Fall Out Boy’s 2018 album, Mania, seemed to garner a mixed review, from critics and fans alike. Some will say it’s the worst thing they’ve ever put out, while others with argue that they just don’t understand the creative drive behind it. Some complain that “Young And Menace” is EDM trash (to those people, do you even know what EDM is?), some will praise a majority of it. Some will whine that the band are selling out, some just enjoy the music for what it is. Regardless of your perspective on the band or the record, there are undeniably some very noteworthy songs on here. Actually, in my opinion, most of the album is actually very noteworthy. Despite it being crazy messy, I find that the concept of mania (which is defined as a state of euphoria and madness) is so perfectly executed. Each song is so sonically different, but that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. With various production techniques and feels for every song, it might be missing cohesion but it’s not missing excitement. Whereas you can find an incredibly tame, homogenous record, many times those are the most underwhelming albums you can come across. I appreciate is the bands ability to step outside of the box and create something that is out of their comfort zones; that is something most artists would never have the courage to do. Especially when they’ve already gotten this far, there’s no reason not to experiment a little bit.
This track is Fall Out Boy’s attempt at a tropical-inspired tune and it’s probably one of the most fun moments on the project. With the way all the instrumentals are layered, we’re left with a song that doesn’t feel like a total rip off of Caribbean music, rather it feels like a genuine inspiration with the bands own take on it. The feature from Burna Boy adds a perfect touch to solidify the feel, and the lyrical moments add to the overall effect of the record itself. With lines like “I’m just playing house, no idea what I’m doing now”, “I don’t even have my own attention”, and “I do the best with what I have, the pills are kicking in”, create a display for such conflicting, extreme emotions. Even the album cover art featuring the ocean wave represents this song more than it does any other.
“Bishops Knife Trick”
Can we just take a moment to appreciate the bridge on this song and recognize how it’s probably the most powerful thirty seconds on the entre record? Not only that, but the way the guitars sparkle in the background is just simply beautiful, along with the vocals, percussion, and the calm ending. I can’t even begin to imagine how epic this song would be to see played live.
Fall Out Boy isn’t a band that’s known for ballads or slow tempo songs. Normally, if a record one theirs does feature one, however, it’s probably one of the best songs on the entire project (Think back to “Golden”, “I’ve Got A Dark Alley And A Bad Idea”, “The Kids Aren’t Alright”, or the legendary “What A Catch Donne”). “Heavens Gate” is another perfect addition to the bands mini collection of almost-ballads. This one is quite sonically different than the rest (granted, they’re all very much different when you’re comparing them), featuring a kind of 50’s prom vibe and pretty simple lyrics about love. This combination easily becomes a misstep in other artist’s discographies but in this case, the song does not falter.