Fall Out Boy – “Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying (Do Your Part To Save The Scene And Stop Going To Shows)”
Willikers, will you get a load of that title? I love me some Fall Out Boy, but sometimes they can stunt some of my least favorite aspects of the emo/pop-punk scene. This song happens to contain all of them:
- An overly dramatic, ridiculously long title; extra points if it’s an inside joke or is pointedly “clever"
- A surplus of That Emo Feeling, past the point of passable tolerance
- Melodies that aren’t actually that catchy
“Get Busy” is the second-to-last track on Fall Out Boy’s From Under The Cork Tree, which is the album that got me into the band in the first place. The album has a good deal of classic numbers (“Sugar, We’re Going Down,” “Of All The Gin Joints In All The World”), but no amount of good will or momentum can get me to force this song down. Let’s break down why, shall we?
- If there’s one thing that inhibits my affection for emo pop-punk the most, it’s the smirking sense of irony that permeates much of its songs. “Sincerity is un-hip,” it seems to say, “It’s all about being above the material.” Pete Wentz’s lyrics often fall into this trap, but Patrick Stump’s sincere vocal deliveries help dance around this issue (Fall Out Boy is the only band I can think of who can pull off this free pass trickery). What “Get Busy” can’t dance around, though, is its obnoxiously long title, which, while not actually detracting from the song, sure as hell doesn’t build any good will for it.
- I’ve always gravitated to emo/pop punk bands that are more straightforward with their material (Jimmy Eat World, Hey Monday, etc.), and cryptic non-lyrics frost my cookies almost as much as smirking ironic ones. Again, Patrick Stump usually saves the day when singing Wentz’s cute phrases (which often sound ambiguous and paradoxical simply to sound ambiguous and paradoxical), but even Stump can’t save the spoken word emo poem that closes this song. Worse, the poem goes on for what feels like several hours. It’s as if you crammed the material from five Hawthorne Heights albums into one 30-second stretch. It’s suffocating.
- Fall Out Boy nearly always knocks it out of the park when it comes to melody, but I don’t particularly care for “Get Busy’s” chorus or verse, leaving me no reasons to endure the song’s many crappy aspects.
Honestly, I haven’t listened to this song in like six years; I flat-out deleted it from my iTunes when I first bought the CD, and haven’t looked back.