What is mania? It’s a mental illness marked by periods of excitement, euphoria, delusions, and overactivity. It has only been a few weeks now, but M A  N   I    A is worth writing about. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of Fall Out Boy, or unsure of the album as a whole, I’ll be glad to fill you in on what to expect, as well as outlining some of the mania themes through the album. First off, FOB has been a part of my life for a long time. I like a lot of their music. That being said, I will do my best to give an unbiased opinion on the album. That way, you’ll feel like giving it a listen.

Let’s start with the first song on the album, Young and Menace. Where to begin with this song… Let me start by saying you shouldn’t judge the whole album by this song alone. Not that it’s a bad song, but it certainly isn’t their usual sound. It starts out fairly normal, but the chorus breaks into an EDM style. Like I said, not bad, but it takes some getting used to. One of the best parts of the song is during the pre-chorus. “Oops I did it again, I forgot what I was losing my mind about.” Which is not only a reference to Britney Spears and her major meltdown, but it shows the true nature of mania taking effect. That feeling when you know you’re going a little crazy, but you don’t know why. I’m sure we’ve all been there, it’s part of being human. This is a track that earned its place on the MANIA album.

The second song on the album, as well as the second single that was released is Champion. I really like this song. Not necessarily for the sound of it, but it has a positive message, and I think we could all use a boost every now and then. This song is about having faith, to persevere in the face of adversity. When times are hard, and you don’t know how you’ll make it to next week, or when you have someone dear to you pass away. It isn’t easy to want to keep going, but that’s a huge part of life. “If I can live through this / I can do anything.” A song this uplifting is worthy of a listen, maybe it’ll strike you the way it did me.

Next up, the third track is Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea. This is another song that sums up the word mania. Many of the lyrics in this song refer to insanity, both the singers and the world as a whole. “Even at the best of times I’m outta my mind.” Meaning even in happiness and peace, you still feel crazy sometimes. It can’t always be helped. “Seems like the whole damn world went and lost its mind / And all my childhood heroes have fallen off or died.” This lyric is deeper than just then what’s on the surface. Here, he explains that not only do heroes disappoint you in the end, but they are mortal. A lot of FOB songs touch on death and this one does a few times. In the chorus alone, he sings “I testify if I die in my sleep / then know that my life was just a killer dream.” We should all live our lives like we’re having a dream. Without fear, without despair. Lastly, one of the first lyrics in the song is worth mentioning. “I’m about to go Tonya Harding on the whole world’s knee.” Tonya Harding was a figure skater who allegedly attacked her partner and damaged her knee. Another case of celebrities going through their own mania. This song feels like a Fall Out Boy song, and if you like this, I’d check out their older stuff!

The fourth track and single released is HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T. This song has a lot more of a pop feel to it. Snapping in the background and whistling throughout the song. Completely throws you off to the real meaning of the song. Obviously, in the chorus, he is saying he wants to be held by this person. The ‘or not’ part comes from their history. In the second verse of the song, you really see what is happening between them. “I got too high again / Realized I can’t not be with you / Or be just your friend.” Underneath the happy façade they portray with the music, it is really a song about a break-up and whether or not to stay friends in the aftermath of it. That alone could drive anyone crazy!

The Last of the Real Ones is the fifth track and third single before the album’s release. This is my all time favorite song by them, so check it out when you get a chance! This is a love song about someone way out of his league. “You are the sun and I am just the planets / Spinning around you.” Meaning this person isn’t just out of their league, they are viewed as a deity. This theme is apparent through the rest of the song, saying this person is too good to be true and can’t be for real. That is an ultra-kind of love that I wouldn’t walk away from. That is what we all strive to find, the perfect person you’d do anything for and would stand by you.

Halfway through the album now, track six is Wilson (Expensive Mistakes). Something we all go through is making plenty of mistakes in our lifetime. Some of them costlier than the rest. This song is about making a mistake so terrible, you lose someone you love. One of the best lines in the song referring to this feeling, as well as society as a whole, goes like this: “I became such a strange shape, such a strange shape / From trying to fit in.” I think this reflects how we all feel. We shouldn’t have to bend over backward in order to fit into society. The mania theme is all over this song as well, and they quote a few different movies with lines like “I hope the roof flies off and we get blown out into space.” Feeling sorry for themselves for making said mistakes.

Next song up is Church. Religious themes all throughout this track, but it isn’t actually about religion. It starts the song out strong. “If you were church, I’d get on my knees / Confess my love, I’d know where to be / My sanctuary, you’re holy to me.” These lines are powerful, as they are claiming complete and total worship to this person. This is also used in The Last of the Real Ones, talking about a love so powerful that you’d do anything for it. The second verse of the song is a perfect example of how I feel, and I’m sure how most of us feel. “I love the world, but I just don’t love the way it makes me feel / Got a few more fake friends / And it’s getting hard to know what’s real / And if death is the last appointment / Then we’re all just sitting in the waiting room / I am just a human trying to avoid my certain doom.” The world is a cruel place. It’s easy to enjoy it, but on the inside, it eats away at you. Finding out who your real friends are is also a painful journey, and of course, they mention the fact that we’re all mortal. All of us are staying occupied and trying to forget that we have time limits.

Heaven’s Gate is the next song on the album. This is one of their slower songs. Again, a little of a religious theme. This song basically is talking about how the singer won’t be permitted into heaven and needs a “boost” over the gates. This song also has themes of strong love such as: “I got dreams of my own / But I want to make yours come true.” Meaning he is willing to put all his dreams aside to help this person achieve theirs. Mania comes in all shapes and sizes, and this kind of love is one of them. Blinded by your love for someone, you do things you aren’t proud of. Some things that may, let’s say, keep you out of heaven.

Home stretch, ninth song is called Sunshine Riptide (ft. Burna Boy).
This song has a very different vibe from their other songs. This is more of a hip-hop song, with Burna Boy popping in the second verse with reggae vocals. That being said, it isn’t a bad song. If you like that kind of music, I’d check it out! This is the only song on the album to feature another artist. It has a positive message in the last verse, saying: “Take all your possibilities and take away the limits / Take your ideas and throw away all the gimmicks.” This part is saying to forget what is in your way, anything is possible with enough determination. Your ideas are good enough without all the fancy extras, believe in yourself. They also mention public meltdowns earlier in this verse, keeping the theme of celebrity freak outs.

The last song on the album is called Bishops Knife Trick. This is a soft song from the album, and it sounds fantastic. I like this song a lot, despite it being a little different than their normal sound. This song shows a sadder side of mania that we haven’t touched on yet. A lot of the lyrics in this song refer to depression and suicidal thoughts. However, the chorus is a message of hope. “These are the last blues we’re ever gonna have / Let’s see how deep we get.” Meaning that they are swearing they won’t ever feel this way again, so they might as well let out all their emotions now. That’s the easiest way to start feeling better after trauma. The song touches on losing someone as well. “I’m sifting through the sand, sand, sand, sand / Looking for pieces of broken hourglass / Trying to get it all back / Put it back together / As if the time had never passed.” This line is basically saying they are digging through the rubble of the relationship and trying to fix it like nothing happened.

All in all, my impressions of the album are good. I like most of the songs, not caring for only one of them. Fall Out Boy has been in my life for about 10 years now. Many of their songs have hit me on a personal level. Whether I was going through a break-up and listening to Miss Missing You to cope, or looking back on my own experiences with HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T and Just One Yesterday, their lyrics have always impacted me. I wonder what I’d listen to if FOB didn’t exist. Who would be my favorite band? I’ve never connected with an artist like this, and I’ve gotten through challenging times with their music. I have been pumped up, I’ve been brought to tears, and I’ve been excited by them for a good chunk of my life. Obviously, I can’t ask the same of you, but give this album a chance. If you like it, listen to the last couple as well, you won’t be disappointed!

Posted by forgotteniguana

Hello all, I'm a 22 year old boy from Washington, trying to get some points across!

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