Fall Out Boy - M A N I A
Sep 6, 2020
It's hard to stay deflated about the trajectory of Fall Out Boy for too long or you'll be drained of all your positive outlook in moments. It's not like the group are dressing up and pretending to be the same pop punk emo's of the middle of the 2000's by any means, nor are they making music with the intention of appealing to their initial fan base. Fall Out Boy are more than content to exist as the trailblazers who killed rock music, replacing it with stadium-prepared iPhone commercials. They effectively flash their toothless grins knowingly, offering up poor songwriting and even poorer musical accompaniment, feeling gratified that they are still somehow considered a rock band at all.

M A N I A isn't even remotely shocking anymore, which almost makes it easier to swallow. The four-piece made disappointment their namesake over their last two records, so going in with low expectations for their seventh album was a breeze. Gone is everything that gave the group an edge to make them push pop punk into the mainstream over a decade prior, or even the deeper shift into pop music that kept to a creative sense of writing and heavy guitars. That left years ago, so you wouldn't even consider that they would appear on this effort.

All Fall Out Boy are at this point are a brand, and maintaining the brand is all this album does. It's so boring, so average, and so uninspired that there is virtually nothing to praise. However, at this point, Fall Out Boy seem pretty transparent that they aren't even trying to be inspiring. It's almost enough to forgive Fall Out Boy here for making such an airless effort, because it does what it's supposed to do at the end of the day rather than cosplaying as a real rock band.

By the end of M A N I A you just remember that Fall Out Boy aren't even a caricature of their former selves because that would imply they were performing in the same way. Fall Out Boy are much more a hollow shell, gutted of everything that made them so promising. Their willingness to add material to the stale landscape of mainstream electronic rock just confirms that the members were never that interested in doing something monumental. They were always right in the pantheon of passionless acts like Maroon 5 and Imagine Dragons. They always were just a brand; they just had a knack for keeping it under wraps before now.

Favorite track: Church

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More Reviews by MasterCrackfox
Fall Out Boy - Save Rock and Roll
Sep 5, 2020
Fall Out Boy - Folie à Deux
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Fall Out Boy - Infinity on High
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