FALL OUT BOY, “MA N I A”, ALBUM REVIEW: Power Falls Out

When Fall Out Boy suddenly postponed MA  N   I    A‘s release date from September 2017 to January 2018 just one month before the originally scheduled date, I took it as a bad news though I looked forward to their new material a lot. Production delay is possible and creativity needs the right time, but Fall Out Boy should have been on the final production stage when they decided to postpone for not one or two months but 4 months. In this case, with my experience, many albums were not good. Their production visions got blur out of their intention. Worse with Fall Out Boy’s case, they would still pursue their tour with the same title, that supposed to support their new album but actually without the album what they felt “being rushed”. I thought the actual reasons for postponing were more than their satisfaction issue. Honestly, I hoped they wouldn’t break up.

The result of MA  N   I    A finally released on January 19 was…unfortunately, I was right about what I was afraid of. The postpone didn’t work out as the better production. I don’t say that’s an awful album, but not exciting. Their first song choice, the first single “Young and Menace”, is totally horrible. The fusion of industrial and psychedelic rock doesn’t match with Fall Out Boy, and placing this earache on the first made their seventh studio album collapsed. I can’t help but skip this song. The other 9 songs are actually not that bad. They’re musically nothing much different with the band’s music direction. Patrick Stump’s vocal still beautifully stretches out at the high note (I believe Patrick is the main musical attraction of Fall Out Boy), and instrumentals are stable as well. But their trademark of gutsy energy and power clearly decline. I don’t feel it’s because the members got older. When was their last album, American Beauty/American Psycho was released? Only 3 years ago, that’s average. And the members aren’t old. Patrick Stump and Joe Trohman are still 33, and Andy Hurley and Pete Wentz are 37 and 38. But the edge fell out comparing with their previous albums including American Beauty/American Psycho. Doing rock n’ roll doesn’t mean the music is edgy and powerful. Passion is less, too. Those album issues are similar to Folie a Deux, but that 4th studio album was better than MA  N   I    A with better songs and the first song choice. MA  N   I    A simply makes me return to Save Rock and Roll, the band’s best so far.

So what happened, Fall Out Boy? I’m really curious about the pre-postpone version of MA  N   I    A and want to compare with the final version.

OVERALL POINTS: 61/100

  • Songs: ★★★+1/2
  • Originality: ★★★★
  • Thrills: ★
  • Song orders: ★★
  • Vocal: ★★★★
  • Background: ★★★★
  • Production: ★★★
  • Strong songs: “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea”, “The Last of the Real Ones”, “Church”

EXTRA (NOT COUNTED TOWARD THE OVERALL POINTS)

  • Title: D
  • Album cover: C

FALL OUT BOY, MA  N   I    A


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