Fall Out Boy
Folie a Deux


3.0
good

Review

by Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF
December 24th, 2008 | 153 replies | 34,342 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Folie A Deux's A-material stands up alongside that of previous albums, but Infinity On High is still the standard-bearer.

It’s a good three months now since Folie A Deux’s first single ‘I Don’t Care’ was unveiled: it came without an awful lot of fanfare and, ultimately, went without a huge amount of interest. It landed just outside the Billboard top twenty, a fat contrast to the worldwide chart-topping ‘This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race,’ the lead track from 2007’s Infinity On High. The publicity surrounding the album has been similarly low-key: the ambitious release date of November 4th, designed to coincide with the US Presidential election, was pushed back a full six weeks because- quote- ”this is not the election to be cute.” It’s a reasonable explanation, but not particularly convincing: it was a economic decision. Strategic delays are commonplace in the business-savvy worlds of hip hop and r&b, where first-week sales mean (almost) everything, but rock music is seen as being a little less cynical, rightly or wrongly. As it happens, the delay only served to suck any momentum from the campaign and the album limped into the top ten.

Musically, Folie A Deux is a baby step development on Infinity On High. There’s no show-stopping hip hop cameo, despite guest turns from Lil’ Wayne and Pharrell, and any lingering hardcore punk associations have been laid firmly to rest, but those are minor adjustments. In their stead comes a renewed reliance on flashy, multi-layered vocals, used to great effect on ‘Thnks Fr Th Mmrs’ but too often abused here to spit-polish mediocre fare. The only really new influence is fleeting: ‘I Don’t Care’ is about as far removed from the spirit of the ‘60s as humanly possible, but the boogie guitar shuffle is copped straight from Norman Greenbaum’s evergreen classic ‘Spirit In The Sky,’ itself a close cousin of John Lee Hooker’s signature tune ‘Boogie Chillun.’ Brendon Urie of Panic At The Disco lends his voice to ’20 Dollar Nose Bleed,’ a straightforward pop duet that would have been a choice cut on the latter’s Beatles-aping album Pretty. Odd. earlier this year, while opener ‘Disloyal Order Of Water Buffaloes’ pinches the epic piano sequence from the Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley,’ making it work in a completely different context.

However, the bulk of Folie A Deux will be achingly familiar to fans of Infinity On High and From Under The Cork Tree, and it’s not always the good sort of ache. The aforementioned opener is good, but it’s hard to ignore the lingering expectation that it will morph into the ‘Car Crash Hearts’ at any moment, and the slight disappointment when it doesn’t. ‘West Coast Smoker’ and ‘w.a.m.s’ are brutal, marrying tacky dance rock guitars with drab melodies and disastrously under-engaging lyrics about drugs and, er, drugs respectively. ‘27’ proceeds along very similar lines but it saved by the effortlessly cool wordplay that is, lamentably, too often missing from the album: “My body is an orphanage- we take everyone in / Doing lines of dust and sweat off last night’s stage, just to feel like you” It’s moments like these that underline Wentz’s often downplayed importance to the band: when he’s on form, Stump tends to come up with the goods, but when his lyrics are poor, the music tends to slump in sympathy.

For all its faults, Folie A Deux does come up with the goods just often enough to warrant repeat listens. At their peak, Stump and Wentz are a devastating partnership. ‘Tiffany Blews’ is contemporary pop gold, fusing Batdance-era cheesy synths with an autotune-heavy vocal hook reminiscent of Akon, while the chorus is a gift to any singer: “oooh baby, you’re a classic, just like the little black dress / But you’ll be faded soon.” ‘America’s Suitehearts’ channels underrated ‘90s retro pop act Jellyfish, while standout track ‘The (Shipped) Gold Standard’ and second single ‘Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet’ showcase just why Patrick Stump is considered one of the best, if not the best, singer in modern pop music, shifting effortlessly from a comically deep voice to a ball-busting falsetto. Elvis Costello’s much-publicised turn on ‘What A Catch, Donnie’ is disappointing- his only contribution is to repeat the chorus from ‘Headfirst Slide...’ amid what sounds like an overblown ego piece about “how far we’ve come” etc.- but it does underline the flattering similarities between the great English singer and his Chicagoan understudy.

Ultimately, though Folie A Deux is by no means a disaster, it is a disappointment following on from the incredible promise of Infinity On High’s punk pop/funk rock fusion. As interesting and as daring as Fall Out Boy continue to be, it’s difficult to shrug the feeling that Folie A Deux is just a little too conventional, that they’ve rested a little too heavily on their laurels and come out a little bit jaded. This is best represented in Wentz’s lyrics: usually, it’s a headache just to pick out the most eminently quotable lyrics from a Fall Out Boy album; on Folie A Deux, for every ‘Tiffany Blews’ there’s the lame cheerleading of ‘(Coffee’s For Closers).’ His obsession with fame, drugs and fame-related drug-taking gets boring long before the record’s 13 tracks play out in full, and his forays into political (read: pro-Obama) commentary are sincere, but no less nauseating as a result. Disappointing early sales aside, Folie A Deux will do well because its A-material stands up alongside that of previous albums, but over the full fifty minutes or so, Infinity On High is still the standard-bearer.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 24th 2008



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

finally

this album is great, how can u not like west coast smoker

Tyler
Emeritus
December 24th 2008



7928 Comments


irish

McP3000
December 24th 2008



3941 Comments


the cover is pretty cool

bastard
December 24th 2008



3435 Comments


I disagree, this is my favorite album of theirs.

still good review.

Asiatic667
December 24th 2008



4647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I feel that Folie a Deux lives up to infinity on high, but I think they're both equal

roofi
December 24th 2008



959 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like this better than Infinity on High, but this is a great review as always.

WhiteTieBlackJacket
December 24th 2008



785 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

In order from best to worst (worst being alright, of course)

1. From Under The Cork Tree
2. Take This To Your Grave
3. Folie a Duex
4. Infinity On High


From Under The Cork Tree has just the right amount of rock and pop for me, and I absolutely love the lyrics and hooks. I would rank that album among my favorites. (I found the cure to growing older/and you're the only place that feels like home)

Take This To Your Grave is completely different from Infinity On High and Folie a Duex, sharing only a few similarities with From Under The Cork Tree. The fast paste of the record sold me on it and, as is with all FOB's music, the lyrics were pretty clever.

I share the opinion of the reviewer on Folie a Duex, although I wouldn't put it below Infinity On High. I like the fact that it's entirely pop and it doesn't seem like the band is trying to find their niche as they were with Infinity on High.

Infinity On High was too "in the middle" for me. It seemed pretty convoluted. Despite that, I still give it the occasional listen.

Good review

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
December 24th 2008



3761 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Infinity on High >>>>> This, but This is still damn good.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

plane
Staff Reviewer
December 24th 2008



6085 Comments


I don't like this.

AtavanHalen
December 25th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I do.
And Infinity isn't better than this.

ConorMichaelJoseph
December 25th 2008



1870 Comments


This is better than Infinity on High...

foreverendeared
December 25th 2008



14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm sort of waiting for them to make an amazing album but I hope it happens before they stop being relevant
this already happened with Take This to Your Grave

ConorMichaelJoseph
December 25th 2008



1870 Comments


^ Partly agreed, not really amazing but their best in my opinion...
Though even that album's worn a bit thin for me these days

In order from best to worst (worst being alright, of course)



1. From Under The Cork Tree

2. Take This To Your Grave

3. Folie a Duex

4. Infinity On High


You left out Evening Out With Your Girlfriend, is it really so bad that even FOB's die-hard fans disregard it?This Message Edited On 12.25.08

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
December 26th 2008



7021 Comments


...for every ‘Tiffany Blews’ there’s the lame cheerleading of ‘(Coffee’s For Closers)

Lol. The latter track is the only one I enjoy from this album tbh.

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

ConorMichaelJoseph
December 26th 2008



1870 Comments


I like roughly half the tracks, so its pretty much on par with FUCT for me. I liked about two songs on Infinity, most songs on TTtYG and about two on Evening Out.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
December 26th 2008



7021 Comments


Infinity On High was unlistenable with the exception of a few songs.

ConorMichaelJoseph
December 26th 2008



1870 Comments


Tell that to every thirteen-year old girl within a hundred mile radius -_-

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2008



15727 Comments


tracklist doesn't have a 9.

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Asiatic667
December 26th 2008



4647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Come to think of it, From under The Cork tree may be my favorite, not that it's better, but because there isn't a bad track on there, and they all fit together so well on the album as a whole

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
December 26th 2008



7021 Comments


I like their first two albums the most.



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