recording and Production
- 3 Composition
- 4 Title and Artwork
- 5 Promotion and Release
- 6 Reception
- 7 Track Listing
Background[edit | edit source]
Fall Out Boy began writing material for a possible successor shortly after the release of the 2007 album, Infinity on High. In March 2008, the band attempted to enter the The Guinness Book of World Records for being the only musical act to perform in all seven continents in nine months, planning to perform in Antarctica for an audience of scientists. However, the group was unable to make the flight fromPunta Arenas, Chile to Antarctica due to poor weather. Despite this unsuccessful attempt, the group felt energized from the experience and became inspired to write more music. This led to more material to sift through when the band decided to enter the studio. Fall Out Boy spent time during June 2008 formulating ideas at Avron's home, where "three to four" song ideas were developed. Lead vocalist/guitarist Patrick Stump and bassist/lyricist Pete Wentz began turning these ideas into songs over the following month. Wentz explained that the process was the same as usual: "I'll go over to Patrick's house and he'll kind of just sit there and play songs, and I'll be like, 'Ah, that one's awesome!'"
The band intended to work on new music sooner, but the release of its cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" as a single stood in the way. The single "stalled out" the label, who wanted the band to film a music video for further promotion. Stump entered the studio with the intention of being less "self-indulgent", believing he dominated the band's previous record. He wished to focus more on creating a cohesive album in which different sounds come together instead of featuring his vocals at the forefront. With the help of Neal Avron, who produced Fall Out Boy's last two records, the quartet decided to simplify the music on Folie à Deux as opposed to the multi-layered sound of Infinity on High. The band was interviewed about the album constantly before even a single note was recorded, leading to misconceptions about how the record would sound. The album was first rumored to consist of entirely acoustic folk music, while other sources later alleged it would delve into rap-rock.
Recording and Production[edit | edit source]
The band members decided to keep publicity down during the album's recording, as they were taken aback by such press surrounding Infinity on High. Stump entered the studio with music for almost 50 songs. Folie à Deux was intended to be very different from the previous three Fall Out Boy albums, which were all interconnected musically and thematically; Stump described the new songs as "having a lot of freedom [...] it's our first just plain old record in a while." However, the sessions proved to be difficult for the band. Stump called the making of the album "painful", noting that he and Wentz quarreled over many issues, revealing "I threw something across the room over a major-to-minor progression." On previous albums, guitarist Joe Trohman felt that he and drummer Andy Hurley did not have enough musical freedom and that Stump and Wentz exerted too much control over the group: "I felt, 'Man, this isn't my band anymore.' It's no one's fault, and I don't want to make it seem that way. It was more of a complex I developed based off of stuff I was reading. It's hard to hear, 'Joe and Andy are just along for the ride.'" To amend the situation, Trohman sat down with Stump to communicate his concerns, which led to more collaboration on Folie à Deux. "It made me feel like I owned the songs a lot more. It made me really excited about contributing to Fall Out Boy and made me find my role in the band," Trohman recalled.
The group purposely cut short the amount of time set aside for recording the album, and did not notify its label before beginning work on the record. The members hoped that these steps would bring them back to the days when they were a young, broke band who had to finish an album before the money ran out. "There was something really interesting about that creative process when we were starting out," explained Stump. "The more time you have, the more potential you have for excess." He felt that the process was reminiscent of the making of Take This to Your Grave because both albums were created using a "first-thought, best-thought" mentality: "I think we were trying to find what making a record that way would sound like now, but with four adult Fall Out Boys." Trohman called the recording process "fun because [it] was so collaborative," but difficult because it was rushed.
In September, the band was still finalizing cameos, recording with Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco and Pharrell Williams. The band desired to work with Kanye West, but ran out of time. Pharrell laid down beats and Stump would add vocals and melodies for "w.a.m.s.". The collaboration with Elvis Costello in "What a Catch, Donnie" was spontaneous. The band sent Costello the song, and although he had been suffering from bronchitis, he decided to participate. Stump was particularly excited about the collaboration, as Hurley noted that "Elvis is Patrick's favorite person on earth as a musician, singer and songwriter." Wentz felt that cameos were necessary to portray the album's messages, stating "More than anything, they serve the purpose of a character in a musical, where this character's voice makes the most sense...Certain lines need to be conveyed in certain ways."
Composition[edit | edit source]
Music[edit | edit source]
On Folie à Deux, Fall Out Boy continued its pattern of musical experimentation that began on the band's previous album,Infinity on High. Singer/guitarist Patrick Stump was once again the primary composer, and attempted to create compositions that echoed the themes discussed in Wentz's lyrics. As the lyrical content shifted in new directions from the group's previous works, the musical style employed by the other band members evolved as well. On this topic, Trohman commented "It's not like we said, 'We want to push the envelope,' It's not that at all. We just wanted to try cooler things. The album still sounds like Fall Out Boy. It has big choruses. But you can't do the same thing every record."
The record contains more instruments not present in the band's previous work, including synthesizers, sequenced drums, and strings. Critics noted similarities between the album and1980s arena rock. Joey Rosen of Rolling Stone commented that "They further explore their funky side here: Stump is emerging as one of the world's most unlikely blue-eyed-soul stars, breathing life into classic R&B chord progressions and flaunting his agile voice." Trohman drew influence from Queen while creating guitar harmonies to match Stump's vocals on the record, while his other styles were inspired by Metallica, Prince, and The Rolling Stones. He also employs a jazz guitar interlude on "w.a.m.s." which has been likened to Steely Dan.
The pregap hidden track "Lullabye" is an acoustic ballad influenced by Bob Dylan, written with the intention of helping Wentz' son, Bronx Mowgli, fall asleep. Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly categorized the album's opener, "Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes", as a "towering guitar anthem built on wedding-march organs, thundering drums, and singer Patrick Stump's limber vocals." "Coffee's for Closers" is similarly percussive and features drummer Andy Hurley drawing influence from marching band drumwork. The first single "I Don't Care" has been described as "disco rockabilly", and contains a repeating blues riff throughout the song; Stump's vocal performance on the track has been compared to John Lee Hooker.
"Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet" is an example of the album's theme of contrasting moods, and "struts in on a massive drum line and crunching, processed guitars, gets amplified by a four-piece horn section, then falls away to a simple, somber piano line" according to James Montgomery of MTV. The Elton John-influenced "What a Catch, Donnie" is a piano-driven ballad which features a string section in the background. As the song closes, it features Brendon Urie, Alexander DeLeon, Travie McCoy, Gabe Saporta, Elvis Costello andWilliam Beckett singing parts of previous Fall Out Boy songs. According to Stump, the song contains lyrics that were important to the band and "gives us the chance for this record to come full circle". The backing vocals in "America's Suitehearts" have been compared to groups such as The Beatles.
Lyrics[edit | edit source]
Pete Wentz was once again the primary lyricist of the band during the production of the album. Stump said that Wentz "totally outdid himself on this record. He doesn't even know how good his lyrics are here." Wentz, despite many recent personal developments (marriage to Ashlee Simpson, birth of his son, Bronx), desired to shift the focus away from himself and turn it outward onto the world. For the first time on a Fall Out Boy album, Folie is rarely autobiographical, as the band believed the format was "losing its luster" because "everyone was doing it." The songs on the album explore decaying relationships, moral dilemmas, and societal shortcomings, as well as concepts such as trust, infidelity, responsibility, and commitment. Stump tagged Folie à Deux as a "message record" that takes aim at "the materialistic dance between any two parties obsessed with each other, whether it's teenage girls and handbag makers, politicians and lobbyists or tabloids and stars." Folie à Deux also dissects how self-motivated American culture is, and many of the lyrics are intended to be satirical. While the album does contain political overtones, the band wanted to avoid being overt about these themes, leaving many lyrics open to interpretation for listeners.
Wentz referred to "I Don't Care" as a "narcissist's anthem" that addresses the current generation's short attention span. Wentz further explored the subjects of narcissism and apathy in "(Coffee's for Closers)", as Stump explained, "The past decade has been totally about 'me.' It's totally about 'Oh, I'm sad. I want this. I know somebody who knows this person. Me me me me me,' so that's what that song is about." Additionally, "America's Suitehearts" discusses society's fixation with celebrities and the desire to let them do no wrong. "27" explores thehedonistic lifestyles common in rock and roll music. The title is a reference to the 27 Club, a group of influential musicians, including Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, and Jim Morrison, who all died at the age of 27. Wentz felt that he was living a similarly dangerous lifestyle, and was "stoked" to make it to his 28th birthday. Stump added "There was a countdown clock and everything. I remember, our manager called me up on Pete's 28th birthday and screamed, 'We made it!'"
Title and Artwork[edit | edit source]
Folie à deux is a rare psychiatric syndrome in which symptoms of a delusional belief are transmitted from one individual to another. The same syndrome shared by more than two people may be called folie à trois, folie à quatre, folie en famille or even folie à plusieurs ("madness of many"). Recent psychiatric classifications refer to the syndrome as dependency psychotic disorder or induced delusional disorder, although the research literature largely uses the original name. The disorder was first conceptualized in 19th century French psychiatry. In keeping with the record's socially aware nature, the band felt that the term was relevant to the candidates in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Stump further clarified the title's meaning: "The irony is that people will probably mistake the title as something about romantic relationships in some way. And it's our only record where that theme is not touched upon."
On September 13, 2008, the album artwork was revealed on the band's website. The cover of the album was painted by artist Luke Chueh. Wentz contacted Chueh and asked him to create the piece, to which the artist agreed. Chueh recalled of the situation, "They were great to work with, having given me full creative control over both the artwork and the final design of the [sic] cover." Chueh used the title and underlying themes of the album as inspiration for the artwork. "The title of the album is Folie à Deux, and when considering this with the band's popularity, I chose to focus on the idea of fandom, and how some people are willing to take their love/infatuation to levels that are obviously unhealthy." Wentz currently owns the original painting. The disc's liner notes contain pictures of the band members with blank pages next to them; the group allowed fans to submit pictures they had drawn in the spaces and posted them to the band's website.
Promotion and Release[edit | edit source]
As the release of the new album approached, the band and its management found that they would have to navigate changes in the music industry, which Hurley described as "a completely different place." Facing declining record sales, the lack of a proper outlet for exhibition of music videos, and the economic crisis, Hurley commented that "people are buying things they need to survive rather than records and concert tickets." The group's 2007 album Infinity on High sold one million copies, which was considered a disappointment compared to From Under the Cork Tree's sales of three million. Trohman attributed this to "the same reason that nobody's records are selling that well: there's so much turmoil in the music industry, so much downsizing, and people are finding different ways to get their music more and more all the time. There's very little we can do about that as a band. All we can do is try to make great music and hope it connects with people."
Citizens for Our Betterment and Welcome to the New Administration[edit | edit source]
Main article: Welcome to the New Administration
A viral campaign was launched by Pete Wentz on August 18, 2008, to promote the album. It was inspired byGeorge Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), and the autocratic, overbearing Big Brother organization. The campaign started when the website for Wentz's Decaydance Records label was supposedly "hacked" by an organization called "Citizens for Our Betterment" (CFOB). Clues were left in links and images on the website, and Wentz left clues on his personal blog. On August 19, Wentz' wife Ashlee Simpson was seen carrying a pamphlet for the organization, raising suspicion and sparking many rumors online. In the days that followed, new posts appeared on the Citizens For Our Betterment website and Wentz continued to blog, at times referring to November 4, the same day as the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Meanwhile, another band, Copeland, launched its own viral campaign. As part of it, Copeland launched a similarly named site, CitizensFourOurBetterment.com, and spread links through various Fall Out Boy fan blogs to attract more people to the new website.
While this mixing of campaigns was done without the knowledge of the members of Fall Out Boy, Wentz did post an acknowledgement on August 22, when CFOB again "hijacked" Decaydance Records website. Decaydance actThe Cab began performing with "Citizens for Our Betterment" written on the group's instruments. Finally, on August 26, a blog post of a press release was made on the band's FriendsOrEnemies.com page; it announced Folie à Deux as the title of the upcoming album, due for release on November 4. Wentz said of the endeavor "To me, this is not a marketing campaign. It is a way to cause excitement about your art and have people earn it and understand it...I don't believe the full campaign has begun, and I also believe people are taking over the ship in a truly viral way. It doesn't hurt anyone, and hopefully it tells the story of the project better and makes it more appreciated."
It also revealed that a mixtape, titled Welcome to the New Administration, was available for download for free on the FriendsOrEnemies website. The mixtape contained several snippets of new Fall Out Boy tracks, as well as new music from other bands such as Gym Class Heroes, Cobra Starship, and Panic! at the Disco. However none of the titles were confirmed for Folie à Deux. It also featured a song titled "America's Sweethearts" which was eventually confirmed for the album but with an alternate spelling, "America's Suitehearts". The band confirmed that it intended to release the mixtape in conjunction with the "Citizens" campaign, and felt that it was relevant to not only the themes of the album, but the 2008 election as well. Wentz explained "The whole campaign is part of the record and people can call it whatever they want, but the mixtape was part of that campaign, and we'll see what happens from here...In creating this autocratic organization, we created a democratic campaign, because people have made it go the direction they wanted it to go."
Release date change[edit | edit source]
Initially, the album's release date was reported to be November 4, 2008—meaning that it would coincide with the 2008 presidential election. Fall Out Boy later announced on October 13, 2008, that the early November date was in doubt, citing concerns over the planned election day tie-in. The band stressed out and worked very hard on a tight deadline to get the album out on November 4. While on a promotional tour in Spain, the band realized that things were "spinning out of control", and, in a rushed-out statement, explained:
Deciding to postpone the album release in a season in which artists Kanye West (808s & Heartbreak), Britney Spears (Circus) and Guns N' Roses (Chinese Democracy) had already set release dates, the only one available was six weeks later than expected. It was soon announced that a new release date for Folie was December 16, 2008. Although December 16 was not an ideal date according to demographic marketing analysis, Stump said "we put our eight feet down [and] told our label it must come out this year."
Reception[edit | edit source]
Commercial performance[edit | edit source]
Folie à Deux has sold 449,000 copies in the US to date February 2013, but did not perform as well commercially as its predecessor, Infinity on High. It debuted at number eight on the US Billboard 200 chart with first week sales of 149,000 copies during a highly competitive week with other big debuts, becoming Fall Out Boy's third consecutive top ten album. This is in contrast to the band's more successful previous effort which shifted 260,000 copies in its opening week to debut at number one the chart. Folie spent two weeks within the top 20 out of its 22 chart weeks. It also entered Billboard's Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts at number three. With 39,000 digital downloads as part of its sales totals in its debut week, the record opened at number one on Billboard Digital Albums chart, the band's second number one album on that chart. Fall Out Boy was bested in the group's chart debut by R&B singers Keyshia Cole—whose A Different Me landed at number two on sales of more than 321,000—and Jamie Foxx, whose Intuition logged 265,000 for a number three debut. Taylor Swift's Fearless reigned at number one during that week. Within two months of its release, Folie à Deux was certified Gold in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of 500,000 copies.
Outside the United States, the album was also less widely successful than Infinity on High but managed to reach the top 10 in Australia where it received a Platinum certification from the Australian Recording Industry Association(ARIA) for shipments of 70,000 units. On the Australian chart, the record debuted and peaked at number nine and spent its first seven weeks within the top 20 out of its fifteen weeks in the top 40. In the United Kingdom, the album spent six weeks on the UK Albums Chart and was later certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry(BPI) for the shipments of 60,000 units. Folie logged 12 weeks on the New Zealand Albums Chart with a peak of 26. The album also peaked at number twenty-one on the Top Canadian Albums chart.
Singles[edit | edit source]
Three singles were released from the album: "I Don't Care", "America's Suitehearts" and "What a Catch, Donnie". As part of a new marketing ploy, Fall Out Boy released several songs on iTunes before the release of Folie à Deux. When purchased, the songs would go towards purchasing the entire album as part of the "Complete My Album" feature. The lead single, "I Don't Care" was released on September 8, 2008, reaching a peak at number twenty-one on the Billboard Hot 100. It was certified Platinum by the RIAA for shipments of one million copies. In Australia, the song peaked at number twenty on the ARIA singles chart, being certified Gold by the ARIA, denoting shipments of 35,000 units. The music video for the single was released on the internet on September 25, but was pulled from iTunes and YouTube shortly after. Wentz wrote angrily on his blog, finding the video was full of product placement shots for Nokia phones.
"I Don't Care" was followed by the digital release of "Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet" on October 7, 2008. It debuted and peaked at number 74 on the Hot 100 and on the Digital Songs chart at number 40. It also reached the Canadian charts at number 64. Contrary to popular misconception, the song was not an actual single, rather it was just a song posted online. The second digital song, "What a Catch, Donnie", was released a short time later on October 15, 2008, charting at number 94 on the Hot 100, number fifty-three on Digital Songs and number ninety-five in Canada week of November 1. The release was followed by the Suave Suarez remix of "I Don't Care" on November 4. The third digital song, "America's Suitehearts" (later becoming the second radio single) was also released digitally to iTunes on December 2, 2008.
"Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet", "What a Catch, Donnie" and "America's Suitehearts" were digitally released before the album as part of iTunes' "Complete My Album" feature. "America's Suitehearts" was then commissioned as the album's second single on January 12, 2009. As a single it reached number 78 on the Hot 100, number 71 on Digital Songs week ending May 16, 2009, as well as peaking at number 30 on the Pop Songs chart on April 25. In Australia, the song hit number 26 and logged in at number ninety-seven in the UK. "Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet" impacted United States modern rock radio on June 15, 2009, while "What a Catch, Donnie" was later issued as Folie à Deux's third and last single. However, neither re-entered any charts. Music videos were created for each.
Critical Response[edit | edit source]
The album received generally positive reviews from music critics. AtMetacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 73, based on 21 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Dan Martin of NME gave the record a very positive review, calling a "defining statement" with the band's "most stylistically hatstand-but-indisputably-best songs yet." He wrote, "We're not saying it's as good as genre watermarks American Idiot or The Black Parade. We're just saying it comes close," closing with calling it a "staggering achievement." Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic rated the album four out of five stars and compared it to labelmate Panic! at the Disco's effort earlier in the year, Pretty. Odd. He wrote that "Fall Out Boy capture the Zeitgeist of the latter half of the 2000s better than any band: there's so much going on in Folie à Deux, you either choose to take it all seriously or take none of it. Fall Out Boy make as much sense when heard either way." Scott Heisel wrote for Alternative Press, commending the band for its "creativity, ingenuity and willingness to try just about anything." He compared the meaning of the term folie à deux ("a madness shared by two") to the two very distinct feelings expressed in the different sides of the record, calling the album a good representation of the band's career.
Many critics commented on the album's musical experimentation. Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone, in his review, stated that "the musical mix on Folie à Deux suggests a band with an advanced case of ADD, ricocheting between genres and eras, tempos and time signatures, often several times in a given song." Spin's David Marchese complimented the album's forays into strange territories, calling tracks such as "I Don't Care" and "What a Catch, Donnie" impressive. Rock Sound's Faye Lewis also enjoyed the variety, calling the album "a non-stop exotic cabaret for the ears, delivering a far-reaching selection of songs that leap between a blend of catchy pop punk." However, some critics felt that the band was excessive in its attempts to create a diverse work. Margaret Wappler of the Los Angeles Times believed that "Folie à Deux imagines itself in the stadium. [...] It's not that FOB can't have grandiosity, but every stadium needs open air." She called the album's sounds a "pleasure bot of right-now pop, adroitly programmed with crunchy '80s melodies, emo's dark prowess and symphonies à la Sgt. Pepper's," while stating "For all the steps forward, Folie a Deux also seems to contain a microchip for its own destruction."
Q called the album "a barrelling, hugely confident record that should see Fall Out Boy swiftly elevated into mainstream rock's premier league," and Blender called it "the brightest, breeziest, giddiest record Fall Out Boy have ever made." Blender ranked Folie at number 10 on its 33 best albums of the year list. Jaimie Hodgson of The Observer complimented producer Neal Avron's "squeaky clean" production. In a more negative review of the album, Jesse Cataldo of Slant wrote that "the band's songs are catchy at heart, enjoyable in a trifling but substantial way, until they're smeared with layer after layer of smarm, nullifying any chance of their music being consumed as a simple, empty pleasure." Cataldo also expressed displeasure with Lil Wayne's performance as well as production from Pharrell Williams, which he deemed a "promising concept [...] quickly discarded", summarizing that, "Folie à Deux seems to prove, if nothing else, that Fall Out Boy is good at masking their best qualities and pushing forward their most annoying ones."
Track Listing[edit | edit source]
|1.||"Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes"||4:17|
|2.||"I Don't Care"||3:34|
|3.||"She's My Winona"||3:51|
|5.||"Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On a Bad Bet"||3:54|
|6.||"The (Shipped) Gold Standard"||3:19|
|7.||"(Coffee's for Closers)"||4:35|
|8.||"What a Catch, Donnie"||4:51|
|12.||"20 Dollar Nose Bleed"||4:17|
|13.||"West Coast Smoker"||2:46|