If you haven't guessed it already, I'm talking about the 'Loudness Wars'.
And what are the Loudness Wars, and what does it have to do with Fall Out Boy you ask?
Basically, when a record goes in to be mixed, backround noises are eliminated and the volumes of certain intruments are changed. BUT, nowadays the volumes of all the instruments are being increased to the point of them sounding slurred together, and the entire song sounds loud the whole way through, rather than being softer in the verses and then louder in the chorus. This is what I like to call bad dynamic compression, and it is the fault of producers and mixers.
One would assume that if you enter the music industry and choose a career such as a producer or mixer, you'd have a passion for making good music. So why on earth would such a producer or mixer allow the quality of their music to suffer? This is where the war part of 'Loudness War' comes in.
Record companies believe that when your average teen is surfing the net for new music, if they hear a loud song it captures their attention and makes them want to listen to it and hopefully buy it. Fall Out Boy is a prime example of this.
Infinity on High and Folie a Deux are two of the most poorly engineered albums around - despite their amazing producers. To prove this, just put one of these albums into your stereo and look at the level of the bars that show the variation in volume. The bars will remain high and without much variation.
Now try playing an album like Jeff Buckley's Grace, The Cars' self titled album, or Nirvana's Nevermind. When Kurt Cobain screams - you feel it - because the album is not constantly loud.
Personally, I think it's a total injustice to the musical world. What ever happened to having music being based on the emotion of an intense chorus rather than how many kids on MySpace will download it?
Anyway, please do share your thoughts on my little musicianship expose, and thanks for reading it (I know it's kinda long) :)