Fall Out Boy- ‘Mania’ (Album Review)

Fall Out Boy have released their long awaited 7th album ‘Mania’ after months of teasing (and being a wonderful band and giving us 5 singles to get us warmed up for it). Their style of music has changed considerably from early albums ‘Take This To Your Grave’ and ‘From Under The Cork Tree’ to their last album ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’, inserting dance and pop influences and twisting them into their own take on rock music that ends up working so perfectly.

I have just listened to ‘Mania’ from start to finish and let me tell you, it has been a while since I have absolutely loved an ENTIRE album as quickly as I have with ‘Mania’. It runs so well from track to track and you already feel like you know the album because half the tracks off it have already been released for a while. The first song off the album, ‘Young and Menace’, was released back in April and I’ll admit it took me a couple of listens before I understood and properly liked ‘Young and Menace’. The style of it, the warped mess of layers of vocals and instruments- you need a minute to gather yourself because that song is so different from any Fall Out Boy song, you don’t expect them to come out with something like that and pull it off so well. ‘Young and Menace’ embodies the album title and when you listen to it you’ll know what I mean in a better sense than if I were to describe it to you. It’s messy, parts of it sound deranged but then return to calm, however it still makes you feel good when it finishes.

The two main songs off the album that I have been loving and have been my go-to songs to listen to for a couple of months now are, ‘Last Of The Real Ones’ and ‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’. They both just make me so happy and so excited, I can go into my own little world whilst listening to them, definitely two of Fall Out Boy’s best most recent songs. ‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’ has that catchy, holiday sounding part in the chorus and ‘Last Of The Real Ones’ is so powerful, showing of Patrick Stump’s voice to perfection. I hope they play both those songs on their UK tour so I can properly have a dance to them.

Later on in the album, it gets a bit more interesting, a little bit more different. After all those really energetic and fast-paced songs comes ‘Heaven’s Gate’ and when I was listening to this it caught me off guard. Of course it sounds incredible, because the slow, soul style of the song fits Patrick Stump’s vocals beautifully. It carries you away, and immediately reminded me of ‘What A Catch, Donnie’ from ‘Folie a Deux’. Fall Out Boy always do this type of song so well, and shows how much of a versatile, talented band they are.

All the songs off this album are equally as good as each other and this album has impressed me greatly. With a band like Fall Out Boy, there’s always so much pressure riding on them to make the next album as brilliant as the one before. The expectations are always so high, but they smash them each time they put out a new record. ‘Mania’ is awesome, it’s another development in ‘Fall Out Boy’ history and I will definitely be going back and listening to it on repeat to get myself hyped up for their Manchester show in March.

‘Mania’ is available to order now through Amazon, iTunes and to buy in stores.

You can also stream it through Spotify or Apple Music.

Information and tickets for their upcoming tour can be found here: https://falloutboy.com/tour/  


Song Review- ‘You & I’ by Miranda Amess

Trying to find new music nowadays that already doesn’t sound like some recent band or artist in the charts is a very tricky thing to do. Nearly all singer/songwriters with guitars sound like a knock-off Ed Sheeran and nearly all indie-rock bands will have influences of Arctic Monkeys, The 1975 etc.

Miranda Amess however, is a different case.

She has already started to make her mark in the music industry, with her debut single ‘Gravity’ gaining airplay on BBC Introducing when it was released, and also supporting Janet Devlin (Northern Irish singer/songwriter & X Factor runner up) during her Manchester show last year.

Now, after taking time to focus on her solo music, Miranda Amess has just released her new single ‘You & I’.

The overall feel of the song itself is a soft version of a Sia and Christina Aguilera power-pop ballad. Miranda has a beautiful vocal range and her voice doesn’t get overshadowed and therefore melt into nothingness. It is not a stereo-typically processed voice like most female pop acts have. Her accent comes through, which makes her have her ‘own’ voice, and makes this song so good to listen to.  The mix between the pop style lyrics and vocals swirl together with the pop-rock instruments to create a song that has all the right boxes ticked to be brilliant.
It is a very well structured song. It has a good rhythm to it which, after a few listens, begins to sound familiar, as though this song is already in the charts- although it’s better than what’s in the charts. Miranda has written some very powerful lyrics with a lot of emotion conveyed through them- they are lyrics that people can relate to, lyrics which make people listen closer to them, to find their own personal meaning.

Miranda Amess is clearly a professional, and is very much in control of what she does as a musician. She has started making well defined tracks in the music industry, and if she continues to release songs as well put together and recorded as ‘You & I’, then attention, recognition and opportunities are not far off for Miranda.

Check out ‘You & I’ on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/4u7KrRMrMUmh1PFAihIFI7

Miranda Amess website: https://www.mirandaamess.com/  

Song Review: ‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ by The Empire Police

‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ is the latest single to be released by Preston-based band The Empire Police, and upon first listen, does not disappoint. It is a wonderfully upbeat and energetic song, with an incredible catchy chorus. It’s what I like to call bubblegum sounding, like it could easily fit into an American teen comedy film.
The bass-line in the bridge sounds heavily influenced by Green Day, reminiscent of the bass-line in their song ‘Chump’ from 1994 album, Dookie.
‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ is short but sweet, where every good thing you want from a song is packed into it 2:10 minute timeframe. You don’t get bored of it, and it’s that right amount of punk-style repetitive which makes it instantly stick in your brain.
The song, as a whole, sounds like the product of what you would get if the Kaiser Chiefs and The Hoosiers were put in a blender. That indie-pop-punk genre which was huge in the mid-2000’s.
‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ is noticeably different in comparison to their other recently released tracks, such as ‘Yesterday’ and their self-titled E.P ‘The Empire Police’. It’s refreshing when bands do this because it shows versatility. The Empire Police are showing that they are capable of switching from laid-back, Northern indie-rock, to fast paced alternative pop-rock; and do it extremely well.
If you like what you hear and want more, The Empire Police are playing at The Soup Kitchen, Manchester on the 18th November with Scruff Of The Neck Records.
Tickets are available through Ticket Alien: https://www.musicglue.com/ticketalien/events/9f9ff7d0-63e6-0135-c797-2603ee79f6ff

‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes. 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1wywbtI5PQjtJaINE7GvUA?si=Fd7OSgrf

The Empire Police Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/theempirepolice/ 

Emma O’Reilly: Irish Rising Star (E.P. Review and Upcoming Tour)

A musician from the west of Ireland specialising in alternative rock and pop but played through the piano, Emma O’ Reilly is certainly something unique in today’s music industry. Citing influences such as Kate Bush and Tori Amos, she has been making music and performing since her early teenage years, going on to study music further, obtaining a BA from Trinity College. Her first E.P ‘Tour’ was released in 2007 and was a huge success as it completely sold out.

Emma is beginning a run of summer shows, performing this weekend in Norwich on Saturday 17th June at Eaton Park Cafe and Peterborough on Sunday 18th June at Puzzels?, then touring further with 5 more shows at the end of July/beginning of August.
Tickets are available through her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/emmaormusic/app/123966167614127/.

Her fourth EP ‘Fractures’ was released on May 19th and has so far received critical acclaim from a variety of people such as Remy Connolly (Remy’s Film and Music Blog) and Julie Bell (Pure M Magazine).
It was named ‘Album of the Week’ by BBC Radio Suffolk on The Great Big Sunday Show and has had airplay on radio stations across Great Britain and Ireland.

‘Fractures’ Review
With the basis of her music being the piano, Emma proves that simplicity is the key to making a captivating E.P.
‘Shake’ is the lead single from ‘Fractures’ and starts the E.P off on a fierce note. The attitude and meaning of her words punch through the music, creating a huge contrast to the delicate, traditional piano. A lot of thought has gone into how the story is told, which is a refreshing change to the mundane pop that is pumped into the music charts these days.
In comparison, ‘Count’ is much gentler, with the chords of the ukulele blending beautifully with her vocal melody. It is a song which soothes you, and one of those rare songs which you instantly like upon first listen.
There is so much emotion that is put into Emma’s songs; something you can hear in her voice and which is then felt in your body. In ‘Cervantes’, Emma’s voice is almost haunting, and genuinely gave me the chills whilst listening to it. I had to pause for a moment because I was just in awe of how pure her voice was.
It is so clear through this E.P that Emma is very gifted and has perfected, very quickly, which instruments compliment her voice and help tell the songs’ story. The notes she is able to reach, especially on the last track, ‘Geneva’, are incredible and I wish I was able to do that without my voice breaking.
With Emma’s music, nothing gets lost in over-production. No value is lost in how many instruments/backing vocals are added.
 Emma O’ Reilly is a promising and dedicated musician who is serious about the music she produces and the messages she puts across in her songs. She has overcome so much and worked so hard to produces ‘Fractures’ and it is receiving the positive reviews and promotion that it deserves.

To listen to ‘Fractures’ just click these links below: