Friday, July 15th, 2016

Fall Out Boy ft. Missy Elliott – Ghostbusters (I’m Not Afraid)

We ain’t afraid of no remake.


Cassy Gress: This would work so much better if it wasn’t a Ghostbusters song because what we have here is Patrick Stump cramming “whoyougonnacall” in as fast as he can and then someone in the control room pressing the “Ghostbusters!” button at the appropriate time. When it gets to Missy’s part, despite the fact that the backing instrumentals don’t change at all, suddenly we have a groove and it becomes danceable, and that’s entirely because she’s rapping at a comparatively normal speed. Wasn’t part of the charm of the Ray Parker, Jr. version was the fact that he said he wasn’t ‘fraid of no ghosts when he clearly was? Patrick’s just yelling.

Anthony Easton: What a waste.

Taylor Alatorre: “But Patrick’s voice tho” is one of the default rejoinders to any criticism of post-hiatus Fall Out Boy, and this is one of those times where I have to admit that the apologists have a point. Dude’s vocal chords could power a small city. But to what end are those pipes being used? 

Alfred Soto: Although I’m grading on a curve because the film’s pre-release criticism irritates me, I don’t understand how urging Patrick Stump to sing like Chris Cornell in line too long at the car wash was a judicious use of talent, nor the mixing board zealousness, as if an engineer thought Disturbed’s Genesis cover from Miami Vice (a decade ago!) was “Mrs. Robinson.” Missy’s in there, I guess.

Katie Gill: If anybody uses this mediocre cover version as an attempt to shit on the movie, I will fucking fight them. Dn’t judge a movie based on a three minute song especially when the movie has spent months being attacked and crucified for no damn reason by whiny punkass white boys who can’t even lick the Cheeto dust off their fingers before bitching about how their childhoods are ruined. That being said, this song blows. Fall Out Boy plays this 100% predictably and 100% seriously despite the fact that the original song was 100% goofy. The only thing that remotely approaches the goofiness of the original is Missy Elliott’s rap, twenty seconds of pure wonder in a cover version that wouldn’t even fly on Glee.

Joshua Copperman: No matter how good the reviews are, the marketing for the Ghostbusters reboot almost seems deliberately polarizing, as if designed by an executive so hell-bent on showing that women can’t lead in a film he would risk millions of dollars in order to prove himself right. This loud, terrible remake alone shows that my theory isn’t entirely unfounded; in fact, it sounds more or less exactly as cringeworthy as one would expect. The Missy Elliott verse is amusingly corny, but the song remains an unsurprising, lazy mess that sounds like it’s filling an obligation all the way through. Glad the film doesn’t appear to be the same way.

Claire Biddles: Ok, of course this is corny and silly but it does its job as a theme song. My existing love for Fall Out Boy means that the novelty value of the song is enough to hold my attention, at the same time as I know that I’d probably think it was boring if it were a FOB original. The appearance of the “Ghostbusters” hook remade on scratchy guitar at the end and Patrick Stump’s “BUSTING MAKES ME FEEL GOOD!” wails are neat, and I’m actually pretty fond of the melodramatic over-production evident here and on last year’s American Beauty/American Psycho. It’s a shame that Missy’s contribution isn’t more integrated — I can’t help but think of her commanding presence over “Lady Marmalade” from Moulin Rouge, a rare instance of a movie theme that developed its own cultural significance removed from its source material. I doubt this “Ghostbusters” is going to become part of the pop canon — I doubt I will even consciously listen to it again — but it’s fun as a ephemeral tie-in.

Thomas Inskeep: Missy sounds as if she was just awakened from a nap, and as busy and clattering as this rework of the iconic Ghostbusters theme is, it puts me to sleep, too. I’m no FOB fan, but this is barrel-scraping even by their standards.

Katherine St Asaph: I have no opinion on Ghostbusters, version dude or version lady, though it’s terrible/great to see people ascribe King James Only sanctity to a film with the climactic exchange of “I am the ~*keymaster*~. I am the ~*gatekeeper*~.” I have a mildly negative opinion of Fall Out Boy and a generally positive, though less inflated than some, opinion of Missy Elliott. What I do love are Sleigh Bells, terrible ’90s soundtrack cuts, songs that evoke shamelessly loud pep-rally songs without the pep rally, and any entity in 2016 being so unironically, unselfconsciously, harmlessly bombastic. Just from a safe distance.

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