Fall Out Boy's first album since 2008, Save Rock And Roll, is grand and sweeping, with the widescreen ambition of an action flick—or perhaps a movie musical about the perils of love, lust, notoreity, and getting older. Popdust took a very close listen so we could break it down for you track by track. (Meanwhile, read this if you're wondering whether rock's ready to be saved.)

"The Phoenix"

Save Rock And Roll doesn't begin so much as it announces itself, a flurry of strings setting the stage for frontman Patrick Stump to growl, "Put on your war paint!" "The Phoenix" serves as an overture of sorts for the album, whooshing through ferocious verses and a tender pre-chorus on which Stump lets loose his croon before arriving at its hip-shaking chorus. Its sturm und drang doesn't let up until the end, setting the stage for a maxed-out album.

Popdust Says: 4/5

"My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'Em Up)

"Fall Out Boy signaled their return with this anxious rocker, where a chorus of onlookers whoa-ohs and claps their way through a rousing hook while Joe Trohman's ringing guitar and Stump's vocal get in the ring. The frenetic, claustrophobic atmosphere and military-school count-off before the bridge bring to mind Folie A Deux lead single "I Don't Care," although that song's precision is swapped in for a beat that actually swaggers.

Popdust Says: 4/5

"Alone Together"

One of the album's sweetest offerings sonically thanks to its puppy-love chorus, "Alone Together" glides along, although it's not completely hearts-and-flowers. The chorus's idea of love transforming someone into a Dorian Gray type is nothing new, but it's balanced by battle-scarred verses that include lines like "This is the road to ruin/ And we're starting at the end." (It's probably worth noting here that lyricist Pete Wentz is 33—not AARP age, but almost out of the young-adult demo.) Stump declares "Lets be alone together!" and a chorus of "hey"s meets up with him, as if the inevitable response were "yes, let's."

Popdust Says: 4.5/5

"Where Did the Party Go"

Fusing a snaky disco-punk bassline with lyrics that lament the inevitable passing of time ("My old aches become new again/ my old friends become exes again"), this "na na na"-filled track rides a vibe that recalls Stump's stellar 2011 unrequited-love diatribe "Everybody Wants Somebody" into the night. But not too late into the night, mind you.

Popdust Says: 4/5

"Just One Yesterday" (feat. Foxes)

"Rolling In the Deep" comparisons are going to be inevitable for this lost-love lament, which storms in like Adele's monster hit before toning down the drama and upping the moody reflectiveness. British singer Foxes (also heard on Zedd's minor Hot 100 success "Clarity") is a backing-vocal counterpoint on the chorus, cooing "I know I'm bad news/ I saved it all for you" after each repetition of the song's title. She then takes center stage on the bridge, sounding achingly vulnerable as she outlines her plan for emotional manipulation—a duality that makes "Just One Yesterday" as potent as the most bombastic pop track.

Popdust Says: 4/5

"The Mighty Fall" (feat. Big Sean)

Chimes and nervous "la la las" bring to mind the twisted goth-gone-wild movie scores of Danny Elfman, and the razors-edge Joe Trohman guitar line that rises up to join it only adds to the anxious atmosphere. The lyrical flip of "the mighty fall" on the chorus (they fall "in love," of course!) is signaled pretty brightly by the bad-romance verses ("there's chemicals keeping us together," "two's a whole lot lonelier than one") but the grandiose way Stump elongates the "a" on the chorus's "fall" is one of the biggest thrills on an album stuffed with them. Unfortunately, Big Sean's demi-entendre-filled verse is pretty awful (and its "a dick to"/"addicted to you" punchline is a direct rip of Simple Plan's "Addicted"), though the one-two punch of the song's Elfman-like opening and him going "Fall Out... Boyyyyy" almost excuses his presence. Almost.

Popdust Says: 4/5

"Miss Missing You"

Fall Out Boy's own "Heart Of Glass," only with Stump's fiery vocal replacing Debbie Harry's ice-princess chill. Pop bliss, right down to the teary acoustic ending.

Popdust Says: 5/5

"Death Valley"

The churning chorus and heaping teaspoons of falsetto bring to mind a less sonically crowded take on Folie A Deux's tense "Tiffany Blews"—that is, until the bridge, when Stump sings "I will get you high," the music wobbles, and we find ourselves in the middle of The Drop. Complex comment on the relationship between chemical bliss and the new generation of dance music or "hey, this could be a fun thing" studio decision? Either way, it works pretty well and is followed by the chorus returning and almost immediately plummeting into a canyon—giving the song's title a fitting sonic complement.

Popdust Says: 4.5/5

"Young Volcanoes"

The next video from Save Rock And Roll will accompany this track—not too surprising, since it sounds more in line with the current rock-radio trends of wordless backing vocals, chiming guitars, handclaps, and stomping drums than any other track on the record. But Fall Out Boy are just, well, better at fusing big musical gestures with sweeping proclamations than the suspender-wearing hordes clogging up playlists at the moment; the giggle that Stump lets out after singing the line "We will teach you how to make boys next door/ out of assholes" makes plain why.

Popdust Says: 4.5/5

"Rat A Tat" (feat. Courtney Love)

That Courtney Love is on a Fall Out Boy record is pretty fitting; the Hole singer's grunge-glam '90s persona occupied the same pop-cultural place that Pete Wentz did at his most TMZ-chronicled. Here, she's brought in to declare "It's Courtney, bitch"—speaking of gossip-page darlings—and speed through a monologue about fire and bombs before the racing guitars careen into the picture. "Rat A Tat" blends the methodical (Andy Hurley's stopwatch drumming) and the frantic (a buried, plunked-out synth line) before opening up into a flag-waving chorus. It's pretty funny, too; the VIP-guest conceit of "St. Peter's list" isn't explicit, but it's definitely there.

Popdust Says: 4/5

"Save Rock And Roll" (feat. Elton John)

Folie A Deux's big showpiece was the teary "What A Catch, Donnie," which closed out with a cameo from Elvis Costello and pals of the band singing snatches of earlier Fall Out Boy hits. This time out, the rolling anthem "Save Rock And Roll" fills that spot; famed troubadour Elton John sits down with Stump at the piano to sing "You are what you love/ not who loves you" in a cadence that directly recalls the chorus of Fall Out Boy's 2005 breakthrough "Sugar We're Goin' Down." (Putting John and Stump on the same song also shows how similar the two singers' enunciation styles can get.) The weariness swells until key change, which sets the stage for a chorus rising up to sing "Oh no, we won't go/ 'cause we don't know when to quit, oh no," over and over, the intensity increasing each time. It does eventually fade out, but on the tail of this heavens-reaching album, it's hard not to hope that lyric signals Fall Out Boy will be back in action for a while.

Popdust Says: 4.5/5