Fall Out Boy's Generational Success

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In today’s era of saturated media, and with new stars rising every second, relevancy has become a make or break factor in musicians’ careers. Riding on 5 star reviews and Spotify streams, the battle for media headlines and spots on Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart has proved to be the most competitive it’s ever been. Even more difficult proves to be the battle for punk rock and alternative artists, competing with big names in pop music such as Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes. Yet, a lucky few have managed to grasp hold of today’s youth’s short attention span. Proving able to break out of the stereotypical confinement of their genre, and refusing to let it define them, the 2001, Chicago based rockers of Fall Out Boy thrive among the industry’s reserve of stars.

This past December 7th, big names in music woke up to the news of their nomination for the 61st Grammy Awards. Among them, Fall Out Boy, having scored a nomination in the “Best Rock Album” category for their latest LP, M A N I A (2018). This 2019 nomination marks the four piece’s second Grammy recognition. Back in 2006, the group were nominated for “Best New Artist” in the 48th Grammy Awards; 13 years later and they don’t seem to be stopping. Fall Out Boy’s secret to long term success? Appealing to new generations with their genre bending sounds.

Fall Out Boy’s continuing success 18 years into their career can be traced back to their gradual change of sound. Maybe it came with age, maybe it came from a need for excitement. Regardless, Fall Out Boy have flowed their way from the heavy guitar riffs present in their debut album, Take This to Your Grave (2003), to dominating pop inspired sounds present in American Beauty/American Psycho (2015). Along the way, Fall Out Boy have found themselves with millions of dedicated fans. While older fans usually prefer their pop punk roots and angsty tones, newer fans have found themselves latched to the band’s fresher beats. Despite Fall Out Boy fans’ division over sound preference, nothing proves to be quite as divisive as their receiving of MANIA (2018). While some found themselves disappointed with the four piece’s notable increase of pop and electronic influences, slowly straying themselves further away from their roots, others praise them for their bravery in unexplored territory and for their being able to adapt to the fast paced music industry.

However, it is Fall Out Boy’s innovative sounds in MANIA which have led them to their second Grammy nomination. Refusing to remain stagnant, the four rockers have given a new meaning to pop rock, allowing them to bask in the glory of relevancy and grasping the attention of new sets of generations.

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MusicNatalie Melendez