FOR MUG: Scene's Sheena Barnett gives "Infinity On High" three and a half out of five.
BY SHEENA BARNETT
Fall Out Boy is either the savior or death of rock n' roll - depending on who you ask.
Music fans are strongly divided over the pop-punk band, and the group's fourth album, "Infinity on High," is sure to deepen that divide.
Everything you love - or hate - about Fall Out Boy returns on this disc: There's the annoyingly long song titles ("I'm Like a Lawyer With the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off"), the emo-rific references (with lyrics like, "The best way to make it through with hearts and wrists intact is to realize two out of three ain't bad"), the bad puns ("The Carpel Tunnel of Love") and the catchy-like-an-STD hooks.
Just another FOB release, right? Not quite. The band takes a step forward in its music. It's poppier and has more soul. This may come as a disappointment to fans of the band's old, hard sound, but the band tries to make it up to their old fans.
An example of this is the first few seconds of the album, in which Jay-Z gives FOB's fans a shout-out: "To the fans that held us down til everybody came around/Welcome, it's here," he shouts. Lead singer Patrick Stump gives props to the fans too: "Crowds are won and lost and won again/But our hearts beat for the diehards," he sings in "Thriller."
Speaking of Stump, his vocal performance in this album is worth noting. His soaring vocals are stunning. He's quickly stealing the limelight from the band's "star," bassist Pete Wentz.
Stump sounds best on the band's funkier songs. His passionate singing and the horns at the beginning of "I've Got All This Ringing in My Ears and None on My Fingers" are the best parts of the song. Meanwhile, the album's first single, "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race," is funk-punk glory - it makes you want to mosh in a choir.
The album as a whole is a good time, and it goes down easily if you let it. The slick production makes everything smooth, but when you listen closely you'll be pleasantly surprised by FOB's musical tricks.