Album Review

Fall Out Boy renewed

As a junior in high school, I was introduced to Fall Out Boy through their Save Rock and Roll album, which was considered their newer music at the time. Being a first-time listener, I was unaware that they had previously split up, and that this was a comeback album. Eventually, I came to love their older music as well. As I listened to more of their albums, I was surprised to learn how strongly people felt about the sound of “old” Fall Out Boy versus that of “new” Fall Out Boy. So when I heard that Fall Out Boy was releasing a new album in 2018, I was, of course, excited but also doubtful. While I knew I would probably admire their new songs regardless of how accurate this album was to their sound, I was curious to learn how other, more authentic fans would feel.

Mania is Fall Out Boy’s seventh studio album, which combines their well-known rock sound with a more pop style. The album showcases the band’s ability to write lyrics that make their songs meaningful as well as relatable. This has been a consistent strength of theirs, even as their style has evolved over the years.

Listeners get a taste of their older style of music in, “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea,” a song about self-discovery and how we stop ourselves from moving forward and succeeding. Fall Out Boy delivers this message with an electric guitar accompanied instrumental track. This song is definitely angry and leans towards rock, attracting many original Fall Out Boy fans, unlike some of the other songs in the album.

On the other hand, a song that fits more within the range of pop rather than rock is “Sunshine Riptide.” Burna Boy, a Nigerian reggae-dancehall singer, features in this song, bringing a very different style than what is usually associated with the band. This song is slow and smooth, which is very unnerving for a Fall Out Boy fan.

I am used to the fast-paced and more aggressive side of Fall Out Boy; however, I definitely appreciate the mood this song puts me in. I feel comforted by the background music and Burna Boy’s voice. While the song displays a message of self-hatred, commonly found in the band’s music, it is refreshing to hear their message expressed through a new style of music.

In my opinion, Mania feels balanced, with some songs channeling inner anger in a fast-paced style, which are lighter and more fun. There is definitely something for both older and newer fans to enjoy. An album such as this one shows that the early 2000s rock band is able to adapt to the newer age of music. Fall Out Boy has paired their old sound really well with one for the younger generation. This, of course, doesn’t imply that people don’t appreciate “old” Fall Out Boy. It just means that change can be surprising as well as beautiful, and shouldn’t be feared.