Fall Out Boy is on hiatus, and nothing has solidified that greater than “Soul Punk,” Patrick Stump’s first solo release since abandoning his role as pop-punk’s superstar. Without the limits of traditional musicianship, Stump strives to tap in to the much more pop side of things.
“Soul Punk” is exactly what I would’ve expected from a solo Patrick Stump: a slew of pop and R&B-esque tracks. This is particularly evident in the hyper-pop beginnings of the record with the tracks “Explode” and “This City.” Stump croons in his pseudo-squeal of a voice, but instead of music sounding like “Dance, Dance” it’s the sound of “Got Money.”
Once again, I cannot say I’m surprised about the turnout.
However, one ought to give credit where it is due. Stump is a gifted producer, and for that I’ll salute him. The record definitely has a crisp sound and professional quality to it. Stump also messes around with different instrumentation, save the hard rocking guitar moment on “Run Dry (X Heart X Fingers).”
Even though it’s nice to see a musician grow and experiment, it would be a lie to say that Stump has done anything particularly original here. “Soul Punk” will go up with the likes of Maroon 5’s “Songs About Jane” for predictable songwriting backed with high vocal pitch.
The album’s opening tracks serve as a template for the significantly less catchy songs that follow. Case-in-point: On the song “Everybody Wants Somebody,” Stump sings, “Everybody wants somebody who doesn’t want them” then goes on to shout about “not getting hurt, baby.” Boring.
The album continues as such in its hardly surprising manner, finally concluding with a cute remix of “This City” with Lupe Fiasco. It sounds like T-Pain met up with Panic! At The Disco.
Stump’s solo release is painfully radio friendly, which is unfortunate. Stump is extremely talented as a producer and a musician (he played all of the instruments on Soul Punk by himself). Stump is mainly misguided with his talents, producing superficial tunes instead of something much greater.