The mania of “M A N I A,” the evolution of Fall Out Boy from punk to pop

By Isabel Paris || Contributing Writer

Photo courtesy of www.ecollegetimes.com.

Just as many bands continue to change their brand and their sound, so does Fall Out Boy when their seventh album dropped in late January. The one-time pop-punk band is now just a pop band as they move away from their edgier sounds and extremely long song titles. Priding themselves early on in their careers of having songs with long titles, “I’m Like A Lawyer With The Way I’m Always Trying To Get You Off (Me & You)”, their longest title with a whopping seventeen words. However, their newest album now has a song that has, in their own way, a measly six words. This among other things changes the perception of Fall Out Boy and how their album is now a collection of their new-found pop identity however maintaining some of their old characteristics within their music.

The band has been dominating the charts since their first album, Take This To Your Grave, in 2003 with its strong electric guitar and relatable yet angsty lyrics primarily written by bassist Pete Wentz. With each album, they have continued to find their unique sound and they have evolved into something more and more pop and less punk. This album is their first attempt at pop sounds while still keeping some of the punk aspects intact. The first track, “Young and Menace”, has the usual EDM touches that call back to old albums but still maintains heavy production and overdone electronic waves over the lyrics. This song is definitely made to be used when running because, who wouldn’t want to be called young and a menace while running? The track, “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea” makes multiple allusions to pop culture like the line “I’m about to go Tonya Harding on the whole world’s knee” definitely keeps the lighthearted and different quality that separates this band from others. The band also plays some mellow songs like “Heaven’s Gate,” that play towards a moral/love problem and “Church” that includes a choir and bells playing in the background to exemplify the idea that the only church to be needed is a woman. A shocking attempt to step away from their usual darker lyrics, “Champion” is an attempt by Pete Wentz to give uplifting lyrics which is seen as either brave or unusual for the band as a whole.

Fall Out Boy will continue to rise as their strong beats and relatable lyrics infiltrate radios, computers, and phones. “M A N I A” is another representation of the band’s versatility and ability to change their sound while still holding on to their old identities as a band. As a longtime fan, this album is just as good and if not better in terms of being different that will keep their fans happy and will hopefully bring new fans too!

First-Year Isabel Paris is a contributing writer. Her email is iparis@fandm.edu.

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