I remember when I first listened to Fall Out Boy's album, From Under the Cork Tree (2005). As cheesy as it sounds, that album made an impact on my life - my entire fall semester of 9th grade was spent sitting in my room updating my MySpace bio and listening to that album on repeat.
Fall Out Boy never makes the same album twice. I listened to Take This To Your Grave (2003) after From Under the Cork Tree and was surpised by how different they sounded. When Infinity on High (2007) and Folie a Deux (2008) came out, I was once again surprised at how the band had managed to change it's sound once again, yet stay the same.
Fall Out Boy again surprised me after their hiatus. Save Rock and Roll (2013) was a totally different direction again, with dramatic songs as well as softer pop songs. Though I was disappointed by American Beauty/American Psycho (2015), there again was something new with this album. There was definitely a retro-sound to it.
MANIA (2018) is no different from Fall Out Boy's albums in that it's totally different. In MANIA, you can hear pre-hiatus Fall Out Boy through the lyrics, such as the famous 'I'll stop wearing black when they make a darker color' in "Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)" or in" The Last of the Real Ones" where Patrick sings 'I wonder if your therapist knows everything about me'.
But the album follows through with it's title, MANIA, by throwing it's sound all over the place. From the rock-infused sounds of The Last of the Real Ones to the soulful sounds in "Church" and "Heaven's Gate", the reggae-inspired "Sunshine Riptide", and of course, the most shocking song on the album "Young and Menace", which plays with glitchy, electronic sounds that the band has never experimented with before.
Besides singer Patrick Stump's vocals that shine throughout this album (as always), this may be bassist Pete Wentz strongest album as well, branching out with strong and different sounds. Though many think that it's electronic instruments used throughout this album, according to the band it's almost all actual instruments.
I like that Fall Out Boy has been able to change their sound without changing their entire band. I know there are some fans that will be upset that they're no longer the emo pop-punk band they were in 2004, but I don't mind. It's nice when I want to listen to something a little more electronic and I can pop in a Fall Out Boy album. I don't think the band themselves has changed much, and I'd rather have my favorite band grow and challenge themselves with growing their music to adapt to modern sounds.
This album may be my second favorite album by the band. Nothing can replace From Under the Cork Tree for me, but this album branches pre-hiatus emo Fall Out Boy with post-hiatus risk-taking Fall Out Boy. I'd say this album is a solid 8/10. I wish there were more songs, but that's about it.
Artist: Fall Out Boy
Release date: January 19, 2018
Label: Island Records and DCD2
Singles (in release order):
1. Young and Menace (April 27, 2017)
2. Champion (June 22, 2017)
3. The Last of the Real Ones (September 14, 2017)
4. HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON'T (November 15, 2017)
5. Wilson (Expensive Mistakes) (January 11, 2018)
6. Church (January 19, 2018)
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