The year was 2007 when I first heard a Fall Out Boy song on the radio. Only being a couple months shy of 11 years old, I hadn’t really been exposed to any kind of rock music before, besides the classic rock that my parents listened to. But when I listened to FOB for the first time, I knew that they were going to be my favorite band.
And they were my favorite for a whopping 10 years. FOB has stood the test of time thus far — they just released album no. 7, “MANIA,” in January 2018. For the first time in 10 years, I didn’t love a FOB album. FOB underwent a major transformation after their three year hiatus ended in 2013 that launched them into mainstream success, however, with that came conformity to the new norm — pop music.
“MANIA” was a flop in my opinion solely because I’ve seen them do so much better. Each album has evolved in its own way, however, “MANIA” just isn’t great. So I figured for this edition of Jen’s Top Ten’s, I would do my top 10 favorite underrated FOB songs to celebrate the good times.
1.) Homesick At Space Camp
My first pick comes off of FOB’s 2003 debut album “Take This To Your Grave.” The drums crash in, setting the mood for the entire song. Right off the bat, the lyrics paint a picture: “Landing on a runway in Chicago / and I’m grounding all my dreams / of ever really seeing California.” FOB are from Chicago, and the song describes the distance between these people now that FOB are out on the road. The song is cohesive and keeps you on your toes.
2.) I’ve Got A Dark Alley And A Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Your Mouth (Summer Song)
Ugh, long live the days of long FOB song titles. This song is definitely one of their least popular tunes, coming off of their sophomore album “From Under The Cork Tree.” But god damn this song is so underrated. Musically, it is one of FOB’s more laid back sounds, with lyrics that are even more depressing. The lyrics are about bassist Pete Wentz suicide attempt, which is why Wentz has always said that they will never play this one live. This song gives me hella feels.
Thriller is the intro track to their third studio album, and my personal favorite, “Infinity On High.” This album has so many hidden gems, however I feel like this one is overlooked by most critics and casual fans. A twinkling guitar is heard in the background while Jay-Z introduces the record, dedicating the album to the die-hard fans and to the critics who said they wouldn’t make it far. Once the drums and guitars come smashing in, Wentz discusses what it has been like since their newfound fame of their last records. I could talk about this song for days — check out the lyrics here.
4.) Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am?
Honestly, I could probably write a lengthy review about why the entirety of “Infinity On High” is critically underrated, but I’ll just leave it at this for now. Wentz early lyricism is phenomonal, with the intro lyrics here being “Penny for you thoughts but a dollar for your insights / or a fortune for your disaster” — here, Wentz is speaking about how the music industry profits more off of your tragic moments that inspired your art. Deep, huh?
5.) The (Shipped) Gold Standard
FOB’s fourth studio record “Folie a Deux” was viewed by critics as FOB’s weakest albums, however, this album resonates with many FOB fans. The vibe of this song is moody and a little bit meloncholy, with lyrics like “You can only blame your problems on the world for so long / before it all becomes the same old song.” Also, I think vocalist Patrick Stump’s vocals really shine on this record, with more experimentation with super high notes and super low notes.
6.) Young Volcanoes
FOB’s fifth studio album “Save Rock and Roll” came out in 2013 following a four year hiatus. SR&R was recorded in secret, and this song could have been an easy radio hit had “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” have not taken the cake for best comeback single. There’s a very upbeat sound to it, almost as if you mashed FOB with Imagine Dragons. This is one of those songs that just makes you want to get up and dance around.
7.) What A Catch, Donnie
FOB has few ballads, but when they do them, they kill them. With the combination of a piano and other symphony instruments, this song tugs at your heartstrings. The lyrics also follow the aftermath of Wentz’s suicide attempt, with the opening lyrics being “I’ve got troubled thoughts / and the self-esteem to match / what a catch.” Towards the end of the song, there are many interpolations of their biggest hits, all sung by other singers that they’ve worked with throughout their career, including Brendon Urie, Travie McCoy, and William Beckett.
8.) I’m Like A Lawyer With The Way I’m Always Trying To Get You Off (Me and You)
This has always been my favorite FOB song for so many reasons. It’s a love song, however, I’ve never really been able to make out the lyrics. The pre-chorus and chorus cresendo together, which has always made this song pleasing to the ear. Also, the music video has had me in tears since 2009. FOB have been advocates for the Invisible Children long before Kony2012 was even a thing.
9.) Tell That Mick He Just Made My List Of Things To Do Today
This song is so criminally underrated. Coming off of their debut album, FOB really shows the young angst of the early 2000’s with lyrics like “Let’s play this game called when you catch fire / I wouldn’t piss to put you out,” and “Stop burning bridges / and drive off of them,” and “His smile’s your rope / so wrap it tight around your throat.” I mean, fuck. WHO HURT PETE WENTZ?! This song is honestly so savage and they clearly did a number to Pete for him to have written this harsh song.
10.) Hum Hallelujah
And last but not least, we have another track off of “Infinity On High.” This track also follows the theme of Wentz’s suicide attempt. Honestly, just listening to the song, I couldn’t really tell that it was about that until I actually looked into the lyrics. I’ve honestly just always loved the heavy guitars, beating drums, and level of grit that’s always resided after all these years.
So there you have it, folks. There’s so many more underrated FOB songs, but these are the ones that definitely go missed more than others.