Fall Out Boy has been one of the few bands that still commands attention in both the pop and rock worlds. From their notable celebrity in the early 2000’s pop-punk scene to their growth post-hiatus with 2013’s Save Rock & Roll and follow up American Beauty/American Psycho, Fall Out Boy have proved their versatility and staying power again and again.
With their new adventurous album Mania officially released through Island Records, the band showcases once again what it takes for an iconic rock band to break into the pop charts and remain relevant. Frontman and guitarist Patrick Stump makes the most of his distinctive vocals, which manages to always sound soulful whether he’s playing tough in“The Last of the Real Ones”, or vulnerable throughout “Bishops Knife Trick” or the soulful “Church”. He also manages it in an array of ever-changing musical settings, such as the heavy dub-step formula used in “Young and Menace” or the dance-heavy chorus of “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T”, Stump’s voice still remains the forefront and powerful throughout the album.
As personally being a longtime FOB fan, I cannot complete this review without mentioning the iconic lyrics that come from bassist Pete Wentz. The lyrics of Mania help keep the “rock edge” of Fall Out Boy, even if the music experiments more with the pop scene. “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color,” Stump sings in “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes),” with some bass drops thrown in for good measure. On “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea,” the lyrics tie into some esteem building themes as it hits the lines, “The only thing that’s here that’s stopping me is me.”
Mania is an album that showcases the growth and the versatility of a band that has reinvented their sound for a new generation. While some older fans may scream the title “sell out” at the once “Kings of Emo”, some will embrace the change and continue to grow alongside their favorites. Mania combines various styles of music, from influences of EDM and reggae creating a unique album for the pop tracks and radio play.
No matter what, FOB is back and here to stay.
Catch Fall Out Boy on tour this spring through The Mania Tour with various dates spanning the US |HERE|.