Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Fall Out Boy: Folie à Deux [Island, 2008]
Admittedly, the two classic lines Pete Wentz comes up with here--"Imperfect boys with their perfect lives" and the cheeky Nirvana cop "I don't care what you think as long as it's about me"--reflect the new thematic legitimacy of superstar self-pity in an era when fans would rather envy their musical heroes than identify with them. But that doesn't mean non-fans should feel obliged to get with the program. Low-tune for a pop band, low-momentum for a rock band, they stand a chance of evoking bad Elvis Costello when they take you by surprise or emote on in the background. In fact, when Mr. C. himself makes a shock-horror guest appearance, he's surprisingly hard to tell from Patrick Stumpf. Which is weird, disturbing--especially for Mr. C. B-