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Fall Out Boy - 'I Don't Care'

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Fraser McAlpine | 12:01 UK time, Monday, 20 October 2008

Fall Out BoyFall Out Boy do like to write about Fall Out Boy, don't they? Songs about Pete Wentz, as a lyricist, being like an arms dealer doling out word-weapons, songs about Pete Wentz having a God Complex, cocked and ready to pull, and now this, a song about the band attempting to shush the critics by doing a little preening dance in front of them, and claiming not to mind what they say. A dance which is set to the riff from 'Spirit In The Sky' no less.

Are Fall Out Boy perhaps a little defensive at the moment? Has some of the criticism from hardcore punkers or proper rockin' metalheads about their new pop star status perhaps gone a little deep? Are they joking about people calling them sellouts because they find it funny, or because they want to show that they are in on the joke, even though they worry that they ARE sellouts?

In short, do they claim not to care what people think (as long as it's about them) because they DON'T care what people think (as long as it's about them) or because they DO care what they think (as long as it's about them) but they don't want to SHOW that they care what people think (aso long as it's about them) in case that makes the people that think nasty things attack them even more?

And did I really start that sentence with the words "in short"? Madness...

(Can't embed the video due to the swearing at the beginning. It's here. Consider yourself warned.)

And y'know, once you start asking questions like these, it does tend to lead to other questions. Like this one: What is the actual qualitative difference between McFly and Fall Out Boy? Musically there's not a huge amount in it, besides a lack of mum-friendly shinypop songs like 'All About You' on Fall Out Boy's side, and a lack of ramalama punk choruses like 'This Ain't A Scene...' on McFly's. But they are both bands who use loud guitars and rock dynamics to make pop songs.

And I'll go you one further...even though it may hurt...

I'm not even sure there is that much to choose between the current Fall Out Boy output and the Jonas Brothers. If you take the view that JoBro are an American take on McFly's rocking pop music - complete with the classic Disney overproduction and that curious breathy/croaky vocal inflection which Britney Spears pioneered - and that Fall Out Boy are generally becoming more and more pop conscious with each passing album, the similarities start to pile up.

Luckily, FOB are blessed with Patrick Stump's voice, a helium howl which is a world away from the autotuned nasal whine of [insert pop star or pop-punker with annoyingly weak voice here]. And Joe and Steve looking like the tattooed children of Gandalf's hobbit mistress helps too. So maybe, despite appearing to be massively defensive about, y'know, The Fame and The Critics, they know they've got something to be cocky about after all.

I can't wait until they release 'You're So Funny, I Forgot To Laugh', 'Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones But Words Will Never Harm Me' or 'I Know You Are, But What Am I?', mind...

Four stars Download: Out now
CD Released: October 20th

(Fraser McAlpine)

PS: You can't argue with a blogger who has correctly spotted that this song has "a blessedly short title", right?




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