ALBUM REVIEW: M A N I A by Fall Out Boy
Events leading up to this album were a mess, to say the very least.
The album was first announced on April 27, 2017 and the first single “Young and Menace” dropped the same day. Fall Out Boy originally scheduled their seventh album would be released on September 15, 2017 with 10 tracks.
Soon the group pushed the album back to January 19, 2018 stating that the album felt rushed and that they “collectively thought that was best.”
“I’m never going to put a record out I genuinely don’t believe is at least as strong or valid as the one that came before it and in order to do that we need a little bit more time to properly and carefully record solid performances.” Patrick Stump, lead singer of Fall out Boy
Fans waited until November 6, 2017 for the band to actually reveal the 10-song track list and word that the album had finally been finished. Did pushing the release date back result in a great record that the band put their time into?
Honestly, this has been my least favorite Fall Out Boy release.
The album opens up with the EDM-inspired “Young and Menace”, my least favorite of the 5 singles released before the album actually dropped. I loved the verses to this song and the pre-chorus is nice until it goes into the EDM-explosion that is the chorus. It quite honestly sounds like someone threw Patrick Stump into a blender. The song is not fun to listen to at all, and luckily it is the most experimental this album goes.
Another experimental track on this album is “Sunshine Riptide (ft. Burna Boy)”, which is the band’s attempt at crossing over into reggae. The song’s chorus is actually pretty fun and very reminiscent of cuts from 2015’s American Beauty/American Psycho. The song does have an identity crisis with the feature and it does not really fit the reggae-influenced sound.
Despite some tracks I was not really feeling, there are some good songs in this track list, namely the pop-rock song “The Last of the Real Ones” and the Day of the Dead-inspired “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T.”
“The Last of the Real Ones” has an instrumental similar to the more forgettable anthem “Champion” but it has much better written lyrics. On the other hand “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T” is just a fun song about one-sided love that isn’t the usual Fall Out Boy formula but still does not stray as far as “Young and Menace.”
Overall this is a transitional record that does not know what tone it wants to have. It has no idea what it wants the listener to feel. It comes off as a mess of 10 songs thrown together into an album that honestly could have waited another year. This is pop/post-hiatus Fall Out Boy at their worst. I recommend this album only to die hard Fall Out Boy fans.
Favorite Tracks: “The Last of the Real Ones”, “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)”, and “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T”
Least Favorite Tracks: “Young and Menace”, “Church”, and “Sunshine Riptide ft. Burna Boy”