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Fall Out Boy: 'Mania'

Album Review

By CrunchwrapsuprmPublished 6 years ago 3 min read
Think they like purple?

It is no secret that Fall Out Boy has become one of the most commercially successful "rock" bands of the past decade. They've done this by constantly evolving their sound and musical direction. While the band's members have always claimed that they never make musical decisions based purely on what's popular, it seems painfully obvious that their latest effort, 'Mania,' is a headfirst dive into mainstream radio pop.

Pop-punk Fall Out Boy is dead and gone.

The band's last album, 'American Beauty/American Psycho,' was just the beginning of their fall from pop-punk grace. The instruments became less recognizable, and every track had the cliché, catchy radio chorus. 'Mania,' however, marks Fall Out Boy's complete fall into mainstream pop. After listening to this album it seems completely inappropriate to continue to label Fall Out Boy as a "rock" band. From the very beginning to the lackluster end, 'Mania' is a gross, poppy mess. If you like actual instruments this is not the album for you. Even Patrick Stump's stellar vocals are overshadowed by incessant weird and obscure EDM-like drops and computer programmed drums. The sad fact is the album was originally due in late 2017 but, after the first singles "Young and Menace" and "Champions" fell short, they scrapped the rest of the album and started over to make something better. A part of me still hopes that 'Mania' isn't that "something" but is instead an ironic joke to distract fans as the band secretly works on an album that's actually good.

Extremely Painful as a Rock Album, Not So Terrible as a Pop Album

Without sugar-coating anything, 'Mania' is an absolute garbage rock album. The lyrics/vocals are poppy, the drums are poppy, I don't even know where the guitar is, and the bass is poppy. In order to even slightly enjoy this album, you have to think of it as a pure pop effort. When looked at from that perspective it is actually not too bad. It lives up to the mainstream pop standard, has decent vocals, catchy choruses, and nice beats. Perhaps I'd be more accepting of this album if it were released by any other band, but the fact that its Fall Out Boy is still extremely disappointing even from a pop perspective. I wouldn't expect any of the album's songs to receive much airtime because they all sound the same and none of them really stand out. I even listened to the album three full times just to make sure that my ears were hearing it correctly...I will never get that time back.

Track By Track Review

1. "Young And Menace:" Weird from the very start. Almost liked it until the uncalled for EDM drop and distorted vocals. [2/5]

2. "Champion:" Clearly following the same formula as "Centuries" off their last album, probably in hopes to create another stadium anthem. [3/5]

3. "Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea:" Cliche and just not good. [0.5/5]

4. "HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON'T:" Catchy, but that's all it has going for it. Also, why is the title in all caps? [3/5]

5. "The Last Of The Real Ones:" Nice beat but the lyrics are cringe-worthy. [2.5/5]

6. "Wilson (Expensive Mistakes):" Painfully annoying and repetitive. The lyric: "I'll stop wearing black when they make a darker color" made me cringe in public. [1/5]

7. "Church:" Surprisingly not that bad, probably the best track on this album but that still doesn't say much. [3.5/5]

8. "Heaven's Gate:" This song only stands out because it clearly doesn't belong on this album at all. A weak attempt at a ballad I guess? [2/5]

9. "Sunshine Riptide:" This one sounds like they bought the rights to a Maroon 5 B-side. [3/5]

10. "Bishop's Knife Trick:" Weird. [2/5]

Overall: The album is too forced, it feels rushed and repetitive. It is also extremely short with a weak 35-minute run-time. Overall rating: 2.25/5

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