Posted by: ericclark | January 5, 2009

Falling for Fall Out Boy…again

Fall Out Boy                                                                                                                                     Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy has done it again.

Just about two years ago, when the Chicago pop-punk group was taking over the world with “Infinity on High,” I wrote a column about how I’d fallen for Fall Out Boy. Before that, I refused to give them a chance, getting scared away by cred-shattering terms like “Top 40,” “mall-punk” and “multiplatinum.”

But I gave “Infinity on High” a chance, and it ended up being about the only thing I listened to for most of February 2007. Despite singer Patrick Stump’s assertation in hit “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” that Fall Out Boy’s bandwagon was full, the group gladly let me hop on for the ride.

So when Fall Out Boy’s follow-up, “Folie a Deux,” was released in December, I probably couldn’t wait, right? Wrong. Somehow, my love of “Infinity on High” didn’t make me very excited for more Fall Out Boy music. Maybe the music snob inside of me was coming back to the surface. My response to mid-tempo first single “I Don’t Care” was not to care, and I kind of figured I’d take a pass on “Folie.”

I don’t even know how it happened, but a few days before Christmas I was on and happened upon the MP3 download page for “Folie a Deux.” The album was on sale for $3.99. What a deal! It’s about time download services  learned what a sale is. Figuring $4 was a fair price for “Folie,”  I picked it up.

I haven’t stopped listening since. Fall Out Boy once again has won me over. Now that I’m familiar with “Folie a Deux,” I’d say it’s a better album overall than “Infinity on High.” At least 10 of the album’s 14 songs are excellent, and even those remaining four are above average. Even though there seems to be more of everything on “Folie” in terms of instrumentation and production, somehow the thing comes together as a cohesive whole that I actually want to listen to in order from start to finish.

There are so many hooks on these songs that, at first, it’s a little bit difficult to figure out which is which. Songs like “She’s My Winona,” “(Coffee’s for Closers),” “20 Dollar Nose Bleed,” “What a Catch, Donnie” and “Disloyal Order of the Water Buffaloes” each have three or four hooks that could’ve served as choruses for three or four times more songs.

I’m not saying Fall Out Boy is the greatest band ever. Most of bassist Pete Wentz’s lyrics don’t make any sense and, all in all, “Folie a Deux” is as shameless as a mid-’80s hair-metal album. The thing is, I can’t get these songs out of my head. And that’s a good thing.

Have a listen:

“She’s My Winona”

“20 Dollar Nose Bleed”

“What a Catch, Donnie”

Yes or no?



  1. “Shameless as a mid-80s hair metal album” indeed. I love Folie A Deux, but I understand your criticisms (as they are almost the same as mine). Still, Fall Out Boy are so damn endearing that I can’t bear to delete any of the songs I don’t like.

  2. I fell for FOB at “From Under the Cork Tree” and I am still falling 🙂

    And now at “Folie A Deux” I also can’t get those songs out of my head, there is something about this band 🙂

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