WPGM Recommends: Fall Out Boy – M A N I A (Album Review)

What a throwback to the teenage years in the early 2000’s. Fall Out Boy are back, with Patrick Stump (singer) and every young girls heart throb Pete Wentz (bassist), for their seventh studio album Mania, and first record since 2015’s American Beauty/American Pyscho.

After forming in 2001 in Illinois, Chicago, they blew up with their second album From Under The Cork Tree. Going double platinum, and with songs such as “Dance, Dance” and “Sugar, We’re Going Down” it’s not hard to see why. The album earned them a Grammy nomination in 2006 for ‘Best New Artist’. I even distinctly remember “Dance, Dance” on Burnout Revenge (love a classic Playstation 2 game song).

Fall Out Boy are one of those bands you can happily sing along to, on a drunken karaoke night. The problem is that no one will be able to match the elegant melodies of Patrick Stump. What better explanation for this talent is there, than on their new album Mania.

With the song “Heaven’s Gate”, Patrick Stump certainly sings his heart out, hitting impressive highs and with uplifting gospel sounds, you can’t help but feel good, even if lyrically, the song is about sacrifice in a loving relationship. However with the power of love, who wouldn’t do what they could to keep their other half wanting to scream this song at the top of their lungs a couple of beverages into the night.

After blowing up on to the music scene and four albums in, the band hit exhaustion and with Pete wentz rumored to be having drug troubles, the band took a hiatus. Wentz divorced Andy Hurley, and went through a pretty rough patch of depression. It gave Stump a chance to marry his long term girlfriend, lose weight and try a chance at a solo career.

However after a 2-year break, they reformed to Save Rock And Roll in 2013, this album was a rebirth for the newly matured band members and reimagined the new style. Away with the pop punk and now for a more pop feel. “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” is a definite shout from this album.

I suppose It goes to show we’ve all made mistakes. If they can live through all of that, they can achieve anything. That reminds me of another song from this new album Mania, “Champion”, which comes with such an amazing video – if only virtual reality could work like that.

I found it far to funny, once the grandfather wiped away the lipstick. However lyrically you could say that the song reflects on where they were, where they are now, and the idea of being young enough to believe they can succeed. So with whatever has been thrown their way they feel, they can overcome and become Champions. Who doesn’t want to live by this philosophy?

The lyrics “I’m just young enough to still believe, but young enough to not know what to believe in” are significant to the vibe of whatever happens, you can still prevail. This brings me to the next song and possibly my favorite offering on the Mania album, “Hold Me Tight Or Don’t” – the whole chasing the one girl songwriting is back on this record, from their former years.

This track brings a modern twist to their earlier material. With lyrics like “I never really feel a thing, I’m just kinda too frozen” and “I just pinch myself, no longer comatose”, you can see why they were once pegged as an emo band. However back to the drunken karaoke sing along that ties into what makes Fall Out Boy such a great band to listen to, this song will work just as well.

With the repetitive oh na na na’s, you can really get a feeling for the ‘I don’t really care, I’m just going to give it my all or nothing’ vibe on this song. Just like the highs and lows of a drunken night.

All in all, the album is split into two kinds of songs. With the overall expression of it doesn’t matter what happens, we’re going for it and going to come out on top. Of course a message you want to preach to your fans. Thanks for the memories Fall Out Boy. M A N I A is out now via Island Records, purchase it on iTunes here, and stream it below.

Words by Jamie Glover

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