SINGLE REVIEW: Fall Out Boy – “The Kids Aren’t Alright”


Artist: Fall Out Boy
Song: “The Kids Aren’t Alright”
Album: American Beauty / American Psycho

The rumors of Fall Out Boy’s plans to release a follow-up to Save Rock And Roll in 2015 have recently been proven true, and now we find ourselves in the midst of a promotional campaign that has encountered its fair share of criticism. We have made it a point to review every new song that has surfaced thus far, and today are continuing those efforts by taking a look at “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” which premiered online earlier this week. If you missed the song, or if you simply want to hear it again, you can stream the track below:

We have been having a lot of fun with single reviews as of late, so while blasting “The Kids Aren’t Alright” through our offices yesterday we decided that it might be fun to let everyone express their opinion on this track as well. Instead of having one person on staff write 500-1000 words about FOB’s latest we decided we could all share an opinion and hopefully spark a bit of conversation with readers along the way:

Fall Out Boy Unsure gif

“I have been carrying the flag of hope for Fall Out Boy’s continued greatness for some time now, but even I can feel my knees begin to buckle when this wishy washy attempt at a power-ballad blasts through my headphones. I want to tell myself it’s an evolved take on the material that fueled tracks like “Headfirst Slide,” but the more times I listen the less I believe my own lies. My hopes for this record being great have now been replaced with hopes for the record not being a complete disaster. Come on, Fall Out Boy. Don’t let me down.” – James Shotwell, Founder / Co-Owner / Editor

“The Kids Aren’t Alright” sounds like Fall Out Boy. It sounds like a band that has manifested a natural progression from the pop-punk kids next door to pop anthem power producers — and that’s okay. Progression is not only expected in artists, it’s warranted and encouraged; however, in the case of this particular track, and the others off of American Beauty/American Psycho it just lacks a certain spontaneity. It lacks the thrill, the explosive charm that has won over so many hearts. Here’s to hoping progression doesn’t mean utter failure with the forthcoming Fall Out Boy release. – Matthew Leimkuehler, Editor / Feature Writer

Fall Out Boy have always been a band that comes out swinging with the singles chosen to promote their latest album. Most of them slap you in the face and say “Don’t forget about us,” to which fans often reply they never could. But this isn’t a typical single from Fall Out Boy, at least not as far as I am concerned, and to be perfectly honest that scares me. If this is what they consider the ‘best’ the album has to offer I am seriously concerned about the quality of everything we’ve yet to hear.” – Corey From, News & Feature Writer

“I have had mixed feelings about Fall Out Boy’s recent songs. They are obviously not the same guys they were when they released singles like “Sugar, We’re Going Down.” They’ve grown, and they have had a lifetime of experiences in that time. Their new music reflects that change, even if that disappoints some of their older fans. “The Kids Aren’t Alright” is different from what we’ve heard from the group in recent memory, so is that a bad thing? Separating the song from the band, I really enjoy it. Considering this is a song from a group who were the highlight of many twenty-somethings’ teenage years though, I am a little disappointed. I can’t imagine their entire album will be power ballads, so I am hopeful they will bring back some punch in other singles.” Kriston McConnell, News & Feature Writer


At this point I think it’s safe to say Fall Out Boy are no longer the band I once knew, so when I first heard this song, I was definitely expecting the worst. Unfortunately, that is exactly what I found. The verses are boring, the chorus lacks the inherent catchiness of previous singles, and the furthered embrace of digital drums leaves a bit of heart missing from the song. The other singles that have been shared from American Beauty/American Psycho were at least filled with the aggressive drive that the band have been known to produce, but even that aspect of their sound has been lost with this release. It’s a very bland single from beginning to end and, as both a fan and critic, that scares me.” Ryan Kappy, News & Feature Writer

“We all saw this coming. To complain that the band who attempted to save rock and roll have seemingly lost all sense of what rock and roll is just two years after coming back on the scene would be foolish. That doesn’t mean I didn’t roll my eyes at this track, though, because I certainly did. At the same time, however, it didn’t suck. “The Kids Aren’t Alright” is actually a pretty okay song. After much thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that those initial sentiments were solely over the fact that this single, along with the band’s other recent releases, are nothing like the FOB I grew up loving. I think it’s about time to start being okay with that, but I’d prefer if they came up with catchier single if they’re really going to pursue the full-on pop route. I mean, they’re already there — might as well do it right.” – Dana Reandelar, News & Features Writer

“Fall Out Boy are a fantastic band, but their fatal flaw had always been their tendency to stir the pot with their single choices. It took me years to appreciate Folie a Deux because I didn’t connect with that album’s pre-release singles; I still think that “I Don’t Care” and “America’s Suitehearts” are the clear-cut worst songs on that album. I’ve been trying to keep that idea in mind with each new song that we hear from American Beauty / American Psycho, but “The Kid’s Aren’t Alright” is the first one that’s actually making me believe it. This song is a hybrid of the anthemic sound of Folie and the district new sound of post-hiatus Fall Out Boy, without sounding like a rehash or a step back. Fans who missed the organic guitar tones on Save Rock & Roll will be happy to hear a guitar part leading the slow drive through the new single, and Patrick Stump continues to outdo himself in the vocal department. Despite how much they’ve changed over the past 11 years or so, Fall Out Boy show us with “The Kids Aren’t Alright” that they can still write a catchy song that I can’t stop coming back to. That’s all I can ask for, really.” – John Bazley, News & Feature Writer


Do you agree with us? Comment below and leave us your thoughts on Fall Out Boy’s latest!

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Shiraz Husain

    All of your reviews lack any comment on the musical skill or composition of the actual song. Instead, you all prefer to remark that it simply “doesn’t sound like Fall Out Boy” or “They’re not the same guys they used to be anymore”… What the heck does that mean? In fact the song, in my opinion, is one of their all time best. Contrasting the epic, fast tempo beats of “Centuries” and “AB/AP” it offers a sweet and in many ways classic FOB sound/tempo. Patrick’s vocal are the best they have been since Folie A Deux, which artistically is their best record, on this track and the lyrics are outstanding. When it rains it pours/ Stay thirsty like before. Fall Out Boy once again showing how versatile and unexpected they are, therefore exciting, Rather than re-hash former hits like “Sugar” Fall Out Boy continuer to innovate and evolve as musician’s and are quickly becoming one of the stand out acts in the musical industry. To think if they listened to critics like these we would certainly never have got songs like “This ain’t a scene” (a song they were told would finish them by execs) and definitely never have enjoyed the wonderful artistic genius that is Folie A Duex (Many critics slated them then saying they had “lost it” and “weren’t the same angsty teens anymore). Thank goodness FOB simply don’t make “Sugar part 2”, instead keeping their legacy intact and continuing to develop outstanding records like this one :)