REVIEW: Patrick Stump – “Soul Punk”

Patrick Stump / Soul Punk / Universal

Having progressed through Take This To Your Grave, My Heart Will Always Be A B-Side.. and Folie à Deux, it comes as no surprise Patrick Stump has the dexterity to release material that reflects the name its given. Soul Punk, the singer’s first stab at breaking out from underneath the dead body that is Fall Out Boy, resembles Stump’s adoration for pop music’s artisans to an extent. There is beyond question soul in his vocal chords and a raw aspect to every instrument but when knotted together, it falls flat, victimizing the listener. Not because Soul Punk isn’t crafted with tattoo-ready lines of heartbreak but because Stump’s direction is disfigured. The viral a capella takes pictured a stripped down shade of the Glenview composer with a chaotic thrust of energy that brings all of the ten recordings to life – from the R&B pop outburst “This City” to the racing bite of “Greed” – and is emphasized too much by the intent to create variation.

On “Explode”, Stump is chasing after the thought of being profound with hand claps and vocal manipulation, a trait that “Everybody Wants Somebody” encompasses yet uses a restrained side of Stump we’ve never seen. Lost in the blur of finding a state of pop finesse is the songwriter’s lyrics; once known for cutting wit, his delivery about acknowledging being a dishonest cheat (“The I In Lie”) and the tendencies that come with being under the influence (“Run Dry/X Heart X Fingers”) seem synthetic. Stump is charming, his voice is a rush and most of the tones he carries are hard to parody but with Soul Punk, his interest in synth-heavy choruses and making feet move has clouded his intent. Soul is loud and expressive as it is minimalist and though this is an accomplishment, it’s more suited for the talent Stump has helped propel since 2006.

Download: “Allie”, “Greed”


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