From Under The Cork Tree

Fall Out Boy's second album, From Under the Cork Tree, is a peculiar mix of in-jokes ("Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued") and romantic dramas that post-adolescents are unlikely to care about. But thanks to a lot of taut grooves and dense hooks, these Chicago kids' near-emo is always kind of charming. The opening cut follows a joke about wrist-slitting with a lively group chorus, and the well-wrought refrain of "Dance, Dance" suggests a collaboration between Linda Perry and Thursday. Singer Patrick Stump's guts-spilling can be cloying. But From Under the Cork Tree is buoyed by its self-deprecating humor; the over-the-top screamo parody "I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me" proves that in the business of emotional bloodletting, a little misdirection can make a big difference.