Fall Out Boy, From Under The Cork Tree May 3rd, 2005 (Island Records)
In 2001, a band was born out a tiny suburb of Chicago that became a staple in the music scene and our iPods. Fast-forward to 2005, and a band now named Fall Out Boy (FOB) released their second studio album “From Under The Cork Tree” which exploded the band into fame.
The third song on the album is probably the most recognizable song ever written by FOB, “Dance, Dance”. The track starts slow in comparison to the songs that come before it but it does not give off that feeling. It more so gives the song a rising tone. The song is lead by an iconic drumbeat from Andy Hurley and a baseline from Pete Wentz that almost anyone can equate to this song. I can remember back in sixth grade—my first homecoming dance in middle school—“Dance, Dance” was the most requested song and deservingly so.
The song’s music video has an extended story and features the band twice—performing at a school dance and also attending said homecoming dance, but as nerdy socially awkward versions of themselves. Before the video even came out, the song gave off a very angsty adolescent feel especially in the lyric repeated by Stump at the end of every chorus—“This is the way they’d love / If they knew how misery loved me”.
Directly following “Dance, Dance” is another single and very well recognized song from the FOB repertoire. “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” features all of the band’s strong points especially lyrics by Wentz—which convey the song’s theme of jealousy and wanting what you can’t have. Opening with another drum beat by Hurley and loose riffs from Wentz —“Am I more than you bargained for yet / I’ve been dying to tell you anything you want to hear / ‘Cause that’s just who I am this week”, can reference to trying to make someone fall in love with you even if you’re not staying true to yourself.
Followed later with “Drop a heart / Break a name / We’re always sleeping in / And sleeping for the wrong team,” and “Oh, don’t mind me / I’m watch you two from the closet / Wishing to be the friction in your jeans / Isn’t it messed up how I’m just dying to be him”. Clearly, the character of the song believes the girl he likes is with the wrong person and should be with him.
Fall Out Boy made their iconic tune “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” into an equally recognizable music video which featured a teen boy with antlers falling in love with a girl whose father refuses to accept him. Later, it is revealed that the father actually has some interesting parts too—his legs are replaced with deer legs. Even though the song can be interpreted as romantic jealousy, there was always the hint of need for acceptance, personal and relational.
Fast forward to the middle of the album and a few songs later, there is “Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year”—which, in my opinion, is the strongest song on the album. I could probably argue that the entire second half of the album is stronger than the first half as most of my personal favorites are from that section. “Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year” gives many warm feelings to me as it seems like the perfect anthem to the age group who loved this album so much when it came out. “Are we growing up / Or just going down / It’s just a matter of time until we’re all found out / Take your tears put ‘em on ice / ‘Cause I swear I’d burn this city down / To show you the light”, which is the song’s chorus and probably the most recognizable lyrics in the song really give off the confusion and fervor that many teenagers experience when trying to figure themselves out.
Along with other strong tracks on the album like “Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner”, “7 Minutes In Heaven”, A Little Less Sixteen Candles, Little More Touch Me” and “Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying”—“From Under The Cork Tree” this is an album about getting to know yourself better, understanding what you want and knowing that it’s okay to get jealous. It’s no wonder that fans of the foursome cling to this album for dear life, as it was such a large staple in understanding the band and yourself.