Fall Out Boy is one of the most successful rock bands to date. Their rapid growth in popularity is almost unavoidable as it seems the radio plays them 24/7 and every movie and TV show uses their music to aim towards the youth demographic. As much as they have grown, I was one to think they had sold out. I believed since their comeback album, Save Rock and Roll they were only putting out whatever stuck more with teenagers. So when I heard they dropped their new album Mania in 2017, I immediately rolled my eyes expecting it to be another collection of teen pop rock. But after hearing multiple people talk about it online, I was captured. There is something about this album that stuck with me more than any other. It definitely has some newer sounds I hadn’t heard from the band before, making this feel like a very different experience.
The third track was the first that stuck with me most: “Hold Me Tight or Don’t”. It has this very funky reggae dance style, making it an interesting tune for the band. I interpret it as a song about being hooked on someone while high. The song that comes on right afterward is “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)”, which is probably the most pop-sounding track in the collection. It’s about living the rich expensive life of a rockstar, but still not getting the attention from that one girl you want.
The 6th track “Heaven’s Gate” is a wonderful jazzy love song. I can see this as a perfect slow dancing song you would play at your high school’s winter formal. As I previously mentioned, the band’s main demographic is teens and I’m surprised it took them this long to write a love ballad like this.
Although the rest of the album is interesting to listen to, and I enjoy most of it, “Young and Menace” is possibly my favorite. It’s an ethereal track that starts off with a very mysterious tone and evolves into this mix of boisterous mix of shouts, dubstep and rock and roll that makes you want to start a protest. I don’t even know what to protest, but I’m too pumped to just sit there, I have to protest something. The best line is on the bridge: “Oops I did it again, I forgot what I was losing my mind about (…)”. It almost seems like he’s parodying the youth of today: constantly getting angry and often not knowing what we’re arguing about. Some other great catchy tunes in this album are “The Last of the Real Ones”, “Champion”, and “Sunshine Riptide”.
I’ve noticed this album seems to have a lot of mixed reviews, from fans and critics alike. As I said, it has very different mixing of sounds from the band that may or may not be appealing to their regular audience. I, however, find it to be a refreshing new take from a band I thought had lost their touch.