Fall Out Boy’s new album fails to deliver new sound, still features satisfying new tracks

Natalie O'Dell, Staff Writer

After some rocky development, the beloved rock band Fall Out Boy made a long awaited return to music with their new album, M A N I A, early this year. In the past, I have enjoyed Fall Out Boy’s music. Although their music is more hardcore than what I typically enjoy, I think it is fun to listen to. Until now I haven’t listened to any of their albums in full, but I have definitely given “Centuries” and “Thnks fr th Mmrs” their fair share of Spotify plays, so I saw this review as an opportunity to find more music for my ever expanding playlists, and in that respect it delivered.  

The album promotes itself as a stylistic shift for Fall Out Boy. However, I’d have to say, since everything changed is very surface level, this album doesn’t change the feel of their music. The band does not have a new sound – they simply started adding some electronic influence into the instrumentals.  The failure to make it sound different from their previous work doesn’t keep it from being a good album – most of it still sounds good – but this is no revolution of Fall Out Boy’s music.

I find most of the songs on M A N I A highly enjoyable. In fact, the only track on the album I found problematic was “Young and Menace”, which tries way to hard to fit into the new electronic theme of Fall Out Boy’s music. It features prolonged periods of randomly pitched auto tuned vocals, and the resulting product sounds like a five year old took a normal Fall Out Boy song, put it in a music editing software and mindlessly pressed buttons.

The best song on the album is “Champion”, which preserves the normal Fall Out Boy sound but is more controlled, which is nice. I love music with empowering lyrics, and this is a lot of why this song resonates with me. It also is sung to appealing guitar riffs and has a rough yet triumphant sound. This is definitely a track I was quick to add to my playlist.

The rest of the album is a very pleasant listen. The songs don’t necessarily stand out individually – the album’s sound is mostly consistent, so none sound unique from the other, but they are still a fun listen.

“The Last of the Real Ones” is probably the most uniquely appealing of the songs. The use of the piano in the instrumentation helps brings this out. The lyrics tell a nice love story, focusing mostly on the way it feels, but adding specific sounding lyrics that add a sense of genuine emotion.

“Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)”, “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea”, “Church”, “Heaven’s Gate”, “Sunshine Riptide”, and “Bishops Knife Trick” are all very similar sounding, and really don’t contribute anything individually and are best thought of collectively. Still, they make for great additions to the music world.

Overall, despite not living up to the stylistic shift it claims to be, M A N I A is still a consistently enjoyable album, and I would recommend giving it a listen.