I don’t like Pearl Jam much anymore, but I really respect them. "Why is that?" you might ask? Well, it’s because they’re not afraid to evolve and change their musical style. I think it’s also one of the main reasons why I like Self. No two CDs sound alike. For me, each of Pearl Jam’s first three CDs was better than the previous, hitting the climax with Vitalogy. While I still enjoyed No Code, there was a definite downturn in enjoyment, and I haven’t really liked anything since. But I really respect the band for not sticking with what made them popular and experimenting with different sounds and styles.
Now, what does this have to do with the latest Fall Out Boy release? Well, we’ve got kind of the opposite effect going on here. Their first two full-length releases (Fall Out Boy’s Evening Out with Your Girlfriend and Take This to Your Grave) were craptastic, even though Take This to Your Grave wound up hitting Gold status. I think I read somewhere that for the next release (From Under the Cork Tree) songwriting duties switched from lead singer Patrick Stump to bass guitarist (and Mr. Ashley Simpson) Pete Wentz. I don’t know if I’m actually remembering this correctly, but something definitely changed. This CD is one of my favorites, and I can always pop it in the player and enjoy it.
So I was pretty excited when the follow-up, Infinity on High, was released. But it didn’t take me too long to get extremely tired of it. Other than the intro by Jay-Z and a few songs, nothing about it really grabbed me, and I really didn’t know why.
I figured it out with the release of Folie A Deux. The CDs all sound the same. FOB hit it big with FUtCT and pretty much stuck with that sound. Heck, in this CD they actually reference previous songs, and it’s pretty blatant. Check out the end of What a Catch, Donnie and you’ll hear some lines from earlier songs. And some of the singing is actually really bad. Again in What a Catch, Donnie, parts of it are just painful to listen to.
To give them a bit of credit, though, they at least started titling their songs better.
So whichever of the last three FOB CDs you like best, just keep listening to it. There’s nothing new or different (or memorable, or funny, or whatever) to justify buying all three.
Listening to: Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend (DJ Echo Remix)