The band now appear comfortable with their position as a mainstream chart act, and rather than retreating to the studio to create something lo-fi and gritty, they've plunged headfirst into making an '80s power-pop LP - one that doffs its cap to everything from Duran Duran to Michael Jackson. Following on neatly from 2007's Infinity On High, Folie A Deux buffs up the pop melodies, ramps up the glam riffs and delves a little further into their parents' record collections.
The usual dynamics are in place: wailing vocals from Patrick Stump, silly song titles ('Disloyal Order Of Water Buffaloes') and plenty of biting sarcasm from Wentz's lyrics. 'Buffaloes' is a shamelessly bombastic opener which finds the band poking fun at themselves ("Nobody wants to hear you sing about tragedy") and launching a tidal wave of slick guitar crunches and bouncing melodies. Quick on its tail are the glam stomp of 'I Don't Care' and dizzy thrills of 'She's My Winona', but topping the lot is the gloriously anthemic 'America's Suitehearts'.
"Why-why-why won't the world revolve around me?" screams Stump before a slick key change heralds a chorus so big it probably requires its own postcode. Following suit, but in a very different tack, is 'What A Catch, Donnie', which finds the group gathering round the piano with buddies Elvis Costello and Travis McCoy for a moment of Elton John-style pop bliss. It will no doubt rile rock purists, but it's smashing fun. Perhaps the only major disappointments here are that cameos from Debbie Harry and Pharrell Williams are so limp - in the case of Harry, you can barely hear her.
Before Folie A Deux was released, Fall Out Boy were keen to talk up its more mature lyrical and musical nature. Patrick Stump said it was their "first real statement", while Pete Wentz claimed some of the songs were "relevant" to the US presidential campaign. Thankfully, that was all balderdash. Rocking from the comfort of Beverly Hills, this album is about as punk as an afternoon at the Conservative Party Conference, but it's mighty good fun in spite of it.