Album Review: Fall Out Boy maintains its familiar quality and evolves a new sound on latest album

Alternative rock band, Fall Out Boy, released their fifth, and perhaps most musically diverse, studio album entitled Folie à Deux on Dec. 16, 2008.

The album is experimental enough to satiate the needs of their loyal fans, yet familiar enough in style not to alienate any regular listeners.

Lead singer Patrick Stump appropriately provides his signature snarling falsetto to Folie à Deux, while bassist/back-up vocalist Pete Wentz puts more than enough post-teenage rock star angst into his performance throughout the album.

The first single off of Folie à Deux, "I Don't Care," is a classic Fall Out Boy tune, complete with power chords, Stump's crooning and the band's typical emo-driven chorus. The lyrics, "I don't care what you think, as long as it's about me," are a testament to both the current state of the music industry and the tendency of celebrities to care more about their paychecks than their famous or infamous reputations.

Some other stand-out tracks on the album include, "Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet," "(Coffee's for Closers)" and "The (Shipped) Gold Standard," a title which Rolling Stone magazine suggests is a pun on record sales. As the chorus ironically states, "You can only blame your problems on the world for so long / before it all becomes the same old song."

Perhaps the album's most outstanding track, "What a Catch, Donnie," aside from including one of the catchiest lines on the entire album ("I've got troubled thoughts and the self esteem to match"), employs the vocals of some of the music industry's most unique artists. These contributors include Elvis Costello, Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes and Gabe Saporta of Midtown and Cobra Starship.

Other well-known artists are also featured in several songs on the album; Lil' Wayne makes a guest appearance on the song "Tiffany Blews," while Brendon Urie of Panic at the Disco lends his vocal abilities to "20 Dollar Nose Bleed."

Fall Out Boy, thanks to the overplaying of singles such as "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" and "Dance, Dance," from their album From Under the Cork Tree, has become a band that most people listen to but rarely admit to liking. Folie à Deux, however, proves that the band is not content to just play it safe by staying with Cork Tree's proven successful formulas, but is willing to explore new territory wholeheartedly and successfully.

Fall Out Boy has tapped into the minds - and wallets - of the current generation, but it remains to be seen on future releases whether they will continue to do so for art's sake or if their progressive fame will cloud their judgment as musicians.