During the late 2000’s, the Chicago based band Fall Out Boy ruled the airwaves and top 40 music video channels with their teen-emo anthems like “Thks Fr Th Mmrs” and “Sugar We’re Going Down” from then on they became one of the emo phase kings like My Chemical Romance to become household names. When 2010 hit they all took a two-year hiatus to peruse other interests lead singer Patrick Stump, for example, worked on his solo projects but in 2012 they came back together with their release of “Save Rock and Roll” that projected the band on completely different direction than who they were before they disbanded. The album formed a new Fall Out Boy, they lost their emo/scene sound that made them and attained a new pop arena rock vibe which would carry them to today. They kept on pushing further away from American Beauty/American Psycho which came out in 2014 one couldn’t tell it was the same band that made From Under the Cork Tree in 2005, it showed they’re willing to expand, they’re willing to experience new sounds that could help them get bigger. Now in 2018, they’re still able to prove that with their release of M A N I A which is by far the most different Fall Out Boy album to date.
M A N I A is different because it lets go of what made the last two, the rock and roll feel and more experimental sound. Patrick Stump is not the same, his soulful voice works well for a band that has gone through so many changes especially when the sound is accustomed to his voice like in this rock band. The opener “Young and the Menace” shows how he’s able to use his range to compliment their new sound and use the melodies to his advantage. Their seventh LP flexes some musical talent they have acquired over the years with nontraditional melodies that wouldn’t mesh with a band like this somehow. Songs like “The Last of the Real Ones” takes notes from their entire careers like a catchy chorus and melodic hook and it builds on that. However, in this post-emo world, the record doesn’t hold the same punches that the last two albums did, both Save Rock and Roll and American Beauty were heavy albums for Fall Out Boy standards and were the albums that had the energy to make some of the best songs in their discography. For M A I N A’s case it seems like it’s all over the place, it’s way more radio friendly which could help get more fans but lose some at the same time. Lyrically the album isn’t as strong as the last two especially “Save Rock and Roll” it’s clear they’re experimenting, probably still testing the waters to see how it goes before building on it. Since their introduction, each album has songs that stood out and help make that album, M A N I A doesn’t have any because most of the songs don’t have their own identity and have no features to say that THIS is a defining song of this record.
All in all, M A N I A has bumps in it but that doesn’t make it a terrible album. We’re probably in early stages of this 2018 version of the band and this is them just showing they don’t want to stay the same throughout. The album still has those catchy hooks and well-crafted melodies but they’re fewer, on the other hand, one can appreciate the different tone in it that this a departure from what Fall Out Boy has done in the past and is coming completely out of nowhere.
M A N I A is out today to stream or download.
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