Fall Out Boy is looking to redefine pop rock with its third, mega-hit album, “Infinity on High.” With catchy and accessible songs, the band’s latest release comes ready to impress fans of any music genre.
In terms of popularity, Fall Out Boy has been said to be the leader of a genre just beginning to emerge in music today. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t recognize the opening licks of the singles “Sugar, We’re Going Down” or “Dance, Dance.” Sporting ridiculously long song titles with sometimes angry but often playful lyrics, the band epitomizes the generation of emo, or emotional rock, music. The genre is dominated by mostly independent label artists, so when a band like Fall Out Boy manages to make it as big as they have, it is a true testament to the band’s abilities.
The new album, “Infinity On High,” will probably spike that popularity a few more notches. Popular R&B producer Babyface worked on two of the tracks, “I’m Like a Lawyer with the Way I’m Always Trying to Get You Off (Me and You)” and “Thnks fr th Mmrs,” both of which look to become classics in Fall Out Boy’s library. In one of the biggest shockers on the album, recently un-retired rap legend Jay-Z introduces the lead track, “Thriller.” His words are followed by the most head bang-inducing guitar riff on the album.
The recipe for Fall Out Boy’s success rests in matching each band member’s abilities to his role in the band. Bassist and official “pretty boy” Pete Weintz writes the band’s lyrics, most of which are brimming with clever plays on words. A classic example of Weintz’ writing is in the second to last track as he pens the words, “you’re the canary and I’m the coal mine,” in describing a broken relationship. Equal credit has to be given to guitarist/lead vocalist Patrick Stump, who gives each song its catchy melodic hook. Listen to “Hum Hallelujah” or “Thnks fr th Mmrs” once or twice, and you’ll walk away with the song’s chorus stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
Guitarists Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley round out the band’s musical style, producing equally impressive guitar and drum beats that settle each track. “Bang the Doldrums” and “The Take Over, The Breaks Over” are perfect examples of the high-energy, toe-tapping ability that has come to define the band.
However, some things do hamper the album. For one, any band’s growing success can lead to uninspired music-making, the beginnings of which are present in a few of the tracks in the album. The subject of relationships has dominated all three of Fall Out Boy’s full-length releases and is leading to bland, clichéd lyrics in some stretches of the album. Few deviations in that approach are found in this third installment, apart from the first single, “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s An Arms Race,” which gives a nod to the band’s die-hard fans and shrugs off some of the fairweather ones they’ve picked up.
“Infinity on High” is highly recommended if the listener is interested in the latest direction of popular rock music or just loves catchy songs. This record comes with the highest recommendation. Though a lack of innovation keeps Fall Out Boy from creating the perfect album, it will no doubt push the band that much further in defining music for the current generation, winning them a wider fan base in the process.

Grade: B+