Fall Out Boy

‘What you critics said would never happen…’ begins Jay-Z, rent-a-fan intro guy on “Thriller”, the opening track of FOB’s follow-up to “From Under The Cork Tree”. Now this alone furthered my opinion that I wasn’t going to like the album…

By now everyone’s heard the first single from Infinity On High, “This Ain’t A Scene…” which, the first 500 times you hear it, sounds like an attempt at a political statement, but is actually a clever allusion to the music scene as a war of words. OK, it still doesn’t need the blasphemy, but at least it takes them down from the high horse that I had imagined them on.

The titles may be stupidly long (“I’ve Got All This Ringing In My Ears And None On My Fingers”) or truncated (“Thnks fr th Mmrs”, “Fame < Infamy”), but I found the songs they represent becoming increasingly listenable.

And it’s difficult to call the tracks samey. Maybe there are a few too many similarities between this and the previous album, with the riffs of their best-selling singles cropping up here and there, but who can blame them? If it shifts units, all power to them.

The bizarre track award goes to “Hum Hallelujah”, which successfully segues from an EMO / Metal track into a chorus of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. Strange, but it made me chuckle.

Other tracks of note include “Bang The Doldrums”, mostly due to its brilliant tune and “You’re Crashing, But You’re No Wave” with its effective use of dual vocals and Ugly Kid Joe-esque riffs.

I still have no idea what “Golden” is about.

I genuinely can’t make my mind up about this album. For all the effort that it puts into being cool and appealing to the specific teenage audience, there are some clever writers (both musically and lyrically) lurking. I just wish they’d show this more.

Simon Middleyard