Music Mondays (5-1-17): New Singles

This is Music Mondays, a weekly music column.

Fall Out Boy, “Young and Menace

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This song is not good.

As a Fall Out Boy fan, it pains me to say that, but I would be kidding myself if I didn’t admit this song hurts my ears.

“Folie a Deux”, Fall Out Boy’s fourth studio album, was the first record I ever purchased of my own accord. I don’t really know why I chose it. I certainly wasn’t a Fall Out Boy fan yet. I guess it was because of the cartoon bears on the cover.

Nonetheless, I quickly became a fan of the group. I went back to their earlier records, and soon thereafter, Fall Out Boy became my favorite band.

Ever since, I have stuck with the band as a dedicated fan. While some hate the group’s post-hiatus music (“Save Rock and Roll” and “American Beauty/American Psycho”), I actually quite enjoyed these albums’ very pop-heavy vision of punk rock.

“Young and Menace” however, off the band’s forthcoming September album release “M A  N   I    A” (yes, the stylization of the title is awful), is bad.

To protect myself from potential internet comments, I will always support a band changing their sound (a la Childish Gambino, Arctic Monkeys, or Bad Suns). That isn’t the issue. For goodness sakes, I really like Paramore’s new single.

To get into specifics, “Young and Meance” is a bad amalgamation of pop, Skrillex-style EDM/dubstep, and emo-punk (I guess). It doesn’t do any of these well, especially the horrendous sounding electronic music in the chorus.

The verses sound okay. They could be viewed as a natural progression from some of the pop found in “American Beauty/American Psycho”. Nonetheless, any good that is found in these verses is completely undone by the awful production in the chorus. It’s hard to believe that kind of obnoxious EDM noise was intentional.

I’m all for Fall Out Boy becoming an all-out pop band. If that’s the direction they want to go in, I will support them along the way. But if the result is a song like “Young and Menace”, I am very nervous for the full release in September.

Phoenix, “J-Boy

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French indie pop band Phoenix is back(!) with a new single (“J-Boy”) and an upcoming album titled “Ti Amo”. The album is set to release on June 9, and with a single like “J-Boy”, I am very excited.

“J-Boy” hits all the sweet ‘80s synth-pop goodness that I could ever hope for. I’m sorry if you’re sick of me using those words after last week’s Music Monday, but “J-Boy” is my favorite of these ‘80s-inspired singles that have been released in the last few weeks.

When the drums and synth kick in about 10 seconds into the song, a huge smile breaks out onto my face every time.

The sound of Thomas Mars’ vocals in the verses is more strange than in most Phoneix songs, but his falsetto in the chorus is beautiful and complements the music nicely.

The lyrics of the chorus (“These things I have to go through: Is it so bad? Is it so true? Is it still you? Just because of you.) are nostalgically romantic. If the song didn’t sound like it already, the lyrics of “J-Boy” make it feel like a track ripped from the prom scene of a John Hughes movie.

Overall, “J-Boy” is a great track, and “Ti Amo” has skyrocketed up my “most anticipated summer albums” list.

 

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