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Please, Let's Not Argue About What's Emo and What's Not, Okay?

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 6, 2007 6:10PM

At some point today, Fall Out Boy will be playing an invite-only show at House Of Blues to celebrate the release of their new album, Infinity on High.

Okay, stop your laughing.

2007_02_falloutboy.jpg To folks with asymmetrical haircuts and teenagers whose composition books are dripping with despondently poetic ink, this is a big deal. And, to a certain extent, it’s sort of a big deal for Chicago as well. Sure, the new disc is probably not “one of the biggest leaks” ever and it’s probably not even the most important release, industry-wise, of the first quarter of the year, but it does peg Chicago as ground zero for mall-emo / Fuse culture, at least for this week.

So what about the album? Is it any good? Is it worthy of all the hype including, but not limited to, a guest appearance by none other than Jay-Z himself? (Although after his dud of a “comeback” maybe he needs these Chicago suburbanites more than they need him.)

Eh, it’s not bad. Middle-aged critics are falling over themselves proclaiming it to be awesome. A certain critic at the Sun-Times had this to say about it:

Infinity on High is a major leap forward, bringing a wild ambition to the simple genre patented by the Ramones, revived by fellow Chicagoans Screeching Weasel and turned into a platinum phenomenon by the likes of Green Day and Blink-182.

Okay, the only band, of the above listed, Fall Out Boy has anything in common with is blink-182. And maybe Green Day if you’re counting eyeliner as a valid link.

The bottom line is that the group has built upon the foundation of their breakthrough, From Under The Cork Tree, injected a few effects to stay ahead of Panic! At The Disco (as if that’s difficult) and created a solid pop album whose sugary rush dissolves pretty quickly. Aside from a few anthemic moments (“The Take Over, The Break's Over” and the Queen-biting (what is with emo groups going to the Well of Mercury anyway?) “I've Got All This Ringing In My Ears And None On My Fingers” come to mind) the album plugs along with a generic pleasantness that will move lots of units and cause lighters to run out of fluid and cell-phone batteries to drain to death.