New Album Announcement + New Lead Single = Mixed Results

New Album Announcement + New Lead Single = Mixed Results

Fall Out Boy continues to delve into the world of pop and electronic music on their new single 'Young and Menace'

I know that I might be a little late on this considering that the song just came out last Thursday, April 27, but my thoughts on this new single have been bothering me so much that I felt that I had to get my opinion out about it. Now, I will say that Fall Out Boy have been one of my favorite groups ever since my teenage years, at about 13 or 14 years old. I own all their albums on CD and consider their first three releases, Take This to Your Grave (2003), From Under the Cork Tree (2005), and Infinity on High (2007) to be masterpieces in the genre of pop-punk music. Also, while I didn't care so much for their fourth record Folie à Deux (2008) as a whole compared to their first three, it was still a good record that contained some of Fall Out Boy's best songs like "20 Dollar Nose Bleed," "America's Suitehearts," and the ever popular "I Don't Care." So overall, I was a big fan of this band's earlier work and I still come back to those albums a lot, especially if I want to listen to something that brings me back to my childhood.

However, ever since Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman, and Andy Hurley decided to end their hiatus and come back to make new music by releasing the albums Save Rock and Roll (2013) and American Beauty/American Psycho (2015), I have had mixed feelings on the band, mainly regarding their sound. I'm not going to say that Fall Out Boy has never tried to explore and incorporate new genres into their music because they have, I mean listen to songs such as "I'm Like a Lawyer with the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You)" and "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" from Infinity on High or "Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet" and "What a Catch, Donnie" on Folie à Deux and you'll see that they have delved into different genres such as R&B, soul, funk, and alternative rock in their records. In fact, there are a handful of songs off of their last two albums such as "Alone Together," "Young Volcanoes," "Irresistible," and "The Kids Aren't Alright" that contain elements of electronic, rock, acoustic, and pop music. But, even though the different directions and sounds that the band has taken over these past couple years has been interesting and good at points, It would be nice to hear the band explore different avenues while still adding bits of the sounds that made them who they are today and brought them to the forefront, that's all.

Sadly, with this new lead single off of their upcoming seventh studio project called Mania that is set for a September 15 release date, I don't think they will be going back to that sound anytime soon simply because Fall Out Boy is becoming what I feared that they would become, a straight-up pop act trying to fit in with the times in mainstream music. When I first listened to this new tune of there's titled "Young and Menace," I actually liked the beginning of it with Patrick Stump's quiet yet soulful vocal delivery along with the lyrics in the verses about how the band has dealt with and enjoyed their growing popularity over the last few years and seeing where this new found direction will take them, no matter the obstacles they continue to come across. However, once it gets past the hook and into the chorus, all hell breaks loose as there are constant EDM (Electronic Dance Music)/Dubstep sounds and effects that seem like they go on forever and become more annoying after each listen. Also, Stump's voice becomes drowned out in the loud bombastic sounds by using a vocal effect which I like to call "chipmunk vocals" and it's a major turn off. To me it just ruins the song as a whole.

At first, I really had no problems with Fall Out Boy using electronic and mainstream pop elements in their music on Save Rock and Roll and American Beauty/American Psycho because while I think those are the bands two weakest albums in their discography, a good amount of the tunes on those two releases worked with the new sounds they were adding into the mix, while still including traces of their original sound too. Not to mention that some of the songs from those records were very catchy and that I consider to be favorites of mine from the group. I figured that the next release for the band was going to continue going down this pop/electronic route, but this? I mean, to me it's one thing for a band to go in different directions and explore other types of musical genres while still adding in components that made their act unique and well-known to people in the first place, but it's another thing if they just decide to change their sound completely because they want to fit in with what's trending in the mainstream, in this case EDM/Dubstep, and helps keep themselves relevant in society to sell more records and tickets for their tours. So, after hearing this song on repeated listens, I believe that Fall Out Boy is heading towards the latter category, unfortunately. However, despite how underwhelmed and disappointed I was towards the song, I do think that the music video was very original and creative while being a bit strange at the same time, in a good way. Also, I think that the theme of this album is interesting as I think that this record will address the society we live in today which has us humans constantly working with no stop or rest, a world of Mania with a side of self-centeredness. Pete Wentz even put a message below the music video to "Young and Menace" on YouTube that explains the theme of Mania with a part of the message saying, "An overdose of dopamine- we are living inside of MANIA right now. the never sleeping, never blinking- caught forever in the sunshine riptide." So, just because I have mixed feelings going into this new album from Fall Out Boy doesn't mean that I now hate the band and won't listen to them anymore.I'm being a critical fan because they have done better in the past and I know they can do even better than this.

While there are many die-hard Fall Out Boy fans out there who adore this song so that they can continue supporting the band in all that they do, while trashing the other fans of the band who are showing disapproval and distaste towards the bands new direction at the same time, all I have to say is that's okay. I may disagree with their positive opinions towards "Young and Menace" and think that they just like the song because it's Fall Out Boy, which might make them a little delusional, but if they want to hate on me or any other fans of the band that dislike the new single and continue to criticize the experimental sound they're taking so be it, I won't be hurt. Lastly, since I seemed to have made my case and expressed my feelings towards this new single and forthcoming new album from one of my favorite bands, I will leave with this.

Fans are everything to bands and artists. They are the support system that keeps many of them growing, maturing, and makes them strive to be the best professional act they can be by creating the most satisfying, interesting, and compelling music that they can make for not just their supporters, but all music lovers. However, not all fans have to love every single thing that a band or artist releases and they are entitled to criticize something that they don't like because they are the ones that buy the albums, spend a ton of money on tickets to see them live on tour, and purchase their outrageously expensive memorabilia. I'm not saying that fans should tell bands what they need to sound like on their next album or force them to write a song on a certain topic, but they are a big part of what keeps them going strong in the industry, and for that they have a right to express how they feel about what a band or artist comes out with. Even Pete Wentz said in an interview on The Zach Sang Show that he expected everyone, not just Fall Out Boy fans, to be critical of "Young and Menace", and it may not be the nicest criticism that they will receive based on what he calls the "complainer culture" we live in. In the end, I'm a little nervous seeing where this new album will take Fall Out Boy because while the whole record most likely or at least hopefully will not sound like "Young and Menace," I don't have any expectations of hearing any original sounds or components (like guitar and bass in particular because Andy Hurley's drumming is the only live instrumentation on the new single and that's not a lie) that made them the excellent, talented, and unique band they were over 10 years ago. Until September 15, fingers crossed!

A scene from the music video for Fall Out Boy's new song "Young and Menace"

Cover Image Credit: josepvinaixa (Ultimate Music)

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

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The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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