Forget MySpace, viral nude pics, emo and eyeliner — Fall Out Boy has grander ambitions. With “Infinity on High,” a shamelessly melodic, wild and powerful pop record, the Chicago outfit has reinvented itself as the world’s biggest boy band.
The set, which opens with an intro by Jay-Z, wraps catchy emo hooks around epic production employing huge harmonies, R&B grooves, samples and strings. But the real surprise is singer Patrick Stump, who explores his full vocal range and croons like a soulman. Fall Out Boy 2.0 is at its self-indulgent best on the funky “The Take Over, the Breaks Over” and the heavily orchestrated “Thnks Fr the Mmrs,” one of two tracks produced by Babyface. And clever post-emo anthems like the instant Billboard Hot 100 hit “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” reveal the true heirs of the Backstreet Boys, ready to take over the world.