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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18 Ways The Disney College Program Destroys You

"I can only hope we never lose sight of one thing, that it was all started by a mouse" - Walt Disney

The Disney College Program, three little words that may or may not forever change your perspective of the world. Working for Disney has been my dream since I was a little kid. That’s all I ever wanted to do with my life-- to become a part of the magic. It wasn’t just because it’s Disney World, the most magical place on Earth. It's because I truly admire everything that this company stands for. Disney is all about bringing families and friends together, creating memories that will last a lifetime and sprinkling a little pixie dust over this magical place that I’ve called home for eleven months. I knew all of this when I received that “Congratulations!” email. Excitement rushed through my veins . The world of possibilities had finally opened its door for me. What I didn’t know, was what those possibilities truly meant, until post DCP depression kicked in. It's a real thing my friends.

1. You are always going to be an extremely friendly and approachable person.

No matter where you are or who you are talking to, you can't help to smile. You always carry a welcoming vibe with you, no matter what situation you are placed in. Working for Disney taught you how to have the patience of a Saint when it comes to dealing with people. You learned that the best way to communicate is listening to everyone with an open mind, even if they’re screaming in your face about Test Track being out of FastPasses.

2. You are constantly finding hidden Mickeys in the real world.

Admit it, your mind creates hidden Mickeys out of almost every random three circle formation. You can’t help it. You have Disney on your mind all the time.

3. You are FULL of Disney Park fun facts.

Did you know that there are 11,324 triangles that make up Spaceship Earth?!

You love sharing your vast pool of knowledge of random Disney Park fun facts. Sometimes even when people don't care about it, you just have to talk about all the things you learned as a CP.

4. You also may speak ride spiel.

“We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it"- Dinosaur at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

When you work for Disney, you live and breath Disney. You couldn't even count how many times you've been to the park, even just to hub grass and chill or ride the People Mover four times in a row. Those spiels were a part of your everyday life. You know when you are riding Hunted Mansion with a boatload of cast members when everyone in the stretch room whispers, "I am your host, your ghost host". Going to the park almost every day is a part of CP culture. Accidentally referring to ride spells still sometimes slips into your daily conversation. Did you really do the college program if you don't know at least one ride spiel?

5. You constantly feel the need to get down the small child's level and talk to them about their favorite Disney characters.

"Hi Princess! My, you look dashing today, what Kingdom did you travel from?!"

What you would do to get back to the days when you were paid to sit on the ground to talk to a child dressed up as Cinderella. You see a child at your real world job and you feel the need to ask them about the about their favorite Disney movie. You catch yourself accidentally referring to people as princess in the real world, but it instated of the magic it used to produce, they look at you like you’re a crazy person. *sigh*

6. If your friends hear you say, ”So this one time in Disney…" one more time they may punch you in the face.

OMG-- this reminds me of this one time in Disney when...*insert story of an amazing day you and your Disney fam had here.*

You can’t help it, every single day was filled with an adventure during your CP. You want to share your stories with everyone you encounter. It's like word vomit. The second something reminds you of your CP there is no stopping you. Your friends back home may either get really annoyed or end up learning everything you did when you had free access to Disney World.

7. Boy do you miss the days when Mondays were happy.

"We love you Mondays, we do."

For some who were into the social scene, you blankly gaze out your window on a Monday night wondering what county you would have been playing at Son On The Beach. You watch your remaining CP friends' Snapchat stories and think to yourself, "Anzacs VS. Gayllerie!? Ugh, must have been a good game." You miss the days when your only struggle was to make it out of work on time to get to Happy Mondays. Your friends back home wonder how you are so freakishly good at flip cup. It’s a CP thing.

8. 90% of your best friends are long distance.

Skype dates are essential.

You created bonds with people from all over the world during your CP. You celebrated holidays with these people. You spent every single day with them during your time in Florida. Your program would never be as magical if it wasn't for the amazing people you met here. Some of these people turn into your life long best friends-- even if they currently reside 12 hours ahead of you. There isn't a day that goes by that you don’t think about you CP BFFs. When they say you will meet the most amazing people you will ever interact with working for Disney, they were not kidding. These people are even more than friends to you, they are family. If it means staying up till 2AM to Skype with your old roommate, who now lives on the other side of the world, it doesn't even cross your mind how late it is. Catching up with them is always worth it.

9. You probably have roughly 500 "I'm Celebrating" buttons.

"Happy squad-iversary!"

You found every excuse in the book to rock an "I'm Celebrating" button when you and your squad hit the parks. "I'm celebrating ERs" was a great one to sport when you got off work early. The button days were the special days. You could probably fill an entire cork board with all of the buttons you collected over your CP. Thank goodness for that, you'll have a tangible memory of those magical days for a lifetime.

10. The clock strikes 3:00PM and you know the Festival Of Fantasy Parade is strolling out of Frontier Land.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the time has come to take your places” -The Festival Of Fantasy Parade.

You continuously catch yourself looking at the clock around 3PM and feeling a little empty inside. To all the days before work when you watched that parade with your roommates, you were the greatest. You can always spot a cast member as “dreams that glow” blur down Main Street. They are usually the ones dancing along and singing as their favorite floats pass by. What you would do to relive those days.

11. You know a lot about the world and the people it's made up of.

I’d be real keen to learn about your culture over some Maccas, eh.

You know to never tell an Australian their accent sounds like a Kiwi's or visa-versa. You can spot the difference from miles away. You’ve learned the lads from down under are some of the funniest people you’ll ever interact with, and there are in fact, no kangaroos in New Zealand— just wallabies. You know that the people from Spain and Brazil are usually down for some fun and it's always a good time to kick back with your friends from France or The Netherlands. It's true that the Italians are loud and outspoken, in the best way possible. The people from Japan are simply the some of the sweetest. You meet so many people from all over the world and learn so much about their culture. You get more of a feel for all of the greatness the world is made up of than any textbook could ever explain.

12. You could draw a map of Magic Kingdom blindfolded.

“Nearest FastPass kiosk?!” “Down the pathway to the left!

Not only is Disney World your home, but you know every square inch of it. You could still probably give someone directions to the nearest quick service restaurant of your location, from wherever you are currently sitting in the world.

13. Applying for jobs? Disney always makes you stand out.

“Wow, you worked for Disney World? Tell me more about that!”

Your resume stands out among the thousands. Potential employers want to hear about your Disney College Program experience and you are over the moon to share. You tell them about the days where you immersed guests into the theme of your location and all of the magic you made. Working for the number one entertainment company is something to be proud of.

14. You are constantly checking airline prices to reunite with your roommates and get back to the place that started it all.

There is nothing better than reuniting with your Disney family. Your most visited web pages are airlines sites. You count the days where you can rule the parks again with your favorite people by your side. You can't help but to run to them in the middle of MCO with tears in your eyes and magic in your heart, ready to create even more memories together. You know you found forever friends in them, it's never goodbye— it's see ya real soon.

15. You have a strong emotional attachment to certain rides of shows.

"The best part is, you'll never run out of wishes"- Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.

There are some shows and rides that take you right back to the days where Walt Disney World was your usual hang out spot. Some of those shows have so much more meaning to you and the magic you made. You tend to get a little teary eyed watching them when you visit. Even when your CP is over, the magic lives on in your soul.

16. Disney is not just a vacation spot to you, it’s your home.

You feel at ease here. You may have even found who you are and who you aspire to be here. It’s a special place to you that holds so much magic. Going back feels familiar. You never feel like an outsider here. Walt Disney World really is your home and it welcomes you right back every time you return.

17. People who know you before your College Program say you've changed.

You're more outspoken, you are confident in yourself and you carry on with pride. Not to mention your work ethic and customer service skills are outstanding. You believe in things and the people around you. You believe in magic and that's all thanks to the Disney College Program.

18. It was the best 4 months - 1 year of your life and you would do anything to relive just one more day of being a CP.

"While no one knows for sure what we'll see or do. I do know it will be quite an adventure, an adventure that we'll take and make together. See you in the future"- Spaceship Earth.

If you were given the opportunity to put on those extreme high-waisted polyester grandpa pants and that florescent shirt that was probably eight sizes too big for you— you’d do it in a heartbeat. Despite the long hours and blazing sun, sometimes your life felt like a dream. Your time spent working for the mouse will forever be your most magical days, as the Disney College Program was the best opportunity of your entire life.

Cover Image Credit: Dana Saccoccio

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My Journey Chasing My Creative Writing Dream

Remembering how I started my writing path.


Even though I've always read lots of books, I only wrote short stories. When I was growing up, I used to think that books had to be a certain way. The main thing was that they had to be long, between 20 and 30 chapters. I couldn't understand why I couldn't make my work long enough to be a book.

I didn't really think I had any kind of story to tell. I just wrote about what I wanted: to find love. I didn't even read a lot of romance books. I didn't know how people fell in love. Movies and music talked about love, but only after the fact of love occurring. It wasn't explained what it was or how to get there. Love is my ultimate forbidden fruit.

I wrote my very first story in the fourth grade. I was relentlessly teased by my peers growing up — switching schools made no difference — I was still called the same names. So I wrote a story advising kids to stand up to those who tease them.

The drawings were laughable, the "content" (if one could've called it that) was completely juvenile and silly. Yet, I was so proud of myself for writing something that looked like a book. I knew then that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.

After that, my stories were based on falling in love with popular and unattainable high school guys. When I didn't feel like writing a whole story, but still wanted to express my feelings, I started writing poetry as well. I have a poetry book that gave me the basic format for writing poetry. I've pretty much stuck to that guide ever since — except the rhyming.

I graduated from a performing arts high school. For years I majored in drama. And though we read excellent plays and learned the basics of putting a play together, it wasn't writing.

I wanted to improve my stories and write more poetry. I begged one of the English teachers to find a way to make writing an official major at our school. Of course I was met with a lot of naysaying.

"Everyone can write! That's not a talent!"

"That's boring!"

"Who would want to major in that?"

However, I wrote a short story based off a random prompt, and was one of the first few to be accepted into the creative writing program. My graduating class was the first class to graduate having creative writing majors.

One of the first things I learned was to not rhyme anymore! It was sad I lost that skill though because it’s actually extremely difficult to do, and I would've liked to have continued challenging my command of language that way. But the four years I spent as a creative writing major opened my eyes to the real possibility that maybe I could be a writer someday.

My stories became longer, more involved, and erotic. The characters didn't seem so one dimensional anymore. The chapters become longer. I gathered the courage to let my friends read some of them. I would reread poems I wrote and not believe I had wrote something like that. I started editing old stories and editing as I wrote new stories.

It took me half to a whole semester to write a story, so sometimes I'd write more than one story at a time. I threw away the first story I ever wrote about teasing.

I remember planning my future writing corporation. I had a vision board full of all the services I'd offer, and a personal list of achievements. First I would graduate high school, then get my Bachelor’s in English, then get a Master’s in English, then get a PhD in English. I'd know every word in the world and be super qualified to run my business and help others.

Of course as reality and life caught up to my imagination, all my dreams fell away. Who becomes a famous writer only writing poetry and short stories? Especially stories about love and sex? I idolize Emily Dickinson but this isn't the 1800s anymore where poets and playwrights and essayist's ruled the world with their words. This isn't the early 1900s where the poets and writers of the Harlem Renaissance gave notice to the words and stories of people of color.

I was on my own.

I sometimes think that because there's few that have currently found success the way I want to that perhaps the whole dream is not attainable. I don't want nor do I need to be overflowing in money to be considered successful. I just want to live comfortably doing what I love. Sharing my desires in a creative way. Helping others do the same. That's all I want. I also fear that maybe people were right and writing isn't a real talent.

My high school had artists, singers, dancers, instrumentalists, actors, they even added photography as a major (which was met with the same naysaying my major received). Writers didn't seem to fit into such a talented set of people. Yet year after year, I still plug away. Hoping that one day I'll run into the successful woman I always wanted to be and become her.

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