CORTEZ: Fall Out Boy’s ‘Mania’ is a hot mess
Catchy lyrics, recognizable guitar riffs and pulsating bass lines made Fall Out Boy one of the best rock bands of the 2000s. The Chicago quartet’s latest album, “Mania” (stylized as MA N I A), offers none of those things.
Originally slated for a Sept. 15, 2017, release, the band delayed “Mania” to Jan. 19 as they felt the album was not at its best. The extra time was not worth the wait. “Mania,” in its final form is terrible, so I can only wonder how much worse it would have been if it released last four months ago.
The leading single, “Young and Menace,” is an EDM song, and not a good one at that. It is one of, if not the worst track, Fall Out Boy has released.
The band’s previous post-hiatus albums featured songs such as “Centuries” and “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)” that were anthemic, but “Mania” offers nothing catchy and adrenaline-pumping to be spammed at sporting events.
The lyrics, which were written by bassist Pete Wentz, weren’t the best on this album. “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)” features an “edgy” line about only wearing black until a darker color is discovered. The worst line came in “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea” in which the chorus is partly in French.
“Are you smelling that shit?” Yes, Fall Out Boy. The shit I’m smelling is the new record you guys put out.
Most of the sound is electronic and as a rock band, hearing the instruments is essential. Instrument work by Wentz, drummer Andy Hurley and guitarist Joe Trohman are rarely heard, but are easiest to detect in “Champions” and “Church.”
Singer Patrick Stump provides a good vocal performance as usual, but with all of the electronic noises throughout, it’s hard to pick out the rest of the band.
“Sunshine Riptide” starts with Stump sort of rapping, which does not bode well. Later in the song comes a featured verse with Burna Boy, which is just a whole other mess. First off, it’s very hard to understand as it sounds like he is mumbling his words, which can be said for Stump in the earlier days of Fall Out Boy, but it doesn’t work here.
Former pop punk powerhouses of the mid-2000s, such as Paramore and Panic! at the Disco, have provided well-acclaimed pop albums in recent years. Fall Out Boy, trying to go the same route as their contemporaries, does a poor job by implementing electronic with pop.
There’s little to be remembered with “Mania,” but “Champions” and “The Last of the Real Ones” are okay enough to be heard without having thoughts of disappointment and longing for the band’s earlier, definitive pop-punk sound.
Fall Out Boy will perform at the Pinnacle Bank Arena on Oct. 5.