Fall Out Boy’s long-delayed new album “M A N I A” wasn’t worth the wait. It’s a mess of an album that should kill Fall Out Boy’s mainstream popularity, but it’s so pandering to the mainstream that the band might even get more famous after this.
“M A N I A” was released on Jan. 19.
The album opens up with the laughably awful “Young and Menace.” The song has an overblown pop production that hampers it from the beginning. Imagine Fall Out Boy trying to make a dubstep song circa 2012; this is what “Young and Menace” sounds like. It gave me a headache the first time I heard it.
Patrick Stump’s vocals are especially awful on this track. I normally like the guy as a vocalist, but this style of pop just doesn’t fit his voice very well. It’s very grating and straining, especially during the build-up to the chorus. “Young and Menace” is a hard song to listen to.
The album sort of gets back on track with “Champion.” The tune, co-written by Sia, has a nice guitar riff, good percussion and a monster chorus. Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley, who barely show up on this record, at least have some decent background parts on “Champion.”
Stump’s vocals are pretty solid on this cut. He mostly sticks to his more comfortable middle range, even if sometimes he goes a little too intense on the chorus.
However, these good feelings don’t last long. The next song, “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea,” sounds like a mix between deadmau5 and Imagine Dragons. It’s as bad as you think that would sound.
“HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T” has my least favorite musical cliche: whistling. The easiest way to make me dislike a pop song is to put whistling in it. The song doesn’t have much to offer. The watered down guitar parts sound processed and Stump is back on his annoying vocals.
Another huge problem I have with “M A N I A” as a whole is the complete lack of memorable, smart or interesting lyrics from Pete Wentz. Wentz, who normally writes most of the lyrics for Fall Out Boy, is completely off his game on “M A N I A.”
Gone are the iconic lines like “I’ve been dying to tell you anything you wanna hear, cause that’s just who I am this week” or “where is your boy tonight, I hope he is a gentleman.” Nothing that memorable comes from Wentz on “M A N I A,” with the exception of a mediocre Britney Spears reference in “Young and Menace.”
It all culminates in the worst song Fall Out Boy has ever released. On “Sunshine Riptide,” Fall Out Boy has discovered trap beats. May God have mercy on our souls.
While Stump doesn’t do much rapping — that’s given to featured artist Burna Boy — trap is surely not a direction the band should be going in. It combines the worst of modern Fall Out Boy with the worst cliches of trap music for a truly horrifying listening experience.
I used to really love Fall Out Boy. They were one of my favorite bands growing up. I adored their first few releases. But now, I won’t even call myself a fan of the band. Because I haven’t liked anything they’ve put out in a long time.