Fall Out Boy

Propelled by the soulful vocals of lead singer Patrick Stump and the hauntingly personal lyrics of bassist Pete Wentz, Fall Out Boy successfully managed to cross over from the local hardcore scene of Chicago to the MTV-driven world of mainstream pop-punk in the early 2000s. Along the way, they produced a string of Top 40 hits, which pushed the band to the front of the emo movement and coincided with the rise of other, similar-sounding artists and groups. The widespread popularity of emo-pop music in the early- and mid-2000s cemented Fall Out Boy’s status as the leader of an entire genre, even as the band continues to evolve.

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Fall Out Boy counts predecessors like blink-182, The Get Up Kids, Green Day, and Weezer among their musical influences, and their own music often evokes the sound and style of those highly influential bands.

Other artists and bands like Fall Out Boy emerged during the public’s more recent obsession with anything pop-punk or emo, including the following:

  • Panic! At the Disco
  • The All-American Rejects
  • Motion City Soundtrack
  • Dashboard Confessional
  • My Chemical Romance

Panic! At the Disco, in fact, even became a protégé of sorts after Fall Out Boy member Pete Wentz signed the band to his own record label, Decaydence, in 2005.

The bands that sound like Fall Out Boy can generally be categorized into a variety of similar yet separate musical genres that come with labels such as pop-rock, pop-punk, alternative rock, and emo. These bands and genres are largely characterized by a strong lead singer or frontman, expressive lyrics that speak to the angst and emotions of listeners, and an edgier sound that appeals to both hardcore rockers and mainstream audiences.

Fall Out Boy has even been regarded as similar to Imagine Dragons and Maroon 5 in terms of their ability to maintain a rock band that can successfully compete with the hottest acts in pop music today.

Biography

Fall Out Boy is a four-member band composed of lead singer and guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, drummer Andrew Hurley, and guitarist Joe Trohman. Wentz also pens the lyrics for the group, while Stump sets the words to music. The band originated in the Chicago area, where they rose up the ranks of the local hardcore music scene before making the transition to pop-punk. Mainstream success came in 2005 with the release of their second album, which sold more than 2 million copies and spawned a pair of hit singles. The face of the band is Wentz, whose song lyrics, celebrity relationships, and propensity for wearing black eyeliner have all been the subject of intense public scrutiny over the years.

History

Named after a minor character on the hit TV show The Simpsons, Fall Out Boy was formed in 2001. The group started out as a hardcore punk band but soon adopted a sound more compatible with pop music. This fusion of pop and punk resonated with listeners and catapulted the band’s second album, From Under the Cork Tree, to double-platinum status in 2005. The album featured the signature Fall Out Boy songs “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and “Dance, Dance”, which both became Top 10 hits in the United States.

In 2007, Fall Out Boy’s next album, Infinity on High, debuted at the top of the charts and included the hit singles “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” and “Thnks fr th Mmrs” (thanks for the memories). After the grueling recording sessions that went into the making of the 2008 album Folie a Deux, the band took a break from the music industry until 2013. That year, Fall Out Boy released Save Rock and Roll, which debuted at number one and gave the band their first Top 20 single, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)”, in five years. Fall Out Boy continues to make new music, with the 2015 release of American Beauty/American Psycho marking the group’s sixth studio album.

Music

Self-described by Wentz as “a bunch of hard-core kids who decided they were going to write pop music,” Fall Out Boy blurs the lines between traditional music genres. The band’s hardcore roots are softened by the pop-inspired melodies of their songs and the strong emotions their lyrics evoke, which results in a sound that Wentz himself described as “softcore” in a 2006 interview. Punctuated by the soulful voice and extensive vocal range of lead singer Stump, this distinctive sound often leads to Fall Out Boy’s classification as a pop-punk or emo band. The group’s more recent albums, however, combine their signature sound with new influences from hip-hop, R&B, and electronic music.

Discography

  • Take This to Your Grave (2003) – Fall Out Boy’s debut album, with U.S. sales of more than 600,000.
  • From Under the Cork Tree (2005) – Certified double-platinum; features the singles “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and “Dance, Dance”.
  • Infinity on High (2007) – Certified platinum, with U.S. sales of more than 1 million; includes the hits “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” and “Thnks fr th Mmrs”.
  • Folie a Deux (2008) – Peaked at number 8 on the U.S. charts.
  • Save Rock and Roll (2013) – Fall Out Boy’s first studio album released after a five-year hiatus; features the hit single “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)”.
  • American Beauty/American Psycho (2015) – Debuted at number one on the U.S. charts; includes the singles “Centuries”, “Irresistible”, and “Uma Thurman”.

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