I had very high hopes for the new Fall Out Boy single.
Sure, they may have had ~tru fans~ before “Sugar We’re Going Down” but for the rest of us tweenyboppers with side fringes and studded belts and checkered socks and vans it was all about the 2007/08 era. Old enough to sing along but too young to truly understand the lyrical genius of Pete Wentz’s lyrics (and certainly too young to be seeing those pics of his dick).
So, when Young and Menace popped up in my downloads I breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank god Pete Wentz and Fall Out Boy have delivered another rocking pop punk single to deliver us from the evil that is 2017’s obsession with 120bpm tropical house-driven, vocally butchered dirges (dictionary definition:a song or piece of music that is considered too slow, miserable, or boring).”
Well…. Not exactly.
My first warning sign: NME describes it as a departure from the “punkier, rock n’ roll sound of their past” and more of an “uprising, industrial EDM and electronic sound.”
Pete Wentz says: “this is a song that feels like maybe it’s not a direct-to-radio-song but it feels like it could be culturally important.” He then went on to discuss how the album will be “authentic and interesting” and draws some parallels with the Clash changing their sound, and how Kanye “stopped doing soul samples” in his rap songs.
Holding my breath… I press play.
It is not too bad at first. The first verse has, you know, actual drum beats. Patrick Stump’s voice – not too heavily processed. I almost sigh in relief – then the pre-chorus hits. “Oops I did it again-” WHAAAT. I am just getting over the fact Fall Out Boy has just sampled Britney Spears (I think the term is bravely pushing musical boundaries)… when the chorus hits.
And – oh man. Imagine everything bad about Cobra Starship, but remixed by Adventure Club while in the midst of some terrible psychotic break from reality. Like, if it was a Skrillex song he would have found a way for it to sound great. But… hearing this from Fall Out Boy, my first reaction is one of great disappointment. Yet another artist to fall victim to the Great EDM Infection of 2017.
Second chorus – also tolerable. I catch my breath. I listen to the song til the end. I listen to it a second time, then a third.
On the fourth listen it occurs to me – this could be a good song? In a mosh-pit, though. I could imagine the chorus really going off in a mosh pit – provided Fall Out Boy find themselves some new fans among the younger generation. Not sure how 23-27 year old former emo kids will feel about seeing this one live in concert. They’re all hipsters by now. Probably still wanna fuck Pete Wentz though.
In conclusion, I remain torn. Maybe a bad dubstep song is a good pop punk song. Maybe this is the beginning of people so rock bottom for inspiration they are stuck repurposing Britney Spears hits for the modern era. At least it doesn’t sound like something the Chainsmokers would write, you know? Things are so bad at the moment, that’s all I am praying for. My standards have never been lower. And so:
I rate this as: NOT TERRIBLE BUT NOT GOOD. I rate this as: I NEED TO LISTEN TO THIS SONG ONE HUNDRED MORE TIMES TO COME TO A CONCLUSION ONE WAY OR ANOTHER ON IT, AND EVEN THEN THE CONCLUSION MAY FLIP THE OTHER WAY ON ANOTHER LISTEN.
But at the end of the day it is hardly groundbreaking for an artist to suddenly start doing something that others have been doing since, oh, 2010 if not before.