A couple of weeks ago, a classmate mentioned Fall Out Boy in her poem in Creative Writing Class, prompting a small conversation in our group about them. Last weekend, I decided to listen to From Under the Cork Tree for nostalgia, and was hooked. In the past, I much preferred the more pop-punk style of Take This To Your Grave, and criticized Fall Out Boy for being the typical pop-punk band that gets worse with every album. A year or two go by and now I have the exact opposite opinion. I went on to listen to Infinity On High, and I loved it. Before, I couldn’t stand it, save a couple of songs. Now, there are only a couple of songs that I don’t like. I continued on and listened to Folie a Deux, and ended up loving it even more. When Folie came out, I knew that it was a good record, but I didn’t really spend much time on it because some other album was released at around the same time and I focused on that. Now I wonder, how could I have so easily passed this up a year ago?
TTTYG is one of my most favorite pop-punk albums of all time, which is probably why I got mad at Fall Out Boy for gradually changing their sound until they hardly sound like that anymore. Especially when Infinity came out, I was thinking, Where the heck did this come from? Looking back, though, I see how their sound progression from album to album makes a lot of sense. They would’ve never made Folie if they hadn’t made Infinity, and they definitely couldn’t have made Infinity after TTTYG without Cork Tree in between. I love how their songs’ influences are expanded with every album, to mold together different genres of music while still holding true to a catchy pop sound. I also love how Patrick Stump’s vocals get better and better with every album, as he gradually uses more falsetto and higher notes, showing his incredible range. In this past week, I’ve come to fully appreciate how Fall Out Boy tried to change their sound to make it truly their own with every album they put out. Unfortunately, I might be just a little bit late.
It turns out that Fall Out Boy has been on some sort of indefinite hiatus. The band members have been posting miscellaneous statements on their Twitters and their blogs, and people, the media, fans, etc., have been making a really big fuss about it and blowing it out of proportion. My understanding of it is that the band members are just trying to get away from the lives of musicians for a while, which is very understandable, and almost respectable even. What’s also great is that apparently there’s no bad blood between any of the band members. They all just decided that Fall Out Boy wasn’t what they wanted to do at this point in their lives, and they’ll either get back to it in a couple of years or they won’t. Patrick Stump already has a solo project under his sleeve, Pete Wentz is probably spending time with his new family, and the guitarist and drummer are doing…something. It might turn into another Blink 182 fiasco, but not as extreme. They might never perform or record together again. I can’t predict the future. I don’t know what’s worse, the Where has this been all my life? when you come across something that could’ve helped you out years ago, or revisiting something and realizing just how great it is once it’s (kind of) gone.
Since this post is listed under “Music Reviews,” I might as well give ratings to all of their albums.
Take This To Your Grave (2003) – 8/10 – “Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things To Do Today,” “Grand Theft Auto/Where Is Your Boy,” Chicago is So Two Years Ago,” “The Patron Saint of Liars and Fakes”
From Under the Cork Tree (2005) – 8/10 – “Of All The Gin Joints in All The World,” “Sugar We’re Going Down,” “Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year,” “Champagne for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friend”
Infinity On High (2007) – 8/10 – “Thriller,” “The Take Over, the Break’s Over,” “Hum Hallelujah,” “Carpal Tunnel of Love”
Folie a Deux (2008) – 9/10 – “Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes,” “She’s My Winona,” “The (Shipped) Gold Standard,” “(Coffee’s for Closers)”