Mania by Fall Out Boy Album Review

       Pop punk, pop rock, emo pop band, Fall Out Boy, has returned in 2018 with their latest album titled, “Mania”. The band has been around for nearly 20 years now, this being their seventh full length studio album, and the first time they have released music since 2015. Fans were eager to take a listen when the album was released on January 19th, 2018 by Island Record and DCD2.

      The record starts out with “Young and Menace”, an interesting choice to begin the album considering it draws a direct lyric from pop star Britney Spears’ 2000 hit song “Oops! I Did It Again”. A seemingly unfitted, almost cringe-worthy, line especially coming from this type of genre, and more specifically this band. What is even more confusing though, is the EDM drop that happens about one minute in. Frankly, there is just too much going on, the pacing is off, and the high pitched vocals do not make for a pleasurable sound. The mixing engineer most certainly should have cleaned up the tracks just a bit more before having them mastered.

      Moving on, the second track sounds remarkably different, but yet somehow familiar. Could it possibly be because it sounds like a rough take of their 2015 hit “Centuries”. The heavy crashing drums and verse structure sound inauthentic, as if they were just trying to produce another chart topping single, which in turned flopped and landed at #18 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart.

      To continue on, “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T”, the fourth track on the 10 song album, has a suspiciously similar sound to Ed Sheeran’s hit single, “Shape of You” from his Divide album.  The chord progression, and melody sound too closely related for this to be just a mere coincidence. I personally even tried singing the lyrics to Ed’s song over Pete Wentz’s vocals, and the timing lines up almost perfectly. Going on, “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)”, may be the least busy out of all the songs on the album, and probably the most true to Fall Out Boy’s pop rock roots. The guitar riff, and slower tempo match well with the angsty teen lyrics [I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color]. Although, not really a shock coming from FOB, but their lyrics don’t seem to have matured at all from their previous albums and at this point they sound a tad bit recycled. Once again, they take another 180 turn on the ninth track, “Sunshine Riptide” featuring vocals from Burna Boy. The song gives off a very reggae style vibe, mixed with heavy drums and electric guitar.

     All in all, I was not particularly impressed with Fall Out Boy’s latest album; it felt forced, and it didn’t have any type of cohesiveness or concept really. Ultimately, it seems as if the band is trying to reproduce their glory days of “Sugar We’re Goin Down” and “Thx Fr th Mmrs”, but trying to cater to today’s popular sound, and it just doesn’t seem to be in favor of them.

-Sera Snyder, @serasnyder