Ok so this review will probably be super short due to me not really caring anymore. Jk jk but seriously raise your hand if you had not so high hopes for this album? *raises hand* Yea if you have ever read any of my post on here about music you would know that during my music discovery phase back in middle school Fall Out Boy were one of the first bands to put me on to other great bands in the scene and other wise. I like some of my favorite music because of Fall Out Boy. You can check my review of their last album AB/AP and my video on them moving the album release of MANIA to January to see more on how much this band means to me. ↓↓↓
All that being said this album was all over the place and kind of messy but that’s Fall Out Boy these days.
Don’t get me wrong I still love these guys but I just feel like they haven’t been the same lately. I feel like they have been a little all over the place in interviews and in the music. Pete has kind of been the “go to guy” of this band since they started and that was always a good thing but lately feels too much. I feel he is catering too much to the young kids with everything he posts on social media, says in interviews and in the music. And I’m not saying thats a bad thing I for one have always uplifted the youth and this new generation as I know you guys actually are pretty dope but lets be real not everything about this generation is so great. And unfortunately I don’t think Pete is picking up on the great things about this generation.
Granted I get it Pete has always been into hip-hop and has been cool with rappers and such and even had Jay-Z open Infinity on High. I myself being a huge hip-hop fan always appreciated the praise that the guys gave the genera over the years. Even back in 2015 they did a hip-hop remix album of AB/AP which wasn’t my favorite but it featured a few of my favorite rappers on some songs. But being so into hip-hop and the new music of today I feel like Pete wants the band to be the cool hip-hop rockers of the TOP 40 music scene. I mean every time you look around modern day rappers are not claiming hip-hop as their genera anymore and are just using it as a platform as it is the number 1 genera in the world right now. These rappers or whatever you wanna call them wanna be rockstars and look up to these rockers more then the MCs that came before them.
That being said it is easy for Fall Out Boy to fall into this as they have distanced themselves away from their punk rock and pop-punk roots for a more all over the place kind of style. Which in theory sounds great to a person who loves all types of music and has a very eclectic music taste but alas you have failed me Fall Out Boy by making a jumbled all over the place record who’s lyrics are far from poetry and too modern (in a bad way). But if I had to rate it I’d give an average score of a C+ because you’re still Fall Out Boy and I still love you!
So now that I got all of that out of my system lets dive into MANIA.
(I will be reviewing the Spotify track listing as who buys albums anymore anyway jk)
Young & Menace: Hate IT! Honestly the worst song on the album and the worst song FOB have ever written in their whole discography. What are we in 2010-2011? Don’t they know dubstep is over? Even Skrillex doesn’t do traditional dubstep anymore. I wanna like the lyrics but they can’t even save this song. A Nikki Sixx reference and the lyrics to Oops I Did It Again by Brittany? Kids today don’t even know who Nikki Sixx is if your trying to cater to them. Ok ok so the music video is kind of cute and I like the little black girl with the ‘fro and the whole concept of the video of her learning she is not a monster and is a human then freaking out and running away is cool but dose it do anything for the music? Nope. (Even the little girl looks disgusted by the music in the video lol) The fact that you can’t even hear anything outside of processed LOUD programed drum and base is sad. Coming from a band with a talented drummer, bassist, guitarist and singer yet not being able to hear any of that over the drop every 5 mins is messed up. But the little bit of Patrick’s vocals we get to hear are the best part. It’s a jumbled mess and I just can’t. The fact that they released this song first set up this album to be less then favorable.
Champion: As the second single definitely not as bad but still not great especially in the lyrics. These non-descriptive lyrics are a lot- a lot of nothing. They don’t really talk about anything in the song and kind of tries to be this empowered song but empower what? The drums, base and singing are not bad at all even though it feels like Joe is just strumming along to the same cord he had been since Save Rock & Roll. The video is ok too it’s got my boy Jaden Smith in it as they went on tour together this past fall. The best part of the song is again Patrick’s vocals especially towards the end.
Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea: Opens super strong on the guitar you go Joe and then Patrick’s vocals come in strong which is basically the saving grace of this record. “Are you smelling that shit, are you smelling that shit” This song is definitely one of their better ones and I see it fitting well on their last record AB/AP. One of my favorite lyrics from this one is “feels like the whole damn world went and lost its mind and all my childhood heroes have fallen off or died” which is super relatable (*cough FOB cough*). Like Champion this song feels big but unlike Champion it backs it up with some ok lyrics that fit well together and are not empty thoughts.
HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T: Another incredible song on the album with good lyrics. Its got this great latin flavor to it which they show case in the music video with this Day of the Dead theme. This song also feels more modern FOB and the lyrics go together well. It’s very danceable too which is great. Plus that high note Patrick does towards the end is just beautiful. “And when your stitch comes loose I wanna sleep on every piece of fuzz And stuffing that comes out of you, you I took too many hits off this memory I need to come down” is one of my favorite lyrics in the song. A definite favorite for me.
The Last of the Real Ones: I love the piano in the beginning and in the chorus plus the guitar is really great. The third single they released ahead of time and it really won me over. The lyrics alone are very FOB that it got me excited. I also have listened to this song the most since it came out. Plus I believe humans come from the stars so I love all the star and space references. Just a great bop!
“‘Cause you’re the last of a dying breed
Write our names in the wet concrete
I wonder if your therapist knows everything about me
I’m here in search of your glory
There’s been a million before me
That ultra-kind of love
You never walk away from
You’re just the last of the real ones”
Wilson (Expensive Mistakes): When I first listened to this song it was with the video and I will admit I had no idea how the two went together plus I couldn’t really concentrate fully on the song due to so much going on in the video. Now that I’ve listened to the song without the video its not bad but defiantly not the best. I do like the Adam’s Family reference to black “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color” thats cute. It does have a kind of trap back beat to it but I do like the instrumentation thats great. But the video is all over the place and a little hard to understand but I get it they are trying to call back to FOB references of the past and pop culture references. Another song that fits the modern FOB well. It’s nice.
Church: Love Patrick’s vocals in this song! They are so powerful! I do like the church chore in the background too makes it feel very mighty. Compared to Panic! At the Discos song “Hallelujah” I feel like that was a little bit better in the “non-religious/religious” songs they’re putting out. I can’t decided if I like this song as much as the other ones before this but its not terrible will see in time.
Heaven’s Gate: That opening note has me shook! *faints when hearing Patrick’s vocals in Heaven’s Gate* I heard in an interview with Pop Buzz that the song sounded do-wop-ish and I could see that. Very soulful almost sounds like it could have been on Patrick’s album Soul Punk. Definitely a love song. “give me a boost, a boost over Heaven’s Gate” is a very annoying lyric but if you can ignore it’s not too bad a song. Very grand song with a ’50s-’60s but modern vibe.
Sunshine Riptide: If Young & Menace is the worst song on the album then this is definitely number 2. This is FOB trying to do hip-hop again or at least their version of it. Yea it’s not good. They try to put this reggae artist Burna Boy on the track but his whole verse doesn’t even fit with the lyrics of the song. They are just trying too hard to be down with the kids but it just doesn’t work. I love hip-hop but the whole “trap” movement of the last two years is just not my style or at least what is popular. This just feels too crazy and I can’t get down to it. The song ends before I’m even able to tell what it’s about. Come on FOB do better.
Bishops Knife Trick: Patrick’s vocals coming in strong again of course cause he’s a sweet baby angel. Now I have watched some reviews for this album already and they all make this song out to be good but because they reviewed the album version this song comes after Young & Menace which makes since as to why they think it should of been placed in a different spot on the album. On the Spotify version though it comes after Sunshine Riptide which is not any better because then it does kind of feel like an after thought. Back to the song though it’s not bad and like I said Patrick’s vocals really dominate this song and the piano in the background with some great guitar as well. Oh and at least they don’t repeat any annoying lyrics plus I like the ending little chime before it ends. Not a bad ending to a very wonky album.
So there you go MANIA. Yea I did like some songs there not bad but this is definitely not my favorite album at all! Patrick is probably the strongest part of this album but honestly even with the time to go back to the drawing board it still felt like they didn’t even try that hard.
Now I know for a lot of newer FOB fans this band can do no wrong but honestly having been a fan for over 10 years I’ve seen them go through so much and be put through so much that as grateful as I am that they came back I wouldn’t mind if they left again. Hear me out having been a fan for so long I got to experience this band during their heyday and I feel bad that you didn’t but it just doesn’t feel like FOB has been on their game in a while and due to that their albums have suffered. So due to that we as fans should not let them be mediocre just to keep them around. I just don’t feel the heart in this band like I used to and I know they are capable of so much more which is why I want them to take the time to find their mojo again. And just fyi I’m not one of those old heads who just wants old pop-punk/punk rock FOB back (even though I do) I’m cool with change and expanding your sound as long as it’s good just look to Paramore.
Anyway I could talk about my boys forever but just know they will always be my boys and will always hold a special place in my heart!
FOB Mania Era:
Till Next Time…Hold Me Tight or Don’t