January 20, M A N I A by Fall Out Boy
Genre: Alternative pop… if that’s a thing.
Total Number of Tracks: 10
Songs you might know:
– “Young and Menace”
– “The Last of the Real Ones”
– “Hold Me Tight or Don’t”
– “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)”
My prior relationship with this album: I initially ignored MANIA but when I heard the song “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)” on the radio, it was one of those songs that just grabbed me and and demanded to be heard again. That prompted me to listen to the whole album. Because it’s only a year old, I don’t have the same relationship with it as I do earlier albums, but I enjoy it more than most other FOB fans.
My impression this time around: While I remain a MANIA sympathizer, I can also see why this was a disappointing album for some people. There is an admirable amount of risk taking here, incorporating many modern pop trends to the point that many songs aren’t even rock anymore. I don’t really have a problem with that, but I do have to subtract points for lack of consistency. I LOVE “The Last of the Real Ones” and “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes).” I love them to the point that I’d rather just bounce back and forth between these two songs rather than listen to the whole album. The ballads such as “Heaven’s Gate” and “Young and Menace” are respectable, but don’t float my boat.
So while this one will probably never be my favorite Fall Out Boy album, it is a testament to their fearlessness as a band. It’s the sort of album that makes me excited to see what they’ll do next, and not every band is able to maintain that excitement seven albums into their career.
Who would enjoy it? People that enjoy pop that isn’t TOO poppy.
* This post is part of a theme week, where I listened to all seven Fall Out Boy studio albums in one week. Check out my other reviews here:
– Take This to Your Grave
– From Under the Cork Tree
– Infinity on High
– Folie á Deux
– Save Rock and Roll
– American Beauty/American Psycho
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