Friday, December 19, 2008

Fall Out Boy - Folie A Deux

Fueled By Ramen
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(Note: Also published at

The lyrics of Folie A Deux...


I'm coming apart at the seams.

Pete Wentz. Patrick Stump. Two names you should commit to memory, if you haven't already. Arguably the biggest name in rock, Fall Out Boy is the band to be right now, like it or not.

They're not coming apart any time soon. But...

Doc, there's a hole where something was.

And there really is. Yeah, Fall Out Boy still makes "fun" music, but there's just something missing. It's not as believable as it once was - these kids simply aren't kids anymore. There's a hole in their music, the way I see it - the band still makes infectious pop-punk with a million hooks to boot, but something's off.

Not that much has changed though. Just looking at the tracklist, it's a pop-culture grab bag, with your independent movie nod ("(Coffee's For Closers)"), Roberta Flack reference ("What A Catch, Donnie"), and shout out to Pete Rose ("Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet"). And those are just the titles!

The only problem is that it's all sort of old hat at this point. This is more or less what Fall Out Boy has always done, just with more polish. Bearing that in mind, it is my sincere hope that they do not become afflicted with Blink 182 syndrome: 30-something dudes singing about cutting class and making out with girls in the back of English.

Ah, to be 18 forever. Maybe Jesse Lacey was on to something...

I will never end up like him.

Famous last words. But at least it sounds like you're heeding the last paragraph's warning.

I don't care what you think, just as long as it's about me.

I want to believe this is true, that Pete Wentz or whoever really means it. Half of me even does believe it. Fall Out Boy experiments a bit on Folie A Deux, and I'm sure that this has alienated a great portion of the Take This To Your Grave crowd (if any of them are still listening). The first example that comes to my mind is the blues-inspired bridge of "I Don't Care", its call-and-response riffage and lyrical interplay a far cry from more direct cuts like "Grenade Jumper" or even "Dance, Dance".

But, I mean, come on, they're only human; of course they want to appeal to a broad market. That sounds harsh, and I'm not trying to cast the word "sell-out" upon the band. But if they want to keep making music - if they want to keep their primary cathartic output open - then, pragmatically speaking, somebody needs to be listening. And so it's here that the band makes a few concessions.

For one, there are more guest spots than a Yung Joc record, and that's just on "What A Catch, Donnie" alone. Songs like "She's My Winona" and "27" are predictable and worn-out, probably just what the fans want, and to ensure that nobody's attention strays, none of the tracks break the five minute mark. But let's go back to that whole guest feature thing again, because this is something done remarkably well on Folie A Deux. "20 Dollar Nose Bleed" has a very Panic at the Disco feel to it (it should, since it's a Brendon Urie vehicle), and not surprisingly winds up as the most upbeat song on the disc. As mentioned earlier, everybody and their mother sings a line on "What A Catch, Donnie", and the overall effect is quite satisfying. Hell, even Lil' Wayne is on Folie A Deux, and as a friend of mine on Twitter observed, it's better than half of Weezy's guest verses all year.

At the end of the day, however, a part of me wants to believe (a part of me needs to believe) that it's still all about them. And it is.

Why won't the world revolve around me?

A fervent question that confirms my beliefs.

I've got troubled thoughts and the self esteem to match.

And here we come to the root of it all. Maybe, just maybe, despite that fact that they're "all growed up", well, maybe they're not. Maybe Fall Out Boy is still just a group of oversized angsty kids from Illinois trying to make themselves feel a tiny bit better through their music.


Key Tracks:
20 Dollar Nose Bleed
Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet
What A Catch, Donnie


  1. Im part of the tttyg crowd. I agree in whole with what you said. Its still good music

  2. at least somebody agrees with me somewhere.