#87 – Sugar We’re Goin Down

From+Under+The+Cork+Tree

Artist – Fall Out Boy
Album – From Under the Cork Tree
Year – 2005
Genre – Pop-Punk

Childhood memories for the win! If you’re in my age range, than this song and really the whole pop-punk explosion of the late 90’s-early 2000’s was the soundtrack to your youth (along with Backstreet Boys, Britney, and ‘nSync of course!) Fall Out Boy remains one of the most influential Pop-Punk bands of all time, and this song is a huge reason why.

I’m just going to get this through at the beginning: Fall Out Boy are a very talented group. Each member of the band really brings it to this song, and each instrument sounds just right. Joe Trohman (and Pat Stump’s) guitars have that crunch that gives the song a harder edge than a lot of other bands in the genre, and Andy Hurley’s drums…well when you hear that opening drum fill you know what’s coming. Pete Wentz keeps up on his bass and thunders right along with the rest of the band but of course Fall Out Boy separates itself from others with two X factors.

First we have to talk Pat Stumps voice. It is, bar none, one of the best voices in Pop-Punk, and really beyond it. In this song, he really gets to show his talent. From verse to chorus, he’s up and down and hits every note perfectly. Not only that, the chorus, which is probably the catchiest you’ll EVER hear in a pop punk track, is where he shines. His vocal runs give you goosebumps, as does the skill with which he ends each phrase. Forget the slurring, because he’s throwing his emotion into this one with all he’s got. When you mix emotion with a song whose entire melody is like ear candy, then you’ve really got the audience.

Pete Wentz’s lyrics are incredibly witty, clever, and biting as usual. This is the song that put his songwriting on the radar for the world, though, so this one stands out. From the beginning with

Am I more than you bargained for yet
I’ve been dying to tell you anything you want to hear
Cause that’s just who I am this week

you know this is a winner for Wentz. However, without the support of the band, each individual piece of the song only makes up part of the equation for what makes this song absolutely killer.

The layering in this song, especially towards the end is really something. As the chorus is sung, you can hear Stump’s voice singing a separate

Take aim at myself
Take back what you said

underneath. This is but one example of the craftsmanship that went into this track. The harmonies and the way the whole song flows together just really pleases the ear. The song has that aspect of complexity, but the way it can be related to on a simple, everyday level is where it finds its greatest success. The sadness and pain in Stump’s voice and Wentz lyrics of the trials and tribulations of young love is a recipe for popularity and mass appeal. It’s how we twist these pieces into the fabric of our own experiences and lives that makes this song so good.

I’ve literally not heard a catchier pop-punk song as long as I’ve lived. Nor have I heard one with this much wit and talent and emotion. Fall Out Boy has a lasting legacy for a reason. This song is it. That said, if you haven’t heard it, you should probably look into that. And good luck getting that melody out of your head.

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2 thoughts on “#87 – Sugar We’re Goin Down

  1. Ah, Sugar We’re Goin Down! Fall Out Boy’s anthem (or, perhaps one of many)! Would you believe this song wasn’t even on my radar in Middle School? Kind of missed the train on that one.

    So what makes this song so great, so iconic? I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. Sure, its Stump’s vocal range (one of the widest in the punk world), Pete’s biting lyrics, Joe’s crashing guitar, and Andy’s rumbling drums, but it’s what happens when you put these four gentlemen together that makes this song (like any FOB song) so special. It’s the fusion of these sounds, the melodies, the layering, the individual playing-styles of each band member that sets these guys apart from the rest of the pop-punk world. No doubt Pete and Patrick are the driving forces behind this band, but without Joe and Andy, Fall Out Boy wouldn’t be Fall Out Boy. Hell, they might not even be a band at all, but just individual musicians floating around in the nebulous world of music.

    For many listeners, Sugar represents the climax of the band’s success – and if you measure success in terms of record sales, ticket sales, radio airplay, and media attention, then yeah, you’d probably be right. But for me Sugar represents what this band is capable of, what this band can create when the four of them are in a room together. For me, FOB was just as successful on Take this to Your Grave as they are with Save Rock n’ Roll, and if you listen to any one one of their songs on these albums or on any album in-between, you just might find another Sugar, another pop-punk anthem worthy of your attention.

    -“We’re always sleeping in, and sleeping, for the wrong team.”

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