Fall Out Boy - I’m Like A Lawyer

Bill Cummings 17/09/2007

Rating: 1.5/5

Beneath the pop hooks and anguished lyrics, there's a facade at the heart of the whole Emo-pop scene, one that will inevitably see it implode some day, as most of the material that emanates from its American heartlands is utterly derivative and disposable. Take Chicago's Fall Out Boy for instance: sure previous single "Thanks for the Memories" was inanely catchy fist-punching pop rock song but like "This Ain't a Scene It's an Arms Race" with its silly title and hyperactive rhythms, it lacked any kind of real sincerity or emotional impact. Worse than that there seems to be a certain kind of cynicism at work here, this is music by committee thus Fall Out Boy tick all the boxes in terms of generic post hardcore style: eyeliner? Check, key chains? Check, overly serious young men staring intently into the camera screaming out angst-ridden lyrics? Check! Check! Check! But unlike Nirvana in their early '90s pomp, any anguish here falls slightly flat when it's as contrived and passé as this. Musically it's proficient, well produced, and highly toned, but when the melodies are this straight edged and conventional after one of their three minute heartbroken outbursts, one is left a little, well, unmoved.

So to new single “I'm Like A Lawyer” which is the sound of cash registers ringing as the band wheel out a mid tempo ballad, its workman-like rhythm and choppy riffs trundles into the funky rock territory currently occupied by Maroon 5, as such it will have those MySpace kids changing their “profile song” forthwith. Patrick Stump's strained vocals is squeezed of all life by the freeze-packed commercial production strangling them round the neck, and bassist Pete Wentz's clichéd angst lyrics that claim that they're “The New Face Of Failure/Prettier and Younger/But Not Any Better Off”. Go figure. Then there's the limp wristed “I just wanna wake up next to you” melody that's more Bryan Adams than Ryan, in fact the chorus bares a faint resemblance to the musical master piece that is Phil Collins's "A Groovy kind of love" a song that I'm still trying to erase from my memory banks too. Still I'm sure the Emo kids will lap it up, after all Fall Out Boy are an unstoppable force at present such is the vehement world wide fan base that they've accrued, but that doesn't mean we have to like, it does it?