The worst part about the new Fall Out Boy album announced today is that the title is stylized like this: M A N I A. Yes, that incrementally increasing spacing between letters is intentional. The second worst part is that it is led by the “holy fuck” of a lead single “Young And Menace.”
Look, I loved Fall Out Boy when they first arrived on the scene. At the time maybe I didn’t know better, but also From Under The Cork Tree — the band’s breakthrough sophomore full-length — was actually kind of incredible. I mean, that album is packed to the brim with bangers, ones that arrest you from the opening drum pattern if you experienced them at the right time. “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” is canon; it will follow me through karaoke nights, graduation speeches, all the way up to surely my wedding day.
But “Young And Menace” is no “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down.” It’s not even a “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs.” It might truly be worse than the band’s recent take on the Ghostbusters theme (OK, it’s probably not thaaaat bad). It is, without a doubt, more than anyone who initially rode for Fall Out Boy bargained for.
What it is, is a Britney-biting electro jock-rock blowout — taking to the extreme the full-on pop-implosion the band first attempted back with 2013’s Save Rock And Roll. “Britney-biting” in the sense that they literally lifted the hook of Spears “Oops…I Did It Again” for the chorus (the melody of which was originally lifted from Barbara Streisand’s “Woman In Love,” although “Young And Menace” has far more in common with Duck Sauce’s viral-hit “Barbara Streisand” than it does any actual Barbara Streisand song). That shameless hook actually then leads into an insane pitch-shifting dubstep drop that completely lets go of the band’s self-respect along with the beat. I’ve never felt older. Listen below.
M A N I A is out 9/15 on Island Records/DCD2 Records.