So Much (For) Stardust

So Much (For) Stardust

If the combination of extravagant music and world-weary lyrics on Fall Out Boy’s eighth album sounds appropriate to the current queasy moment, there's a good reason for that. So Much (For) Stardust was conceived in the spirit of 2008's Folie à Deux, one of the most ornate and possibly divisive entries in the band's catalogue. “There was a feeling that I kind of wanted to get,” Patrick Stump tells Apple Music. “I don't want it to sound anything like that record, but I wanted to get back to this feeling that we had when we were making it, which was ‘I don't know how much longer this'll last.’” So Much (For) Stardust, appropriately, captures Fall Out Boy going for broke, whether on the speedy opener “Love From the Other Side” (of the apocalypse) or the meditation “Heaven, Iowa,” which has a blow-off-the-roof chorus that gives its verses added emotional weight. Bassist and songwriter Pete Wentz's lyrics are drolly on point, with quotable one-liners like “Every lover's got a little dagger in their hand” (on “Love From the Other Side”) and “One day every candle's gotta run out of wax/One day no one will remember me when they look back” (on “Flu Game”) scattered throughout. At times, though, they have a tenderness to them that belies the nearly two decades he's spent in the spotlight, as well as his elder-statesman status. “I'm my dad's age when I thought he had it all figured out, and my parents are starting to look like my grandparents, and my kids are the age that I was,” Wentz says. “And this, I guess, is how the world goes on.” These thoughts reminded Wentz of a speech Ethan Hawke gives in the 1994 slacker comedy Reality Bites, which is sampled at the record's midpoint, “The Pink Seashell.” “His dad gave him a pink seashell and went, ‘There, this has all the answers in the universe.’ And he goes, ‘I guess there are no answers,’” says Wentz. “There's the idea that nothing matters—and that was a weird message for me. I was like, ‘I don't think we can bake that into the whole record.’” Instead he channelled the 1989 baseball fantasia Field of Dreams, in which Kevin Costner's character is guided by the mantra “if you build it, they will come.” “He went out and built the field in the grass because he was doing a crazy thing,” said Wentz. “We all should be doing stuff like that.”


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