One month ago yesterday, Fall Out Boy released their second greatest hits album, aptly titled Greatest Hits: Believers Never Die – Volume Two. (Their first hits album was Believers Never Die, released a decade ago in 2009; zero points for creativity.)
Volume Two features ten of Fall Out Boy’s biggest hits from their last three albums: Save Rock And Roll (2013), American Beauty/American Psycho (2015), and M A N I A (2018). Save Rock And Roll was represented by four songs on the tracklist for Volume Two: “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up),” “The Phoenix,” “Alone Together,” and “Young Volcanoes.” American Beauty/American Psycho contributed another four tracks: “Centuries,” “Immortals,” “Uma Thurman,” and “Irresistible.” Sadly, M A N I A only had two songs, with just “Champion” and “The Last Of The Real Ones” making the cut. Additionally, Volume Two features “I’ve Been Waiting,” recorded for Lil’ Peep’s posthumous compilation album Everybody’s Everything (2019), and two previously unreleased songs, “Dear Future Self (Hand Ups)” and “Bob Dylan.”
As Hidden Jams did with Editors’ hits album Black Gold, in this blog I am going to compile my fantasy tracklist for a second disc to Believers Never Die – Volume Two. This list includes singles that were surprisingly omitted from the real tracklist, as well as gems on the albums that were never given radio play. Most importantly, it rectifies the dismal underrepresentation of M A N I A.*
*No bonus tracks, b-sides, or non-album singles appear here. That will come in another blog coming in 2020.
So what are the 13 songs on this fantasy second disc? Let’s get to them!
Save Rock And Roll
“Where Did The Party Go?” – When Save Rock And Roll dropped in April 2013, I instantly loved the whole album. It felt like the perfect comeback after their four-year hiatus. With such a strong album, “Where Did The Party Go?” got lost to me amongst the other banging songs. It wasn’t until I went back in the last year or so that I realized just how well “Where Did The Party Go?” holds its own. The thumping drums and pulsing bass of the verse drive toward a satisfyingly slappy chorus that highlights the best of Fall Out Boy.
“Just One Yesterday” – Unlike “Where Did The Party Go?,” “Just One Yesterday” was an immediate standout to me. The lyrical darkness elevates with the intensity of Patrick Stump’s vocals. Foxes’ complementary crooning adds depth to this harrowing, bloodred song. It’s one of Fall Out Boy’s strongest songs ever, in my opinion, and would have a well-deserved spot on Believers Never Die – Volume Two.
“Miss Missing You” – If “Miss Missing You” reminds you of ‘80s electronic rock, there’s a good reason: Patrick Stump originally worked on the music of this song while working toward his 2011 solo album, Soul Punk, which drew heavily from synth pop and other Reagan-era influences. It’s that ‘80s indulgence paired with Pete Wentz’s heartbreaking lyrics that make this song about missing the pain of a brutal breakup one of my favorites.
American Beauty/American Psycho
“American Beauty/American Psycho” – One of the punchiest songs in Fall Out Boy’s discography, I was surprised not to see it on the tracklist for Believers Never Die – Volume Two. This playful song serves as the namesake of and second single from the album. It goes back to basics, featuring just drums, bass, guitar, and vocals, without losing any of the hooky sensibility the band has learned along the way. It’s impossible for this track not to lift my mood.
“The Kids Aren’t Alright” – For a long time, I felt like “The Kids Aren’t Alright” was the weakest song on American Beauty/American Psycho. But years after the album dropped, I developed an appreciation for this track by singing it in the car, trying to emulate the sweetness of Stump’s vocals. Regardless of what “The Kids Aren’t Alright” is “about” (Wentz’s lyrics have never been easy to interpret), this song feels nostalgic and inviting. It reminds me of why young teenagers feel attracted to bands in the first place – the music makes me feel understood, like Fall Out Boy are inviting me to rest my head, have a good cry, and then rediscover peace and joy. Yes, I’m oddly emotional about this song, which is why I think it’s deserving of a place on this list.
“Jet Pack Blues” – “Jet Pack Blues” was never a single, but I sometimes think it should have been. It wouldn’t work as a lead, but the melancholy character would have been a new side of Fall Out Boy to show radio-listeners. Stump’s vocals shine in this song, and that heavily affected guitar adds a bit of country-depth to the soundscape.
“Novocaine” – “Novocaine” is another song that evokes a lot of feelings. Following in the same vein as “The Phoenix” from Save Rock And Roll, this song inspires angry rebellion from a disappointing world. Low, distorted “na na na”s provide an unnerving foundation for the verses before leading into a bright, almost screechy chorus decrying the narrator’s numbness to the world. Listen to this song to get pumped to take on a challenging day.
“Favorite Record” – This is a song that is guaranteed to bring a smile to my face. “Favorite Record” is the sweetest song on American Beauty/American Psycho and one of the sweetest songs Fall Out Boy has ever released. The bright guitars and tapping percussion provide the backdrop for Stump waxing poetic about shared memories with a loved one. Moreover, Wentz’s lyrics return to a familiar comparison between the narrator and a vinyl record, harkening back to “Dead On Arrival” from Fall Out Boy’s debut studio album, Take This To Your Grave.
M A N I A
“Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea” – I’ve been listening to them since 2005, but, when it comes to Fall Out Boy, my favorite album is always the most recent one. “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea” is the perfect opening for M A N I A, immediately hitting you with pounding drums and driving guitars. It’s a vicious little song that encourages you to follow the scent of resistance.
“HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T” – Similarly to “American Beauty/American Psycho,” I was a little surprised that “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T” didn’t make the cut for Believers Never Die – Volume Two. Frankly, I’m a little offended that more M A N I A songs didn’t end up on the tracklist. “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T” is a delicious, reggae-style song with Latin influences. It’s catchy as hell and also showcases Stump’s voice wonderfully.
“Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)” – Following “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T” on M A N I A, “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)” is more low-key but equally fun. The lyrics are humorous but bleak over strummy, magical verses and blusterous choruses. “Wilson” earns its place as a highlight on an album filled with exciting songs.
“Young And Menace” – This song most definitely should have had a place on Believers Never Die – Volume Two. The lead single for M A N I A, “Young and Menace” is one of the strangest songs Fall Out Boy has ever released. Its dreamy, softly-sung verses break when the beat drops for a dubstep-style chorus. One of my favorite Fall Out Boy songs ever, it has the effect of making you feel the chaos within the narrator’s mind. I hope Fall Out Boy never stops being weird.
“Bishops Knife Trick” – Wrapping up M A N I A is “Bishops Knife Trick,” which takes all the things I love about “Jet Pack Blues” and makes them bigger. It’s got a similar melancholic mood, mourning a doomed love. What secured this track’s place on my fantasy Believers Never Die – Volume 2: Part 2 is the bridge: The image Wentz’s lyrics conjure of a desperate attempt to reverse time is as heartrending as it is poetic. “Bishops Knife Trick” does an admirable job of concluding M A N I A and would do similarly well here.
Believers Never Die – Volume Two: Part 2
The reality is that I love every song ever by Fall Out Boy, so even making this additional tracklist for Believers Never Die – Volume Two was a challenge. Do you agree with my tracklist? Which songs would you want on a Fall Out Boy compilation album?
If you don’t have time to listen to Fall Out Boy’s entire discography, go ahead and enjoy Believers Never Die, Believers Never Die – Volume Two, and this fantasy Believers Never Die – Volume Two: Part 2.
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