Album review: Fall Out Boy’s latest displays change for the worse


Photo credit: Fall Out Boy Facebook Page

Dylan Wright, A&E Editor

At one point in time, people considered Fall Out Boy to be a rock band. That time has long since passed.

The band evolved over the years, going from pop punk to modern rock. Now, with their latest release “Mania,” they have followed Maroon 5 in becoming a modern pop act.

Photo credit: Fall Out Boy Facebook Page

This genre doesn’t quite suit them.

This is evident from the first song on the album, “Young and Menace,” which was originally released as the first single back in April of 2017. The song has one of the most ear-grating choruses in recent memory, with lead singer Patrick Stump’s vocals pitched to the point of sounding like the fourth member of Alvin and the Chipmunks. The song was all flash and no substance, providing the listener with something that sounds like a pop song, but doesn’t feel natural.

The band must have felt the same way, and a few months after the release of that single and the second song called “Champion,” they decided to delay the album. The release date was changed from September to January in order to tweak the album further, the hope being to make the latest release a better experience.

Unfortunately, the resulting product is far from the band’s best. The songs feel slapped together haphazardly; the writing feels stilted and weak. The song “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea” especially has lazy lyrics, with Stump singing “I’m about to go Tonya Harding on the whole world’s knee,” and repeatedly asking the listener if they “are smelling that s**t.”

For a band that is known for clever turns of phrases and intricate melodies, “Mania” seems like a very rough draft for the usual quality material released. Some songs do show potential, like “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes).”

The song almost feels like it belongs on their 2008 release “Folie a Deux,” and allows the listener to become nostalgic about a time when you could still hear the band playing instruments rather than hearing Stump sing over a sea of samples. The lyric “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color” is the clever writing you expect from the group.

The songs are mostly forgettable. The album is only 35 minutes long and while it doesn’t overstay its welcome, it also fails to make any impact. The band doesn’t contribute anything new or exciting to the genre.

“Mania” is the sound of a band trying desperately to be trendy, only to end up coming off as dated. For this album, the band has listeners thanking them for the memories, even though they weren’t so great.

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