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Album Review: Fall Our Boy ‘Mania’

Some ups and downs, but over the course of ten songs, definitely more ups.

Nicole Poirier

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Mania  by Fall Out Boy was released on January 19th, 2018, the seventh studio album from since their 2003 debut.

The album had a rough start, with many longtime fans disliking the first single from the album, “Young and Menace.” 

The song has a heavy EDM style, which is a very different approach from the sound Fall Out Boy usually creates. The song is a breath of fresh air for the band as they took a step away from their comfort zone.

The boy band tries to do something different with most of their albums, but Save Rock and Roll and American Beauty/American Psycho were albums that sounded disappointingly  similar and didn’t differ much in sound or quality.

Mania is simply better than previous records. 

The band also pushed back their original September released date to January because the members felt like they were rushed to put something they didn’t like together. 

Before announcing the pushback on the release date, the group released another single, “Champion.” ESPN ate this song up, just as they did with “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” and “Centuries.” It became a sports anthem at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018. ESPN played “Champion” on everything from commercials to in baseball and football stadiums.

“Champion” is a great, basic rock song. Basic.

Sadly, it isn’t a great Fall Out Boy punk-rock song due to the overwhelming popularity of it. If the few and popular songs on the radio weren’t played over and over again, listeners who could become potential fans might not grow tired of hearing the same song.

The next two singles, “Hold Me Tight or Don’t” and “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)” were released in September and November of 2017, with many fans, including myself, praising the band for the cultural use of The Day of the Dead in the “Hold Me Tight or Don’t” music video.

The first song on the album, “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea” is the heaviest song on the album and definitely makes me want to go find my grunge outfits from the early ’00s. The record was given a purple watery-wave vibe — which is a metaphor for fear — from Pete Wentz, the bassist and main lyricist.  It is noticeable as well in the title of “Sunshine Riptide.”

The third single, “The Last of the Real Ones,” has an amazing, hooky piano line. It also boasts the lyrics “I will shield you from the waves if they find you” which stands for the watery atmosphere, but also upholds Wentz’s metaphor for fear. 

 Overall, Mania has some ups and downs, but over the course of ten songs, there were definitely more ups. A few of the songs were average abut it definitely earned an A in my book.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Nicole attends Ferris State University in western Michigan, where she is working to obtain a Bachelors in Music and Entertainment Business Management, with a Minor in Film Studies. She has enjoyed working with music since she was young, and writing since she was even younger. She finished an internship last summer working with an independent artist to promote her music as a Social Media Marketer. When she's not busy with school and internships, she spends most of her time with her cat, Rosie.

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