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Fall Out Boy settles into an electronic-glossed pop groove on ‘Mania’

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Annie Zaleski

Three stars

Fall Out Boy Mania

At this point in Fall Out Boy’s career, the only constant from album to album is the band’s dedication to ambition. Mania is no different: The quartet sounds settled into a modern, electronic-glossed pop groove with no shortage of sonic adventure. The restless highlight “The Last of the Real Ones” alternates urgent piano with whirling chorus explosions, while the soapy torch song “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)” boasts the indelible line, “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color.”

But Mania’s best songs let vocalist Patrick Stump take center stage and let loose. He transforms into a spirited gospel singer on “Church,” which boasts thundering church choirs and jagged guitars, and channels a tender ’60s soul crooner on the smoldering throwback ballad “Heaven’s Gate.” These highlights make up for Mania’s less-successful moments—the reggae-driven “Sunshine Riptide” and the hip-hop/Latin-tinged “Hold Me Tight or Don’t”—which rely too much on repetitive tropes. Overall, however, Mania succeeds because it’s chock full of Fall Out Boy’s typically irresistible earworms.

Tags: Music, Album
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