Fall Out Boy - From Under the Cork Tree
Record Label: Decaydence
Release Date: May 5, 2005
Greetings to all on Absolutepunk.net and to all who are reading. I thank you for your attention. This is my very first review in a public spotlight, and I want nothing more than to make the biggest and best effort I can. I may or may not stumble along the way and my vocabulary may or may not be flaunted for the sake of putting on a show of words, but I guarantee you it will not be the end of a long career of reviewing albums.
Now I'd like for the readers to put Fall Out Boy in that situation with From Under the Cork Tree, an album that four years later will contain their best and brightest, along with their clumsiest trips and fumbles. The band has taken a few steps up in the social world of music since their forever-praised staple in the pop-punk world, Take This To Your Grave, which gained its mainstream success a little late into its lifecycle. Finally given the full effect of the spotlight for the first time, it seems that sometimes the band gets a tad bit of stagefright, but I digress. Its just passed eight and I'm feeling young and reckless.
Oh, and a disclaimer, while I love Joe Trohman, its evident that this was his album to jump around and he is almost nowhere to be found on this album. So that's why I will not mention him much. Okay, lets get to work.
I find the best way to describe an album is song by song. The sound of flashing cameras kickstart this album to a very heavy D-chord opener, a fitting opening, for if you remember the last note of "The Patron Saint of Liars and Fakes" ended on the same chord. "Our Lawyers" is a fantastic opener and just what the band needs to let the public world know they mean business. The follow-up is one of those stumbles I mentioned earlier. "Of All the Gin Joints in All the World" initially kicks off right when you'd think its going to pack as much punch as the opening act, and on first listen, you might think it does. But another listen will show that it's a very repetitive, unoriginal song that falls to the lesser half of the album, and shows that Patrick Stump (while an astounding vocalist) is in fact human and does make vocal mistakes on record, a characteristic much less visible on their later releases. Thus ends victim #1 to the stagefright.
But wouldn't you know, this band picks themselves right back up with a love-it-or-hate-it fan favorite, "Dance Dance," which is the best song on the album. With the otherworldly catchy hook "Dance Dance/We're falling apart to halftime" that not only rocks, but wears the crown and holds the scepter to the mainstream pop-punk world. And while Stump's vocals are a clear staple on that song, they establish their identity on the cult classic, "Sugar, We're Goin Down" (although for Andy's drumwork its vice versa); further proof this album is powered by its singles as the rest of the album shamelessly follows (which isn't that bad of a thing considering the quality of their leaders). Pete Wentz's lyrics have a sparkle to them that are as perfect a pair to Patrick's vocals as Jeckyll and Hyde, that are as translucent on "Sugar" as they are on the next track "Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner." Patrick's crooning of Pete's words in this song will be remembered by fans until the day they die. Though it is repetitive, it doesn't completely overdo itself, keeping it somewhat fresh after the second chorus. It's the song "Of All the Gin Joints" wanted to be but just didn't reach.
"I Got A Dark Alley" is a usual mellow Track 6, that contains a great piece of lyrical work by Wentz, and its understandable, for its about a very tragic moment in his life. Contrary to the great message, the execution is sloppy and lacking in some parts. It's not a huge stumble, but maybe cutting it to two verses and two choruses made it feel too short for the message to really take charge as much as it should have. And next comes the biggest disappointment, "7 Minutes in Heaven," which had the potential to be the epic rocker to bring the first half the record full circle. The roaring chorus starts with "I keep telling myself I'm not the desperate type/But you've got me looking through the blinds" and ends with an awkward drumbeat change and completely ruins the chances for this chorus to keep its momentum. The ending solo is a very nice touch, but go figure, the end ruins the momentum. Its like a pattern that thankfully is not repeated in "Sophomore Slump," a very nice song that showcases Stump's witty arrangements at their best, while "Champagne for My Real Friends," even having one of the greatest song titles in FOB history, almost deems itself forgettable.
I will not even bother typing out the title of this next song. Its a very big change of scenery for the album and no doubt the edgiest song, yet that's not saying too much. The hook of the chorus takes a turn for the girlier in lines such as "Douse yourself in cheap perfume/Its so fitting of the way you are," yet the verses have some clutch words. Its a mixed bag, unlike "A Little Less 16 Candles," which is just like the Pizza/Arcade of this album. Its nothing but an upbeat, feel-good party.
"Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying" is completely under speculation of the fans, but I personally happen to be in favor, while "XO" is a very big misstep as a closer, fitting to the situation that this album is a misstep as the Sophomore cannon it should have been. Granted, there are some the best that will ever grace FOB's discography, but it also contains some of the worst. It beckons fans towards FOB's unique persona, yet leaves them with bland selections.
Keep in mind, FOB is my favorite band. I chose to review this album first because to me, it was the most rugged, unkept of them all, but who's to say a little scruff hurt anybody? FOB learned their lesson from their ultimately Sophomore Stagger, but oh, what a lesson they've learned.
This is one of those albums that I know exactly when and exactly what I was doing the first time I heard it. It brings back so many memories from Freshman year..
It's also one of those albums that I can go back and listen to years after first hearing it and still enjoy it.
Review wasn't terrible..I do disagree with you on XO though. That's one of my favorites.
This album is my favorite FOB album and one of my favorites of all time. And will always be. I'd give it a much higher score, I think it's so much better than most of the pop punk releases in the recent past.
This is one of my favourite albums, the lyrics are just immense.
Fall Out Boy's best album by a long shot in my opinion, they havn't even come close to it in their last two attempts. I think the fame's gone to their heads to be honest.
I've definitely heard that a lot but that fame can be taken as either ambition or a cash-in. being a songwriter myself its interesting to see how much you want to grow musically. i'm gunna review infinity next and mention some things that'll hopefully change your mind.