Single Review: “Love From The Other Side” by Fall Out Boy


Bailey Bujnosek, Senior Staff Writer

In an experience similar to Anton Ego eating ratatouille, Senior Staff Writer Bailey Bujnosek takes a trip down memory lane with the latest single from Fall Out Boy, “Love From The Other Side,” a track that utilizes their classic musical cues while demonstrating how they’ve grown from the days of Warped. 

Being a fan of the ‘emo trinity’ — the three emo/pop-punk bands that provided the angsty, sarcastic soundtrack to many a Millennial and Gen Z adolescence — has been a rollercoaster ride in recent years. My Chemical Romance (the ‘holy spirit’ of the trinity since their breakup in 2013) caused much rejoicing when it released a new single last year, but a full-fledged band reunion seems unlikely. This past week, Panic! at the Disco frontman and the only remaining band member Brendon Urie announced that the group (again, just him) would be splitting up. That group being the ‘son’ of the trinity, only one member of the OG pop punk canon remains, and it’s not The All-American Rejects. Fall Out Boy, the ‘father’ of the trinity because of its role in signing and promoting Panic! in its infancy, is now the last band standing.

The mere mention of the group summons inevitable comments of, “Wait, they’re still around?” from those who haven’t kept up with them post-hiatus. This response is understandable. Even a hardcore fan couldn’t be blamed for assuming that the group had quietly bowed out of the scene after the middling success of 2018’s chaotic electropop-infused album “Mania.” Doubts about Fall Out Boy’s return were put to rest, however, when the group teased new music in a bizarre claymation video last December. Finally, on Jan. 18, the band dropped a single titled “Love From The Other Side.” Coinciding with its release was the announcement of their eighth studio album, “So Much (for) Stardust,” due March 24.

The song’s surprisingly orchestral intro acts as a kind of fakeout, leading you to wonder if it will be a rock ballad like the title track from “Save Rock and Roll.” Then Andy Hurley’s rapidfire drumming kicks in, sparking immediate recollections of pre-hiatus Fall Out Boy — the grungy, powerful sound that characterized most of the tracks on “From Under the Cork Tree,” including breakout hit “Sugar, We’re Goin Down.” The drums reduce to a hiss at the start of the first verse, but regain momentum as the chorus nears. Similarly, the lush instrumental intro returns as an interlude between the chorus and second verse — the halfway point of the song. On the whole, the track’s production is just right, keeping the song’s energy up but not relying on the extreme rises and falls that made “Mania” so jarring. 

A minute into the almost-five-minute song, lead vocalist Patrick Stump finally begins to sing. His vocals are solid, offering the usual soulfulness and sincerity. There’s nothing quite as raw as you’d find on, say, “Take This To Your Grave,” the band’s extra-emo debut album. Rather, Stump’s crooning sounds like a continuation of the grand, pop-rock sound the band introduced in their last pre-hiatus album, Folie à Deux; imagine if the melodic opener to that album, “Disloyal Order Of Water Buffaloes,” was remixed with rugged closing track “West Coast Smoker,” and you get the idea. 

As for the song’s lyrical content, “Love From The Other Side” takes on a decidedly retrospective tone. It’s set on the other side of a painful relationship and, according to the chorus, the other side of “the apocalypse” — perhaps a high-concept metaphor for the painful breakup that convinced the speaker that “every lover’s got a little dagger in their hand.” Peppered throughout the song is the unanswered question: “What would you trade the pain for?,” suggesting the singer has come to a level of acceptance of what they’ve been through because it’s made them who they are.

Amidst the lines that will end up as Instagram bios and tattoos (“We were a hammer to the Statue of David;” “You were the sunshine/of my lifetime”), there’s also a recurring theme of American-Dream ennui that reflects how the band has aged alongside its original fanbase. Teenage heartbreak has been traded for “Model house life meltdowns;” Stump reminds us that “there’s no way off the hamster wheel on this rat race.” Both complaints are sure to resonate with Millennial audiences whose yellowed Warped Tour tickets are now nestled in scrapbooks alongside pictures of their kids. 

If “Love From The Other Side” is a sign of what to expect from Fall Out Boy’s eighth album, it seems safe to get our hopes up again. The original emo trinity might have fragmented, but pop punk’s influence hasn’t died out. Acts like jxdn, Machine Gun Kelly, and Olivia Rodrigo are reviving the genre for a new generation of fans, which in turn has sparked renewed interest in old Fall Out Boy albums. Now’s the perfect time to catch up on their catalog. You won’t have to wait half a decade for another installment, just a couple of months — and thanks to the quarter system’s disorienting pace, the time is sure to fly by.

Grade: A-
Release Date: January 18, 2023

Image courtesy of Rolling Stone