After waiting almost exactly three years since the release of their last studio album, “American Beauty/American Psycho,” Fall Out Boy’s newest studio album, “M A N I A”, dropped Thursday night. The album, which is the seventh album released by Fall Out Boy, contains ten songs. However, only five of the songs made their debut, as the other five were previously released. The album was delayed from its initial release date of September 15 due to creative reasons; lead songwriter and bassist Pete Wentz scrapped the whole album in July and started from scratch.
Fall Out Boy has never been the type of band to stick to completely raw and acoustic-y music. That being said, ”M A N I A” certainly has a less natural vibe than the band’s past albums. “Young and Menace,” the first song on the album, was released April 27, 2017. With EDM-like effects that changed the sound of lead singer Patrick Stump to vocals that are much higher than normal, many listeners were unsure how to feel about the upcoming album. The release of “Champion” in June ensured fans that the album was one to anticipate. The song touched the roots of the band’s prior albums, revamping their old “emo” sound from albums like “Infinity on High”.
This new sound can be detected on other tracks as well, such as “Sunshine Riptide” and “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea.” Daring lyrics throughout the album hint at the pop-punk-turned-rock genre that Fall Out Boy has shifted into, such as the repeated phrase “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color” from “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)” and “I’m about to go Tonya Harding on the whole world’s knee” from “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea.”
An interesting quality that is worth noting is the variety of the album. While the songs all have a common feel to them and tie together nicely, each song is different. “The Last of the Real Ones” is a head-bob-inducing jam and contrasts from the Latino-like sensation of “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T,” which differs from the ballad-esque, mellow jam that is “Heaven’s Gate.” Stump blesses die-hard and new FOB fans with his strong vocals and piano accompaniment.
At first listen, “M A N I A” may seem a little extreme and a lot to take in, but, at the end of the day, it’s one catchy album with songs that you’ll catch yourself humming when you least expect it.