Patrick Stump – Soul Punk

written by: October 21, 2011
Release Date: October 18, 2011


In the days of Fall Out Boy, Pete Wentz took the lyrical work while Patrick Stump worked out the composition. Stump now rounds off his work with 110 percent of the composition of Soul Punk, playing percussion, synth, guitar, trumpet and more. For a man to work so hard to polish a solo career after his peak in a group is really crucial to the rest of his career. It didn’t work for Brandon Flowers or Mel C, but it brought greatness to Bjork and Cee-lo Green. So should it work for Stump?

Stump is often praised for his versatile yet consistent vocal work because it can sound very R&B naturally, but it works well along pop and punk mixes. But still, here in Stump’s most freeing environment to create work, he essentially sacrifices organic work for oddity. Sometimes the weirdest sound creations are spat into the listeners’ eardrums, like a burping, growling noise in  “Run Dry” with a screeching outro. Often this free energy can produce sounds that are too wild for pleasure. Yikes.

What he lacks is the talent of the lyricism. This was his first attempt at writing for music. Although Stump did an admirable job in his initial tries at writing, the efforts are dampened by the veil of terrible work in songs such as “Run Dry (X Heart X Fingers)” where listeners are given a step-by-step runthrough of a night of partying along frilly pop beats. The song is the most radio-friendly on the album, but this isn’t what the album was made for.

Soul Punk was supposed to defy the “I’m so drunk” ways of the popular Top 40 trends, and here, it conforms as much as possible.

It streamlines eight and a half minutes of bullshit, too. Fans need to brush past this shame in order to fully appreciate any aspect of the album.

“The ‘I’ in Lie” is the most reminiscent track on the album. It’s as if FOB’s name has been covered up by a piece of masking tape on this tune and replaced with Stump’s. It’s charming and flowing plus every bit relatable as can be. If Fall Out Boy were together today, this is surely what they’d sound like. With this song and “Allie,” both cute and emotional pop-punk rhymes, there are themes that can be related to many types of audiences. Here is where Stump might find the most fan love.

Prince and Michael Jackson can be audibly traced as inspiration in Stump’s recordings. Soul Punk is really neat here in the way it draws inspiration from classics but remains original. Especially with “When I Made You Cry,” the most classic number on the album. It’s fun and rhythmic, never pausing or letting up and remaining exceptionally old-school.

“Mad At Nothing” is also sweet, pulsating and trancelike. It’ll suck you in, and it won’t let go till it finishes in silence at the record’s ultimate close.

This man deserves whole credit for producing everything on Soul Punk himself, even with his own money. He pulled off the solo act as best as he possibly could. It’s clear that Stump worked his butt off to make the most perfect compilation possible, delaying the release from February to October as a way of ensuring greatness to his fans. He even pushed “This City” as his first single to get his name back onto the table. Although it wasn’t true to the album as a whole (through superficial babbling and an unfortunate key change), it was a smart way of attracting the mainstream scene once again. The combination of image and artistry is the clear package for success today, and Stump accomplished such in the best way possible.

Patrick Stump – Soul Punk tracklist:

  1. “Explode”
  2. “This City”
  3. “Dance Miserable”
  4. “Spotlight (New Regrets)”
  5. “The ‘I’ in Lie”
  6. “Run Dry (X Heart X Fingers)”
  7. “Greed”
  8. “Everybody Wants Somebody”
  9. “Allie”
  10. “Coast (It’s Gonna Get Better)”