For Fans Of
Stepping out from the shadow of a multi-platinum selling band must be daunting, particularly when the majority of your publicity is driven by the popularity of your bass player. However Soul Punk oozes the confidence and charisma of an artist who is extremely comfortable in his own skin.
Acting as a one-man band handling all instruments and production duties himself, Patrick Stump has crafted a unashamedly pop album with healthy doses of influence from the King of Pop. The album is all about layers, particular the multi-tracking of vocals, which was a signature studio habit of the late Michael Jackson.
The rapid energy of opener “Explode”, complete with a clapping hook, sets the tone for an album the exudes pure joy. Stump sings of his love for his hometown of Chicago in the soaring chorus of “This City”. For a guy who has toured the world, it’s endearing to hear him reveal such passion for the place that made him who he is.
Stump has the kind of voice that would make singing the entire menu of McDonalds an album worth buying. He’s free from the restraints of a genre and able to unleash his crooning powers on “Dance Miserable”, helped along the way with punchy bass synth. His ability to produce a memorable hook was never an issue for a Fall Out Boy song, and he continues the trend with “Spotlight (New Regrets)”.
“Run Dry (X Heart X Fingers)” is a particularly bold statement, running over eight minutes long. With its funky bass line and a synth line reminiscent of a Passion Pit song, the track is split into two parts, with guitar featuring for the first time.
If you have seen the YouTube video in the lead up to Stump recording the album, you’d be familiar with how competent he is on a number of different instruments.
He shows his love of brass in “Everybody wants Somebody” and “Allie”, in which the latter provides temptation to yell “New Yorrrk!”. After a flurry of horns and drums subsides, the “Empire State of Mind” style keys flow by gently until a guitar solo in the bridge wails over the top of Stump’s more than capable drum work. It should be no surprise that he shows plenty of flair with sticks in hand, considering he was a drummer in the days before FOB were formed. He gives you one more taste in the latter parts of “Coast (It’s Gonna Get Better)”, which isn’t a massive departure melody-wise from an FOB song but is solidly polished into a shiny R&B track.
Album highlight “This City” gets another run at the end of the album, only this time it features fellow hometown artist Lupe Fiasco.
Patrick Stump has shown he doesn’t need a band to shine. Through slick production and with his ear for a sugar sweet melody, he has created a sublime collection of pop songs that have the potential to be a massive hit commercially.
2. This City
3. Dance Miserable
4. Spotlight (New Regrets)
5. The “I” in Lie
6. Run Dry (X Heart X Fingers)
8. Everybody wants Somebody
10. Coast (It’s Gonna Get Better)
11. This City (featuring Lupe Fiasco)