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Review

Fall Out Boy’s new album fails to impress

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February 8, 2007

Back when I was in high school, I remember being one of the first girls to jump on the emo, pop punk bandwagon. I bought a pair of Chucks, dyed my hair hot pink, wore too many plastic bracelets, and bought Fall Out Boy’s first album, Evening Out With Your Girlfriend. 

From then on, I was entranced by the way they could make a whole room jump up and down (ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR). They had venomous lyrics that spoke to the jaded ex-lover (“Stop burning bridges and drive off of them/so I can forget about you”). Unfortunately, Fall Out Boy’s new album Infinity on High falls significantly far from any of their previous releases.

The spirit of the Chicago punk rock scene that they emerged from is obviously absent. Perhaps I’m growing up and my tastes in music are changing. But its more likely that lead singer Patrick Stump is too busy stuffing his face with food and beer to come up with any new riffs and lyrics. (Seriously, have you seen him? He’s gained like 60 pounds.)

The band’s first single off the album, “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” (I don’t even know what that means) tries to recreate the pop success of “Dance, Dance” from their sophomore release From Under the Cork Tree. But the breakdown in the middle where the chorus is just repeated as if a whole crowd is chanting with them is pathetic.

For all of you kids who are too embarrassed to admit that you like this band, it’s not even a good song to secretly jam out to in your car. A couple songs later, we hear Stump’s attempt to be a better singer/songwriter with the piano ballad “Golden.” He sings, “I saw God cry in the reflection of my enemies.” What the hell, man? 

Hey, Fall Out Boy, just because The Fray and Snow Patrol put out a song like this, doesn’t mean that you can. So just stop it. You can’t even pretend to be punk anymore.

I always thought that one of Fall Out Boy’s best qualities was their ability to take witty and ironic lyrics and carry them through to their song titles.  For example, “It’s Not a Side Effect of the Cocaine, I Am Thinking It Must Be Love.”  But on Infinity on High, it seems that all the band’s creative juices could come up with was “Carpal Tunnel of Love.”  If this is the direction the band plans to keep going, the only carpal tunnel syndrome he’ll be getting won’t be from playing the guitar.
I am thoroughly disappointed in the way Fall Out Boy has been whoring themselves out to a “Laguna Beach” generation. Their original fan base, including myself, is dwindling, and they have no one to blame except themselves.

Listening to Infinity on High made me immediately go to LimeWire and download all the better songs they put out years ago.  Just because I like pop punk doesn’t mean I’m a moron that will gobble up anything this band spews from its record label.

Jenna Lee is a student at UW-River Falls.