Fall Out Boy

Believers Never Die (Greatest Hits)

Written by: TL on 24/12/2009 00:06:55

Fall Out Boy has been a big deal for some years now, in fact they've only become bigger by the album, and this year then saw them become big enough (in someone's eyes at least) to produce a greatest hits album. Do I think this is the greatest idea? Hell no, I think it's retarded!

Why? Well, why does a band release greatest hits albums? Aside from their label making money without having to wait for any actual creativity, I guess a good reason for the existence of these things is that they allow interested listeners to quickly get into a band who have a discography so vast that otherwise it's hard to know where to start. Is this the case for FOB though? Hell NO! They have four albums (five, but no-one counts the first one) for crying out loud, and with music this accessible, I could eat through them in less than two weeks, had I not all these reviews to do! It's not like it's Bad Religion we're dealing with here, or NOFX for that matter. In fact, I am one of those who would argue that Fall Out Boy have an advantage over them in this aspect, because they have a) not released a single bad song (since that first album which no-one counts), and b) changed between every album, giving each a new identity to be explored and loved for its own sake.

Now before PP goes off like a broken record in the comments, then yes, I do realize that there are some people who have stubbornly denied changing along with the band, claiming that this or that album was the best. So, if someone who hasn't gotten into Fall Out Boy yet already knows that they are the kind of person who tend to prefer sound A of a good band but not sound B, then yes, I guess those people could use this particular disc to quickly survey FOB's periods and decide which one was for them. But then again, if you don't already know FOB and whether you like them or not, you must have been living under a rock for the last decade, and your culturally starved heart will probably burst by the sounds of even lesser bands.

So why buy this, if you indeed should? I mean I would much, much rather recommend just getting any Fall Out Boy album and letting yourself be engulfed by the feeling of one, it's not like the selection of songs is gonna suffer from that because, like I mentioned, Fall Out Boy do not put bad songs on their albums. So unless you'd buy this to either complete your collection of Fall Out Junk, obtaining the featured DVD of videos and the extra artwork, then there's not much value for your money. You get a new version of "What A Catch Donnie", which does not feature the same Elvis Costello vocals as the original, simply because they didn't get his label's permission for this release in time, and a measly four new songs.

Measly, because the word 'new' is loosely applied, considering how the sound of these bits tell that they're more likely to be previously unreleased B-sides. Or wait, not entirely unreleased, as "Alpha Dog" was in fact featured on the "Citizens For Our Betterment" compilation, only here it has been cleaned up and included in full, and well.. It sounds very over the top, very "Folie A Deux". It's a cool enough track, but I do feel that there's a reason it probably wasn't included on said album in the first place. The exact same thing can be said about the following "From Now On We Are Enemies", except I can't decide if its the b-side song to "Folie A Deux" or "Infinity On High". It doesn't matter much, it being by far the least catchy song I can remember hearing from the band since ever. Then "Yule Shoot Your Eyes Out" is better in all its downplayed Christmas-ness, simply because it sounds like a lost track from the "Take This To Your Grave"-era, and hell, all FOB fans are always starved for more of that. Same goes for "Growing Up", that being the most punk FOB song you will have heard since then, but still, the same feeling is there: "I kinda get why this wasn't included back then".

So let me be clear. Song for song, this record is great, but the fact remains that you should own all songs but the last four on their respective original records, because there is just no reason not to. Most people who are shameless enough in their love of pop rock to like FOB in the first place, are more than likely to be able to love every record of theirs. Hence I'm not too sure your money isn't spent better elsewhere. What to grade it then? Well, for the new tracks, I like three out of four, so let the grade reflect that, but really, just get Fall Out Boy's real albums.

Download: Alpha Dog, Growing Up, Yule Shot Your Eyes Out
For The Fans Of: All Time Low, New Found Glory, Say Anything
Listen: myspace.com/falloutboy

Release Date 17.11.2009
Fueled By Ramen / Decaydance / Island

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