Release Date: Oct 18, 2011
Record label: Island
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop, Punk/New Wave, Synth Pop
For ex-Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump, "solo album" is more than a record you make when you leave your band. It's a record that you make by yourself, playing every note on every instrument – drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, trumpet, trombone, sax, mandolin. Besides handling instrumental duties, Stump supplied some terrific songs, too, with big hooks ("People Never Done a Good Thing"), electro pep ("Spotlight [New Regrets]") and lots of unabashed Michael Jackson.
You'll be surprised at how good this is... When Fall Out Boy first started touring, Patrick Stump used to warm up his vocal chords listening and singing along to an old Prince tape. Some 10 years later, his career has come full circle with a debut solo album full of soul, funk and artful weirdness that the symbol-loving, purple-catsuit-wearing midget would surely approve of.
Patrick Stump makes his game plain with the title of his solo debut, Soul Punk: he intends to fuse soul singing with the songs of punk. Of course as a millennial, Stump’s definitions of soul and punk do not necessarily belong to those of the boomers. This is not Stax/Volt-meets-CBGB, it’s a highly stylized fusion of post-disco soul and MTV new wave -- both fractured through the modern prisms of Justin Timberlake and the post-Killers post-punk boom -- a record that plays by a modernized definition of “soul punk.” Stump piles up stuttering analog synthesizers, anchoring them via bumping, old-school drum machines and elastic electric bass, its instrumentation fearlessly retro, its aesthetic modern.
First, a statement: Patrick Stump the solo artist is not Patrick Stump the Fall Out Boy frontman. The famous singer-songwriter has dropped the pop-punk vibe for something more egotistical, funky, and R&B infused. For anybody who isn’t yet familiar with the phrase “soul punk”, which is what Stump claims his solo work is (and what he has called this, his first LP), it is, if this record is anything to go by, a kind of Kelly Clarkson/Michael Jackson hybrid.