FOB Evening Out With Your Girlfriend Review – by Zoe Popovic

Leading up to the release of Fall Out Boy’s ninth studio album “So Much (for) Stardust” in late
March, I will be taking a look back and reviewing the band’s previous works. I love them all.

Album: Evening Out With Your Girlfriend

Artist: Fall Out Boy

Release Date: March 25th, 2023

Label: Uprising Records

Genre: Pop-Punk

Key Track: Calm Before the Storm

Rating: 5.6/10


Recorded in just two days and released in 2003, Evening Out With Your Girlfriend is Fall Out
Boy’s often overlooked debut album. This record was written almost exclusively by lead vocalist
Patrick Stump, with Pete Wentz on bass and background vocals and Joe Trohman on lead
guitar. The drums on this record are done by Mike Pareskuwicz, as permanent drummer Andy
Hurley had not joined the band at this point.

While Evening Out With Your Girlfriend has the energy and general angst expected of an
early Fall Out Boy record, the project feels like a shell of what the band was to become. The
recording was rushed for release, and Stump has stated that he doesn’t “consider it a real
album.” It was released without permission of the band, and only added to streaming services
within the past year. Still growing into his voice and finding his niche, this isn’t Stump’s strongest
vocal performance. In general, the album lacks some of the signature Chicago soul that adds
such emotional depth to a typical Fall Out Boy track. The writing is at many times cliché, but
feels so honest and young that the understated metaphors are almost charming. Even the title,
Evening Out With Your Girlfriend, is smug and a little silly but also reveals the tongue-in-
cheek style that would later be a recognizable writing trait. Insecure and lost in love yet
clenching desperately to teenage irreverence, it takes you right back to a time when all you
could think was “Good God, I wish I was tall.”

You can hear the band’s distinct sound fighting through typical pop-punk riffs – tracks such as
“Growing Up” and “Moving Pictures” take a little extra time to explore Trohman’s conversational
guitar style and layer vocals for a degree of desperation. If there is one thing Fall Out Boy has
been solid on since the very beginning, it’s writing a melancholic melody that feels instantly
relatable and palpable. While the production is almost non-existent and the writing is a little
immature, Evening Out With Your Girlfriend is not only a picture of early 2000s youth but
also a glimpse into the band’s full potential. A little time to explore and more grounded concepts
would elevate this project greatly, and we will see what these boys were fully capable of in 2003
with their second studio album, Take This to Your Grave.

Strongest Track: “Growing Up”

Weakest Track: “The World’s Not Waiting (For Five Tired Boys In a Broken Down Van)

Personal Favorite: “Growing Up”

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