Fall Out Boy have always been known for their eccentric and obscure music videos. Rarely ever do they produce something that visually relates directly to a song’s narrative but still always has a firm base in the title or a particular lyric. We all remember the iconic deer love story from ‘Sugar, We’re Going Down’ and Patrick losing his hand in ‘The Phoenix’ but for anyone who needs a little reminder, ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ is a comical look back on Fall Out Boy history.
Watch the music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH-by1ydBTM
Set apart from their other music videos, ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ depicts the boys both selling and being sold in a commercial style. The song itself is extremely catchy in typical boundary pushing Fall Out Boy fashion and has just further proven how Mania will be a plethora of genres. The song contains many relatable lyrics to the modern-day introvert but as a celebration more than a reflection. ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ also offers more of Patrick’s voice with less moderation that has placated complaining fans on the new direction the band have taken with their forth-coming album.
Even before the music video was released, the song title offered a reference in the form of ‘Wilson’ to the movie Castaway and should really have been a warning of what to expect. Yet, there was only one visual within the music video that saw a possible explanation for the choice in title. Although, at this point, fans should probably stop trying to understand Fall Out Boy’s lyrical choices and just appreciate the creative genius.
Upon further inspection, it’s obvious ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ is a collection of nostalgia for both the boys and fans with it’s Russian doll of reference to other songs. Before even dissecting each individual reference, the overall style of the music video seems to harken back to ‘The Take Over, The Break’s Over’ that saw Fall Out Boy holding up a middle finger to those calling them sell outs. Throughout their career, the band have come under criticism whenever they try to appeal to a mainstream audience, both fans and critics not understanding that some boxes needed to be ticked in the beginning to ensure success. This ticking of boxes led to many people forgetting the uniqueness and creativity Fall Out Boy have always offered but the band fought back against this and are proving they still are to this day. ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ comments on Fall Out Boy as a product with the commercial style it has taken by selling relics from their history. However, the comedy laced into the video allows for a more light-hearted approach to something the band once really struggled against.
The music video is a mixture of in-your-face and blink-and-you’ll-miss it references for every era of Fall Out Boy’s career. Using props and costumes from other music videos like Patrick’s outfit from the music video for ‘Dance, Dance’ to imbedding lyrics from older songs like ‘This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race’ and ‘Champagne For My Real Friends, Real Pain For My Sham Friends.’ Whole albums are even referenced like Franklin the Sheep from Infinity on High’s album art and the instrument weapons used in ‘The Young Blood Chronicles’ series from Save Rock ‘n’ Roll.
The lead up to Mania has offered many gifts and surprises along the way and ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ only adds to this. Some fans will, of course, try calling the number shown continuously on screen but those who haven’t will be happy to know it’s completely worth it. Calling the number will be answered by a pre-recorded message by Patrick listing off a number of options the caller can choose depending on what they want.
The music video for ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ has just further thrown us off the scent for what to expect from the rest of Mania but the music video has given us something to do whilst we impatiently wait for the album’s full release.
Review by Skye W. Winwood