Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Fall Out Boy: Folie À Deux

At this point, everyone who pays attention has probably made up their minds about Fall Out Boy. After the band jumped into mainstream consciousness with 2005's From Under The Cork Tree, overexposure catalyzed an inevitable backlash, worsened by the tabloid escapades of bassist/lyricist Pete Wentz. While the adulation of millions of kids has made the Chicago quartet a platinum-selling arena act, the group inspires equally passionate disdain from non-fans, who made "Wentz" slang for "douche."


That phenomenon informs "I Don't Care," the first single from Fall Out Boy's fifth album, Folie À Deux. "I don't care what you think / as long as it's about me" goes the chorus, reflecting the self-awareness at the core of Wentz's lyrics. Although he says Folie À Deux isn't autobiographical (or at least less autobiographical), there's no denying it in "I Don't Care," whose video begins with longhair rocker dudes mocking Fall Out Boy after a show: "What the hell happened to rock 'n' roll?" one says. "I've taken shits with bigger rock stars than them!"

Bigger rock stars seem to be on the band's mind with Folie, though: The excellent opener "Disloyal Order Of Water Buffaloes" recalls the piano at the beginning of The Who's "Baba O'Reilly"; the vocal harmonies in "America's Suitehearts" should have a Beatles trademark (ditto the "Hey Jude"-esque closing of "What A Catch, Donnie"); and the sunny '70s pop of "20 Dollar Nose Bleed" could double for "Saturday In The Park"-era Chicago. Those aside, Folie follows the precedent of 2007's Infinity On High, which expanded Fall Out Boy's sonic palette (synthesizers, sequenced drums, strings, etc.). This one just goes further, with more layers and cameos from Elvis Costello, Debbie Harry, Lil Wayne, and others. Costello endorsement or not, Folie À Deux won't change the minds of people who use "Wentz" pejoratively. But Fall Out Boy seems more comfortable than ever with that.