Fall Out Boy

Infinity On High

Written by: TL on 10/02/2007 01:31:36

It would seem there is an unbendable rule of thumb concerning being in a band today. If you ever break into the mainstream, public opinion will stop having anything to do with your music and start having everything to do with how you handle yourself as a star, and since what's concerned star quality is highly subjective you better be ready for the polarization that's gonna happen in your fanbase. When My Chemical Romance fulfilled the expectations for them and released the already platinum selling "The Black Parade", suddenly just about everyone I know who used to like them felt different to say the least. It would seem that once your favourite band gets too big to be considered 'underground', you completely lose your ability to hear anything appealing in their songs. Deny it if you want, but I'm quite certain that no matter what I write in this review, you already know what you think of Fall Out Boy's mainstream-conquering "Infinity On High", no matter if you've even heard it or not.

If however, you are just as hellbent on listening to the record without prejudice as I was, then I can tell you already, that you're in for a treat. The boys have created an album for you that's catchier, more complete and longer lasting than their otherwise great prior album "From Under The Cork Tree". As you put on the record, voices will start reading bad reviews of the band's music aloud (if that's not attitude, I don't know what is) and Jay-Z delivers an introduction that seems to spite critics of his appearance on the album, by fitting the opening track "Thriller" perfectly. A track that's bombastic, anthemic and does a damn fine job at breaking down any kind of defences you might have mounted to sustain the charm-offensive coming at you from here to the end. From here on out, it's full speed ahead with a batch of songs where the choruses will keep you dancing and singing along for weeks and weeks. First single "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race" leads as being the immediate star of the team, but once you get to listening, especially the Babyface-produced "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs" should start making an impression as well, and before you know what's happening, you're gonna be in love with the main part of the album. The band is all over the place with plenty of references to "From Under The Cork Tree" but also "Take This To Your Grave", and you'll be more than hard pressed to argue that this is a band that has compromised their sound to sell records. In a strange way Fall Out Boy sound like they've always done but yet the number of new elements to the music is vast.

If "Take This To Your Grave" was your favourite FOB record, I'll grant you that you are probably going to miss the more naive take on vocals and lyrics the band utilized back then, as "Infinity On High" follows up on the more sarcastic and attitude filled line laid out on "From Under The Cork Tree", a property with a quality highly subjective compared to the most striking 'issue' of the record. Three out of fourteen songs are what PP would describe as "gay songs", that meaning slow and ballad like songs. I'd say in the bands defence that at least they're not super-tacky lovesongs, but still "I'm Like A Lawyer...", "The (After) Life Of The Party" and especially "Golden" are slower songs that would have never found their way onto an album like "Take This To Your Grave". None of the songs can fairly be described as bad, but the relevance of a soul influenced piano/acapella track on a Fall Out Boy record is bound to depend heavily of your perception of the band.

I could keep describing the album page up and page down, but it would probably be a futile effort. Fall Out Boy are who they are, and as long as people are unable to put that aside, there are bound to be plenty of people out there who are foolish enough to deny the strikingly obvious and uncomplicated appeal of this highly characteristic collection of songs. If you'd never heard of Fall Out Boy, chances are you'd be dancing already.

Download: This Ain't A Scene It's An Arms Race, Thnks Fr Th Mmrs, Don't You Know Who I Think I Am
For the fans of: The Academy Is..., Panic! At The Disco, Yellowcard
Listen: MySpace

Release date 06.02.2007
Island Records / Fueled By Ramen / Decaydance

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