By ADMIR DURAKOVIC
Fall Out Boy reinvented the wheel once again with the release of their seventh studio album “M A N I A.” The band first gained global recognition with their early pop-punk themed records and ridiculously long song titles.
Fall Out Boy have long since departed from the punk genre with the release of their 2013 album “Save Rock and Roll.” Since 2013, Fall Out Boy have released hit pop rock/alternative songs such as “Centuries,” “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up),” and “Immortals.”
“M A N I A” was originally scheduled for a Sept. 2017 release date. However Patrick Stump, the lead vocalist, announced plans on Twitter to push the album back to January.
“The album just isn’t ready, and it felt very rushed, I’m never going to put a record out I genuinely don’t believe is as strong or valid as the one that came before it and in order to do that we need a little bit more time to properly and carefully record solid performances,” Stump said.
“M A N I A” is a ten song, 35 minute album filled with both experimental and familiar sounding tracks. The focus of the record and its message centers around the feeling of mania, or euphoria. There is no coherent style when all the songs are grouped together, which for the album, is both a blessing and a curse.
The lack of genre to focus on gave the band more creative freedom when recording songs for the record. That same lack of focus may alienate some listeners who prefer a more coherent listening experience.
The album opens up with the EDM styled “Young and Menace.” This single gives listeners a taste of madness with a Britney Spears reference, incredibly pitched
vocals and loud bass drops. The song was released nine months before the album and is the most unorthodox song on the record.
Fall Out Boy returned to a more recent and familiar style with the song “Champion.”
“Champion” sounds more in line with their recent hits, such as “Centuries” and “Immortals.”
While “Champion” may not see the same commercial success as its predecessors, anyone who was a major fan of their recent hits will enjoy this track.
“HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T,” the fourth track, is the perfect blend of Shakira meets punk music. It’s an energetic love song with the classic punk trope of filling the chorus with “na-na-nas” and the accommodation of whistling at the beginning of the song and at the end of each chorus.
“Wilson (Expensive Mistakes),” is the track that harkens back to the group’s emo roots with noteworthy lyrics such as “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a different color.”
“Church” and “Heaven’s Gate” are the closest Fall Out Boy have gotten to gospel and spiritual sounding
tracks. On “Church,” Patrick Stump likens his devotion to one person similar to how someone may be devoted to church when he sings “if you were church I’d get on my knees.”
“Heaven’s Gate” picks up where “Church” left off. The song plays off a much slower pace compared to most of the album, but continues the theme of comparing one’s love for a significant other to religious elements such as church or heaven.
The song “Sunshine Riptide” likens the feeling of mania with the tide of the ocean.
“The gentle pull of a tide that rolls over and over again and by the sheer nature of its essence it becomes an indestructible will – ripping out sand – eroding what was before it – without a care,” Band member Pete Wentz explained on the band’s Twitter page, “We are living inside of MANIA right now. The never sleeping, never blinking – caught forever in the sunshine riptide.”
The remaining three songs “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea,” “The Last Of The Real Ones” and “Bishops Knife Trick”) round out the rest of the album, continuing to play with the wave and feeling of mania theme.
“M A N I A” is an album that isn’t afraid of taking risks. Songs like “Young and Menace” may not be suited for Fall Out Boy’s main demographic, but it’s ventures like this that help maintain relevance and popularity by trying to appeal to a different audience.
Since ditching their emo roots, Fall Out Boy have tried to make music accessible to as many people as possible. With an album that contains so many different styles contained in a 35 minute package, odds are that there is something for everyone to enjoy in “M A N I A,” which is out now, available on iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Google Play and Spotify.