High on INFINITY!!!

Artist: Fall Out Boy
Album: Infinity On High
Highlights: The Take Over The Breaks Over, I’m Like A Lawyer with the Way I’m Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You), Thnks Fr Th Mmrs, The Carpal Tunnel of Love

With a name like Fall Out Boy, you start to wonder if bands are running out of good band names to come up with. Some fans of the TV show, The Simpson’s, might have even been confused with the band’s name, because it has the same name as a character on the show.  They might have wondered if they’d get sued by Matt Groening. Either way, Chicago‘s Fall Out Boy has emerged out of the indie emo scene and into the mainstream.  And now, with a new album titled Infinity On High, who knows where their road will lead them.

             Fall Out Boy has been a band for slightly under seven years, and within that time they’ve had three EPs (one titled Leaked In London, which was released the same day as Infinity On High, Feb. 6), and four albums: Fall Out Boy’s Evening Out With Your Girlfriend (2003), Take This To Your Grave (2003), From Under The Cork Tree (2005), and Infinity On High (2007).  They release records every two years. Lead vocalist and guitarist Patrick Stump writes the music; backing vocalist and bassist Pete Wentz writes the lyrics. While drummer Andy Hurley and lead guitarist and backing vocalist Joe Trohman also contribute and deliver their own unique abilities to harmonize with the music.

             With several versions of the album sold, Infinity On High sold 260,000 copies in its first week.  Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds produced two songs titled “I’m Like A Lawyer With The Way I’m Always Trying To Get You Off (Me & You)” and “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs.” He also played a few instruments such as the B3 organ and a mandolin for those songs. Butch Walker also took part in co-producing with Patrick Stump in “Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am?”, and also provided vocals on a tune called “You’re Crashing, But You’re No Wave.” Throughout the album, Stump sings in a soulful falsetto voice.

             The first track titled “Thriller,” starts off with a guitar riff, and surprisingly enough, an intro from hip-hop rapper Jay-Z speaking from a FOB’s point of view; they dedicated the album to the critics and anyone who doubted the band’s success and, of course, to their diehard fans who remained at their side the whole way. He also signs off the song by shouting out “F.O.B.” The style the song is sung and played in isn’t that far of a stretch from their last record.

             The second number on this record is called “The Take Over, The Breaks Over” and it kicks off with a spunky-fied catchy tune. This song also has Ryan Ross of Panic! At The Disco and Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory, both playing guitar solos to accompany Stumps’ melodic whisper. Track number four, “I’m Like A Lawyer With The Way I’m Always Trying To Get You Off (Me & You)” is just as catchy, maybe even a tad bit more addicting. It is definitely one of the memorable songs and also has the potential of being a single for the pop-rock sound.

             The third track is that song you caught yourself singing, because it was stuck in the back of your head, which was titled “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race.” It’s the song that you didn’t fancy at first, but after hearing it everywhere, you knew you secretly craved to sing along with everyone else singing the title itself and singing “who who who who who who” at the top of your lungs. A line like “Bandwagon’s full, please catch another” is quite classy and creative.

             “Hum Hallelujah” will have you chanting “Hallelujah” along with the choir-esque angelic whispers. It’s in Fall Out Boy’s nature to have a crowd singing a certain verse. An earlier reference would be “Homesick At Space Camp” from their Take This To Your Grave album. “Golden” is a piano ballad that automatically reminded me of John Legend’s “Ordinary People,” and had me wondering if I was really listening to Fall Out Boy. It’s just unexpected of them to release a song like this. Sure it’s different, but it’s filled with emotion and passion, and the way it’s sung is breath taking.

             “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” is Thanks For The Memories only without all of the vowels. The lyrics screams out “no more secrets, everyone shall know what happened” kind of deal. The way it’s sung is strikingly revengeful, snatching a line from the movie “Closer” quoting a line “He tastes like you, only sweeter.”

             Listening to more than half of the album, I did miss hearing some part of FOB on this record until I got to the song “The Carpal Tunnel of Love.” That particular sound was the scorching screams of bassist Pete Wentz. A Fall Out Boy record just doesn’t feel complete without it. Lyrically and musically, this song can easily be an example of their earlier tone from Take This To Your Grave.

             “Fame < Infamy” is a danceable song to jive to. Stump’s voice meshes together like thunder with the music which makes you jump up and dance and nothing else can be done except sing along… if the lyrics have been learned.

             If you like Fall Out Boy, you probably already have this, but if not, then do buy the album or download it. The band may seem like they’ve sold out, but they haven’t. They are the same guys with the lead singer who always wears a hat; the same guys who name their song titles with extremely long witty catch phrases. Like the opening lyrics in “The Take Over, The Break’s Over,” “Seasons change, but people don’t.” If this is a scene, then
you might want to check them out on the Honda Civic Tour along with +44, The Academy Is…, Paul Wall, and Cobra Starship.