It is not often that a band can stay true to the sound they are known for and not become boring, but the scene-friendly Fall Out Boy have managed to do just this. Their latest piece of work, Infinity On High, serves not only as a confessional, but also as an album so catchy that even those that do not shop at Hot Topic will enjoy it. It can oftentimes be hard to differentiate the sound of the band from Panic! At the Disco, bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz’s prot√©g√©-gone-popular, and it can sometimes be a bit slower than the band’s previous record, From Under the Cork Tree, but Wentz’s poetic lyrics paired with vocalist Patrick Stump’s surprisingly melodic voice help to keep the record fresh.
On the opening track, “Thriller,” Fall Out Boy bring in Jay-Z, who seems a bit out of place and useless in the song. He reads the opening dialogue, a thank you to the fans who have stuck by them throughout their career. Now, Pete Wentz is a creative guy. Could he possibly have thought up something that would not be as random as Jay-Z?
Those who are put off by this bizarre intro are soon reunited with the catchy choruses common for Fall Out Boy. The lyrics and vocals are stunning on this track (and the whole record), with Stump singing “So long live the car crash hearts/Cry on the couch/All the poets come to life” in the catchy chorus expected of the band.
The third track and first single off the record, “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race,” talks about making it in the music business, with lyrics like, “As long as the room keeps singing/That’s just the business I’m in.”
Lyrics like, “Bandwagon’s full/Please find another” might refer to how so many record companies are trying to cash in on the whole pop-punk scene; everywhere you turn, there are bands imitating Fall Out Boy.
When first listening to this song, it seems like a strange choice for the first single and it takes a lot of getting used to. What might make many fall in love with this disgustingly catchy song is the chorus, which is the signature of the Fall Out Boy sound.
Babyface appears on a couple of tracks on this record, including the fourth track, “I’m Like a Lawyer the Way I Keep Trying to Get You Off (Me and You),” which could possibly be the reason this track doesn’t sound a thing like something the band would produce. Funny thing is, many would think Babyface would do the band some good, helping to keep their tracks from getting lost in one another on the album, but every track sometimes sounds the same.
The low point of the album is the midpoint, which seems to be a common theme for the band. These songs are too structured in a manner that the band can’t seem to separate themselves from: Verse, hook, chorus, verse, hook, chorus.
The album does not truly pick up until “Bang the Doldrums,” followed by “You’re Crashing But You’re No Wave,” which involves an interesting combination of heavy guitars and drums with a delicate piano in the background. One of the heavier tracks on the record, “You’re Crashing” hosts guest vocals from Butch Walker paired with ironic lyrics, which keeps the track from getting boring.
The album ends with a bang on “I’ve Got All This Ringing In My Ears…” which opens with what sounds like a harpsichord before launching into music that sounds like it could be background music in a bad ’80s movie; however, it somehow works for the song. Everything about this song is fantastic, from the guitars, to the vocals, to the drums, to the melodies. It truly deserves the applause that closes out the song, much like applause at the end of a play.
People either love or hate Fall Out Boy, which only helps their staying power. With titles like “Fame