Lyrical Highlights – Fall Out Boy – Infinity On High

Infinity On High is a weird record that’s over ten years old at this point. And honestly, it doesn’t get any less weird as the years go by. It’s a record that, as strange as it is, almost feels like the most familiar stranger you’ve ever met. The musical feel of it veers on the theatrical side of things, bringing a sense of surrealism about while there are so many one liners that make you stop and wonder. It’s been described as narcissistic which I can agree with, but it’s also quite introspective on certain situations. Being one of my favorite records to ever exist, I wanted to take a moment and highlight a few lyrical pieces that are truly wonderfully written, albeit a little dark at times and maybe even a tad difficult to understand. Fall Out Boy is undeniably one of the best written groups to come along in a little while and this album exceeds all expectations by a long shot. I’ve narrowed this list down to five lyrics (which was extremely difficult, I might add) of the most standout lines on this project.

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“Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” – verse 1

“And I want these words to make things right but it’s the wrongs that make the words come to life”

Simply one of my favorite lines ever right here. It’s straightforward and just flows really nicely, going full circle without the need for any major deciphering.

 

“This Aint A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” – verse 2

“I wrote the gospel on giving up (you look pretty sinking) / But the real bombshells have already sunk (prima donnas of the gutter) / At night we’re painting your trash gold while you sleep / Crashing not like hips or cars, no, more like parties”

This song is so entertaining in every single way and this piece right here is a lyrical gold mine. It’s not the easiest to understand at first but after some research on other people’s thoughts, this is a really cool set of lines. Even though it can be taken in a few different directions, I think the entire basis of this verse is meant to be slightly narcissistic like the rest of the song. “I wrote the gospel on giving up” can be referring to how the band has made mostly “emo” songs but how they’re beloved and accepted for it anyway, regardless of the pessimistic nature of most of their tracks. “The real bombshells have already sunk” is the hardest part to understand but my biggest takeaway from it is the “emo” scene that they were initially classified in, making a reference to how the scene is fading away (and maybe how they never wanted to be classified as “emo” to begin with). The last two lines can be leaning towards the emo scene once again, saying how they took “emo” music and made it better, and that this isn’t sexual or destructive, just plain fun.

 

“It’s Hard To Say I Do When I Don’t”- verse 2

“When I said I’d return to you I meant more like a relapse”

If I could have put down all of the lyrics for this song I genuinely would have but nobody has time for that so I had to choose just one. And this line sticks out to me in particular because it’s cynical yet so realistic. Sometimes we want certain things back, like an old relationship, an old job or maybe even an article of clothing someone borrowed and never gave back. But little do we consider the fact that this thing that is returned to us may not benefit us in any way, just like a relapse diminishes all progress made towards a goal. This really puts into perspective on how and why certain things enter and exit our lives.

 

“The Carpal Tunnel Of Love” – verse 2

“Slept through the weekend and dreamed of sinking with the melody off of cliffs of eternity/ Got postcards from my former selves saying how’ve you been?”

One of my favorite Fall Out Boy songs and undeniably one of their best, “The Carpal Tunnel of Love” is rather dark and discouraging packaged in some of the best production on the entire record. This second verse is one of the best they’ve ever written, and also one of my favorites. I think the main thing this line is getting at is how they want to do music forever and essentially die with it (sinking with the melody off of cliffs of eternity) but with the next idea of getting postcards from your former selves brings up an interesting idea. Are they good reminders of how far you’ve come or negative ones reminding you of this poor life decision? That’s up to you to decide.

 

“You’re Crashing” – verse 2

“Hang on a rope or bated breath/ Whichever you prefer”

A dark depiction of a modern day American courtroom, this line is strikingly disturbing. This took me a little while to understand but once I did, it brought a lot of things into perspective.

 

***bonus lyric***

 

“Do You Know Who I Think I Am?” – verse 1

“Penny for your thoughts but a dollar for your insights / Or a fortune for your disaster”

This line is basically saying that I don’t care about your opinion or expertise that much but I’d love to see you breakdown or fail. We tend to see this a lot with celebrities who are hated just as much as they are beloved, with many people supporting them in a heartbeat but those same people waiting for the next big, negative headline.

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