10 Years of Infinity On High

On February 6, Fall Out Boy’s third studio album Infinity On High turned ten. I had a hard time believing it when Reed told me, because this album has been in and out of rotation for me ever since it came out. It feels almost timeless, given that if I don’t listen to it for a while and then dive back in, it feels brand new all over again. How can it possibly be a decade old already? That seems impossible.

Then again, the fact that it’s been ten years since I was a junior in high school also seems impossible.

Yikes.

While I love every FOB album, there’s something extra special about Infinity that I can never quite put my finger on. Maybe it’s the fact that I watched Pete blog a good chunk of the lyrics on Livejournal before they made it to the album; maybe it’s the fact that this was the first FOB album I anticipated, because From Under the Cork Tree was the first one I ever heard.

Maybe it’s the fact that I have lyrics from the opening track tattooed on my ribcage.

Generally, it’s considered pretty uncool to love this album. It’s one of the more commercially successful FOB albums (I think) and it’s a lot poppier than most of their other stuff. But I love this album. I love it. This album was what I played on repeat when I finally realized, in college, that I was a lot more into women than I was into men. This album was what I played when I wanted to yell about how stupid people are and how relationships suck but not actually feel sad.

This album also boasts some of my favorite FOB songs of all time, including “Hum Hallelujah” and “Gay Is Not a Synonym for Shitty”.

The road outside my house is paved with good intentions
Hired a construction crew, ’cause it’s hell on the engine
You are the dreamer and we are the dream
I could write it better than you ever felt it

“Hum Hallelujah”

When Reed and I saw FOB on the 2013 Save Rock N Roll tour, they played “Hum Hallelujah” and it absolutely blew my mind how amazing it sounded live. It’s a song I find myself going back to, again and again, much like the rest of this record but also not — it stands out as a song that I’ve listened to so much that I’ve gotten sick of it, but I still find myself gravitating toward putting it on repeat each time I listen to Infinity On High.

Lyrically, this album boasts some of the coolest stuff I’ve ever heard out of this band. I don’t know if this is my favorite FOB album, but it’s definitely at the very top of the list. There’s a nostalgic quality to it that I can’t shake, a quality that this album has had since it first came out (which is odd, but that’s how I think of it now — a nostalgic album, through and through). And there’s also an element of surprise to it because each time I listen, I feel like I’ve been struck in the chest all over again.

Until you’ve half-laughed, half-cried, and screamed at the top of your lungs to the songs on this record, I don’t think it’s fair to pass judgment on it. Maybe that’s what makes it so special. This album, like FOB’s entire catalog, confronts thoughts of sex and suicide and everything in between, but it leaves you feeling hopeful in spite of all the darkness. This album makes me happy. It makes me feel safe.

And it reminds me that even during my lowest lows over the course of the last ten years, I’ve always managed to climb out of the hole, get up, and keep going.

Let’s see how I feel about it in 2027, huh?

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