Fall Out Boy - Mania (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Fall Out Boy

Mania (2018)


Fall Out Boy's Mania is more or less the soundtrack to one big SuperBowl ad, or it's them auditioning to get their music in a trailer that'll feature Zac Efron and Dave Franco doing some teenage, frat-boy shit before discovering the error of their ways.

That's about how best I can describe this musical vacuum: devoid of art or inspiration which FOB had way back in the day. And yes, they did and I loved 'em for it.

That aside, it's no surprise because they've musically devolved for some time now but what still irks me is that this isn't a rock band at work, it's a Patrick Stump solo effort (which as you know I'd give a classic rating if it felt genuine). So why disguise this as rock and roll? FOB aren't saving it, they're fucking killing it. Dead at that.

"Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea" tries to balance the old with the new, but from there it's a bunch of synth and beats that leave you wondering which ESPN commercial or NBA promo they're trying to weasel into -- see "Church" and "Wilson" as well. Now, Stump's vocals are as on point as ever, but what shocks me even more is his lyrics lack any sort of cleverness. That's one part of the band's identity, no matter how boring they get, you can expect good things from. Sadly, that's not the case here.

All in all, this album lacks soul, melody, rhythm and any kind of harmony. If anything, from Frank Ocean to Usher to Drake to Justin Timberlake, and just about every pop culture icon that made millions, Stump's trying to rip off or appropriate. Fuck, when you're trying to ripoff Awolnation, then you know you've crapped the bed.