Album Review: Fall Out Boy's 'Mania'
Lindsey Lanham | A&E Editor
It’s nothing short of impressive when a band has managed to stick around for over 15 years while managing to keep their fan base and attract new followers. Managing to stay true to their original sound while also finding inventive ways to redefine their emo roots, Fall Out Boy’s “Mania” is a welcome.
After postponing the original release date of “Mania” and going on their first tour in support of the album, it finally dropped on Jan. 19. Even after the wait, bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz went on Twitter to say that iTunes won’t have the tracklist in the correct order and that it’s a “long story.”
Clearly, “Mania” took quite a bit of work and longer than expected. Luckily for fans, it was well worth the wait.
“Young and Menace” is a large bang of guitars and loud lyrics. Wentz has said it’s one of the weirdest songs Fall Out Boy has done, and with its clever Britney Spears reference and post-emo lyricism, the song is a catchy start to “Mania.”
“Hold Me Tight Or Don’t” starts with a whistle tune reminiscent of swing music before it builds a rock backbone that feels like traditional Fall Out Boy. Wentz’s lyricism shines on this song, especially with the lines: “And when your stitch comes loose / I wanna sleep on every piece of fuzz / And stuffing that comes out of you.”
“Church” has lead singer Patrick Stump crooning a sultry, “If you were a church, I’d get on my knees.” “Sunshine Riptide” is post-modern grunge if weren’t for Stump’s piercing vocals and the band’s experimentation with autotune. “Stay Frosted Royal Milk Tea” name drops Tonya Harding with lots of traditional rock.
“Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)” is the highlight of “Mania.” Starting off with a more laid-back approach, a simple couple of notes. But Wentz’s classic songwriting glistens here. Lines like “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color” and “I always make such expensive mistakes,” prove that sometimes reverting back to your punk years isn’t always a bad idea.
“Mania” is traditional Fall Out Boy, with little regard for the rules and lots of music exploration. It’s the most unabashed the band has been since “Folie à Deux.” The album manages to transcend genres while still having something there that is so purely Fall Out Boy. All of these factors come together to make “Mania” a damn good album, proving that emo will never go out of style.