Fall Out Boy - Dance, Dance

Emily Tartanella 17/04/2006

Rating: 3/5

What exactly is emo? General consensus indicates it follows the same lines as pornography: namely, you'll know it if you see it. But this identification is such an subjective process that bands which might be emo are classified as rock, and vice versa. Though clearly, there are some basic guidelines: canned chord structures, lyrics that make Ian Curtis look jovial, seriously sincere (male) vocals, and excessive amounts of eyeliner.

Fall Out Boy possess all these traits. Yet they've been marketed as the one band that will transcend the emo genre, uniting rockers, scenesters, and yes, emo kids. Well, that's a task that makes reuniting the Smiths look easy, so where does all this Fall Out buzz stem from?

The devastating catchiness of their songs doesn't hurt. Nor do lyrics tailor-made for Myspace profiles. And of course the comely face of their bassist/mastermind Pete Wentz, who has the same awkward charm as a vaguely unwashed puppy.
“Dance, Dance” continues their quest for world domination, amping up the cheese factor to a hilarious degree. Just take lines like “I'm two quarters and a heart down” or “I only want sympathy in the form of you crawling into bed with me” and you'll understand how melodramatic teenage girls adore this band. Coupled with a chorus that's been taken off its Ritalin and given histrionic vocals, this song is a severe guilty pleasure - suddenly that black forest cake at 1:00 AM doesn't seem half so bad.

But it's not as clever as it believes itself to be, and the sound of lead singer Patrick Stump gasping for air between lines is one of the more irritating features to come from modern emo in some time (and that includes anything by Panic! At the Disco). “Dance, Dance” is, in all its hyper-emotional glory, a decent catchy number that won't win over any new converts. To put it simply, if you like Fall Out Boy, you'll like this. Which means you may have some bigger problems to deal with.