LISTEN: Critics Trash Updated ‘Ghostbusters’ Theme Song

Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Kristen Wiig in Ghostbusters (Sony Pictures, 2016)
Sony Pictures

The summer’s most polarizing movie just got what is sure to be an even more polarizing theme song, courtesy of rock band Fall Out Boy and rapper Missy Elliott.

The artists released an updated theme song for the upcoming all-female Ghostbusters reboot on Thursday, titled, “Ghostbusters (I’m Not Afraid).” The song’s release was timed to the opening of pre-orders for the Ghostbusters soundtrack, due to be released July 15. The movie is out in theaters the same day.

Fall Out Boy’s tune trades the bouncy, synth-infused funk of Ray Parker Jr.’s Oscar-nominated 1984 smash hit for a darker, dub-saturated rock tune shot through with lead singer Patrick Stump’s gritty, high-pitched vocals. Rapper Missy Elliott contributes a verse on the song’s bridge.

The song drew mixed reactions from listeners on YouTube and from media outlets.

“Wow. One of the catchiest songs of the 80s has been turned into the biggest noisiest irritating waste of five minutes,” one commenter on YouTube wrote.

“They don’t sound bad in this at all,” wrote another. “Just because it’s something different doesn’t mean it’s bad.”

Alex Young of music news website Consequence of Song was a lot harsher, lamenting that the original tune had been “tragically defaced by sh*tty pop-punk” and predicting the song is “what the CIA will soon be using to torture detainees in Guantanamo.”

Meanwhile, Jezebel’s Julianne Escobedo Shepherd called the song an “abomination” that is “not likely to be played willingly outside outside of the end credits.”

The Ghostbusters reboot is already the most divisive film of the summer a month before its release. The trailer for the film earned the dubious honor of receiving the most dislikes in YouTube history shortly after its upload in March.

The film’s director, Paul Feig, has blamed the backlash against the film on “misogynistic” trolls who down-voted the trailer simply because they don’t want to see four women in the lead roles. Critics say they simply didn’t find the trailer funny.

Below, listen to Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott’s updated Ghostbusters theme song, followed by Ray Parker’s 1984 original for comparison.



Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum



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