The Rayflector

Such Is My Mania

Fall Out Boy’s seventh album is flipping the script for anyone who was expecting 2005’s band.

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Rae DeBoe, Editor-In-Chief

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Fall Out Boy’s messy sixth album, American Beauty/American Psycho, drove away the last remnants of the fans who were lusting for the band’s original gritty sound.  Now, three years later, the band is back with an album that was by no means written for those fans.  Mania (stylized as M A  N   I   A) has a sound all its own, plunging the band deeper into the waters of EDM and popular music.

The album opens with “Young and Menace,” a soulless electronic song that strays farther into pop than any Fall Out Boy song has before.  Even more disappointing are the vocals. While they are technically the product of vocalist Patrick Stump, they are so heavily altered that the singer is forced to strain his voice live.

Fortunately, the record only gets better. “Champion” mirrors one of AB/AP’s best songs, “Centuries.” Both songs have themes of self-empowerment. These messages come from the band’s bassist and primary lyricist, Pete Wentz. “Champion” also allows drummer Andy Hurley and guitarist Joe Trohman to show out musically, something they didn’t get to do on the album’s opener.

“Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea” was the most anticipated track on the album, and for good reason. While it has its fair share of electronic elements, it is by far the most authentic rock song on the album. This said,, it is likely the only track that could even begin to appease an OG Fall Out Boy fan.

The following track, “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T,” is being hailed as an ode to Latin rock, while still including an interpolation of different types of music.  Somehow, Fall Out Boy can pull this track off without it sounding too loadad.

“The Last of the Real Ones” is the next song, opening with a beautiful piano instrumental.  Coupled with Stump’s gorgeous voice, the verses are truly stunning.  Add in explosive guitars, rumbling bass, and desperately romantic lyrics, and you easily have one of the best songs on this album.

Next is “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes).”  The track is filled with pop culture references.  The title references Tom Hanks’ survival epic, Cast Away.  The catchy chorus includes the lyric “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color,” a quote from The Addams Family. Even though it was driven by pop culture, the track carries its own weight and has a hilarious music video attached to it that references Fall Out Boy’s long discography.

“Church” is following, repeating out-of-context religious sayings. The track, filled with sexual undertones, is loud, raucous, and guitar heavy while still carrying the choir (for continuity, of course).

“If you were church/I’d get on my knees,” Stump sings.

“Heaven’s Gate” opens with Stump’s soulful crooning. This song is also a far step from the Fall Out Boy that the world met in 2005 on From Under The Cork Tree, with a slow, steady beat and soul vocals that come straight from gospel soul radio. The track is beautiful, but up to the taste of the listener. Traditionally, however, an avid FOB fan might not be impressed by this one.

The next track, “Sunshine Riptide,” is sure to become a Tumblr favorite. This track is soft and beautiful, evoking a peaceful mood while the song covers topics of being trapped in a false reality.

The album closes with “Bishop’s Knife Trick,” which is a reference to the film Aliens. Pop culture aside, the track has a sense of finality in it.

Fall Out Boy’s efforts on this album resulted in a much better turnout than 2015’s American Beauty/American Psycho.  Commercial success also works in the band’s favor, hopefully giving them an edge that keeps them in the music industry for years to come.

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