Over the course of a 20-plus-year career that started with hardcore-influenced punk and ended with electro-pop-tinged arena rock, Fall Out Boy made sure to never make the same album twice. One of the biggest bands to come out of the mid-2000s pop-punk scene, it’s hard to underestimate the impact that Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley have had — and it isn’t simply confined to rock music, either, influencing everyone from Waterparks to Taylor Swift. Their catalog possesses hits, fan favorites and plenty of quotable lines.
We’ve gone through the painstaking task of ranking each and every Fall Out Boy album. To be fair, they are all masterpieces, in their own right.
7. American Beauty/American Psycho (2015)
On American Beauty/American Psycho, Fall Out Boy make the most of their pop influences, with full-blown choruses on songs such as “Centuries” and “Irresistible.” But it’s the slower, moodier songs — “Jet Pack Blues,” “Fourth of July” — that stand out, and show that Fall Out Boy had more to offer, even six albums in. With massively successful singles including “Uma Thurman,” some of AB/AP’s strongest tracks are oft-overlooked. That includes the electrifying “Twin Skeleton’s (Hotel in NYC),” while the sample-heavy album still allowed for some rock ’n’ roll influences to shine through on songs like “Novocaine.” Ultimately, though, the band’s desire to make a more cohesive album following the stylistically diverse Save Rock And Roll made American Beauty/American Psycho feel a little too narrow in its scope.
6. MANIA (2018)
Most recent release MANIA is a pop album first and foremost, but that’s not a bad thing. Leaning even further into the moodier atmosphere explored on AB/AP, Fall Out Boy tapped into a darker but more experimental pop sound on songs like the Burna Boy-featuring “Sunshine Riptide” and “Church.” From the bombastic first track “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea” to the despondent closer “Bishops Knife Trick,” it’s an album full of surprises, such as the whistles on bright “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T” and the pitched-up drop on “Young and Menace,” that keeps listeners on their toes. And it even earned the band a Grammy nod for Best Rock Album.
5. Folie à Deux (2008)
Folie à Deux marked a lyrical shift for Fall Out Boy, proving less autobiographical and more outward-looking. Musically, it scaled back the expansiveness of previous album Infinity On High. The result was a cohesive collection of vocally driven, funk-tinged, groove-heavy pop-rock tracks. “Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet” and “West Coast Smoker” offer proof. Epic opener “Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes” set the tone for the album, which also contains the masterpiece that is “What a Catch, Donnie,” which was kind of the Avengers: Endgame of the Decaydance roster at the time (and, in a way, served as the perfect send-off before the band’s hiatus the year following its release), with guest vocalists including Travie McCoy and Elvis Costello singing lines from previous Fall Out Boy songs.
4. Infinity On High (2007)
Kicked off by none other than Jay-Z on album opener “Thriller,” Infinity On High marked Fall Out Boy’s first step away from rock. This time, they incorporated a lot of classical music influence — introducing instruments like strings (“The (After) Life of the Party”) and horns (“I’ve Got All This Ringing in My Ears and None On My Fingers”) — as well as pop and hip-hop. It’s an ambitious album that tackled fame (“Thriller”) and the pressures of the music industry (“This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race”), culminating in courtroom drama “You’re Crashing, But You’re No Wave” (inspired by the real-life trial of civil rights activist Fred Hampton, Jr.). From the sweeping chorus of “Bang the Doldrums” to the grand theatrics of instant classic “Thnks fr th Mmrs,” Infinity On High is an album that will make you want to “now press repeat.”
3. Take This To Your Grave (2003)
Take This To Your Grave was an impressive debut. Looking back, it’s clear how this album set up Fall Out Boy for the career they’ve had. It showed that the band were capable of writing hard-hitting melodies and witty, cutting lyrics and introduced their penchant for long song titles. Stylistically, Take This To Your Grave stayed true to the band’s initial hardcore-influenced pop-punk sound, before switching it up on later releases. Songs such as “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy” and “Chicago is So Two Years Ago” remain classics, and “Saturday” became a setlist staple, closing out the bands’ shows.
2. Save Rock And Roll (2013)
Fall Out Boy’s comeback album more than delivered on the huge expectations of the band’s reunion following their four-year hiatus. It launched them into the second phase of their career — which turned out to make them even bigger than before. On Save Rock And Roll, Fall Out Boy continued to push their sound, and it’s here where their genre experimentation is most effective. From the synth-drop on “Death Valley” to the piano ballad title track, it all holds up, thanks in no small part to the help of a crew of high-profile collaborators, including Elton John and Big Sean.
It’s also one of Fall Out Boy’s strongest albums lyrically; take “Rat a Tat,” for example, which counts “I’m about to make your sweat roll backwards/And your heart beat in reverse” and “I’ll take your heart served up two ways” among its brilliant lines. Let us not forget, either, that the band also recorded a music video for each album, culminating in the visual album The Young Blood Chronicles, to accompany the release. It’s the best of Fall Out Boy’s post-hiatus albums, and almost their best overall…
1. From Under The Cork Tree (2005)
Boasting emo classics “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” and “Dance, Dance,” From Under The Cork Tree catapulted Fall Out Boy to super-stardom, changing the course of history of the band, and of music in general. The album is filled with striking lines — “The best part of ‘believe’ is the ‘lie’” (“Sophomore Slump Or Comeback Of The Year”) and “I am sorry my conscience called in sick again” (“I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me”), which established Wentz as one of the most skilled songwriters in the genre.
Musically, the band used their (at that time) straightforward pop-punk sound to convey intensity, darkness and drama in a way that genre would become known for. On “I’ve Got A Dark Alley And A Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Your Mouth (Summer Song),” Stump sings, “I want to be known for my hits, not just my misses,” which should be easy — there’s not a single skip to be found on this album.