The long awaited MANIA finally dropped after 9 months since it’s first track was revealed, and after being mostly scrapped just a month before the original release date back in September.
While some may pine for what could have been, the final result is not disappointing in the least. Fall Out Boy have always been a band to experiment and evolve their sound, and this time, they’ve outdone themselves. From the electronic infused post-chorus of ‘Young and Menace’ to the smooth, gospel vibe of ‘Church’ with its organ, bells and choir, MANIA really keeps us on our toes.
‘Champion’ is an anthem for a new generation with lyrics that pack a punch and a riff that seems mellow but manages to hold your attention. ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ is a throwback to the Fall Out Boy of old, with a sound that almost belongs to 2015’s American Beauty/American Psycho. Gone are the angsty lyrics on the soul-tinged ‘Heaven’s Gate’, with its slow swing beat and melancholy undertone.’Sunshine Riptide’, with reggae influence clear to hear and special guest Burna Boy is the prime example of leaving the simple pop-punk behind.
Many felt disappointed with the band’s previous release, deeming it to be a reject list of its predecessor, MANIA is an all-new sound, keeping you listening and waiting. It’s a new beginning that somehow still holds with the band’s previous work, be it in Wentz’s love/death lyrics, catchy riffs or Stump’s vocals. If you were expecting a return of the pre-hiatus pop-punk, you’ll be let down for just a second before you get swept up into semi-ballads, powerful pop-rock anthems and realise this roller coaster of an LP is absolutely stunning to listen to, dragging you in time and time again.