From Under the Cork Tree (Limited "Black Clouds and Underdogs" Edition) - EP
Far from a sophomore slump, the second album by Chicago’s Fall Out Boy finds the band massaging the post-hardcore, emo-pop sound of their debut, Take This to Your Grave, with a more expansive and confident sonic palette. Songwriter and bassist Pete Wentz take more liberties with language and dark humor, riffing both for fun and effect, and Patrick Stump’s razor sharp guitars and fervent vocals are stronger and more efficient. Having fun with lyrics like, “I don't blame you for being you / But you can't blame me for hating it” and “We’re the therapists pumping through your speakers / Delivering just what you need,” Stump instinctively wraps both his voice and his guitar around the hooks, weaving them into an inseparable whole, and yet he knows when to slow things up and let them flow or breathe in a more organic and natural fit. His modest, low-key vocals on “I’ve Got a Dark Alley” is a risk that pays off, and the melodic swoops and slides on “Sophomore Slump” are just plain fun. The crunchy guitars on “Our Lawyer Made Us” and the urgent, punkish pace of “Dance Dance” are throwbacks to the band’s harder days... and don’t the kids just love it!