The Top 50 Albums of the 2000s – From Under the Cork Tree

Today I continue a series of posts dedicated to the best albums of the last decade, posting analysis of one album at a time.

47. Fall Out Boy – From Under the Cork Tree

Coming home from the Green Day concert I attended in 2005, we stopped at a mall somewhere and my sister purchased Fall Out Boy’s second album From Under the Cork Tree. Because of the source, I was admittedly biased from the start – if my sister introduces me to it, I am unfairly skeptical of its validity.  In retrospect, I can see how this is utter idiocy; turning a blind eye to a young pop-punk group immediately after watching the elder statesmen of pop-punk live in concert is incredulous.  Once “Sugar We’re Going Down” hit Fuse, I was officially hooked, and I begrudgingly asked my younger sibling if I could burn a copy of the disc.

The appeal to Fall Out Boy, other than their uncanny ability to write something undeniably catchy and radio-ready, is their experimentation with several standard rock rhythms in one song.  It’s pretty typical today in the emo/power pop circuit, but back in 2005, I hadn’t really heard anything like it.  Combining elements of punk, emo, and even rap cadence, the group expanded from their mostly standard pop-punk debut Take This To Your Grave.  To the untrained ear, this is just a conventional album – the key is the passionate Pete Wentz-penned, sex soaked lyrics, crooned by the effervescent Patrick Stump.

Take for example, the unusual rhythm of “Of All the Gin Joints In the World,” a start-stop guitar-led anthem about a superficial, purely sexual relationship.  The chorus is blunt: “All the way/Your makeup stains my pillowcase.”  Or observe the so-honest-it’s-sexy pick-up lines in “Dance Dance” – “Why don’t you show me a little bit of spark you’ve been saving for his mattress?”  And of course, who could forget the candid observation from “Sugar We’re Going Down” – “I’m just a notch in your bedpost, but you’re just a line in a song.”

The best pop albums, whether they be backed by instruments or computers or whatever, are ones that feel instantly familiar, yet provide a unique, progressive approach all their own.  Much like most music for the masses, pop-punk is a slowly progressing medium.  With mainstream success, Fall Out Boy opened the next chapter in that book with this album, a brilliantly accessible, glossily produced power-chord love affair with something subtly new to offer.

Fall Out Boy – Of All The Gin Joints In All The World

Fall Out Boy – Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down

Fall Out Boy – 7 Minutes In Heaven (Atavan Halen)

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One Response to “The Top 50 Albums of the 2000s – From Under the Cork Tree”

  • Emily Says:

    If I remember correctly you also asked to listen to the album they had before this one. Take this to Your Grave, which I agree is not as good.

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