Album Review: Fall Out Boy's 'MANIA'

Fall Out Boy are back with their new album MANIA, here's what Courier Music editor Toby Bryant made of the band's new sound...

Toby Bryant
25th January 2018

Over the past decade there have been few bands who mastered the making of an album like Fall Out Boy.

From Infinity On High to Save Rock and Roll to American Beauty/American Psycho, Fall Out Boy’s records boast a finesse in every track with the band’s notorious pop-rock sound always clear. Sadly, MANIA is a long way off that high standard with a bold turn in style ultimately missing its mark.

Patrick Stump’s vocals are some of the best in the industry but on MANIA there’s an unnecessary strain in the likes of ‘Bishops Knife Trick’ and ‘Heaven’s Gate’. The overly complex production of lead-single ‘Young And Menace’, which the band butchered on Jimmy Fallon before pushing the MANIA release date back, sees an attempt to switch things up from past albums which simply wasn’t needed.

That’s a trend that carries on throughout the record. Erratic moments in the likes of ‘Champion’ and ‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’ stop tracks that have the basic structure of a Fall Out Boy smash from fulfilling their potential. It’s an infuriating trend that is a step backwards from 2015’s impeccable American Beauty/American Psycho.

It’s clear what Fall Out Boy fans want to here. ‘The Last Of The Real Ones’ is by far the best effort on MANIA as the group go back to basics with 39 million Spotify streams, over 14 million more than the second most popular, ‘Young And Menace’. ‘Stay Frost Royal Milk Tea’ and ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ are successes too which provide a comfortable middle-ground between the old and the new, despite their bizarre titles.

The forever-changing music industry means that artists must evolve their music to stay current. However, Fall Out Boy have overthought MANIA and lost the style that has given them so many past successes. This could have been so much better.

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