Last month, Patrick Stump (formerly of pop-punk band Fall Out Boy) debuted Soul Punk, his first full-length solo endeavor. This record taps into a much funkier side of Stump than what fans are accustomed to hearing from the singer.
In an interview with Alternative Press, Stump was candid about the music he made with Fall Out Boy and other collaborators. “At no point in any of this has it been my thing,” he stated. “I’ve never had my thing. I wanted to do my thing, and I wanted to do it my way… I wanted to set the tone for the future. [Soul Punk is] kind of like a calling card.”
Take one listen to Soul Punk’s opening track, “Explode,” and you will at once realize that this is not the Stump we all knew from Fall Out Boy. Rather, he’s emerged here as a pop/R&B/hip-hop dynamo to reignite appreciation for the art of music.
Really putting a stamp on his identity as an artist, Stump wrote and produced the entire record. He also played every instrument, including drums, bass, guitar, analog synth, piano, percussion, trumpet, saxophone, and mandolin — just to name a few.
Channeling his musical influences throughout the record — among them Prince, David Bowie and, obviously, Michael Jackson — Stump successfully manages to cross multiple genres. There’s hip-hop, R&B, and a little bit of rock thrown in that creates a record that the singer described as “hopefully smart pop” to Virgin.com’s Red Room.
“I wrote a lot of songs that on the surface sound like they’re very vapid and, you know, silly songs,” he explained. “But then I subverted in them a lot of meanings and a lot of things. It’s a very political record, but I disguised them as drinking songs or sexy R&B songs.”
From an adulterous R&B anthem (“The ‘I’ in Lie”) to a high-energy, synthed-out jam about a blatant alcohol problem (“Run Dry (X Heart X Fingers)”) to a song addressing the economic downfall (“Greed”), Soul Punk is pop music with a conscience.
As far as vocals go, Stump really gets to showcase his range, particularly on “Everybody Wants Somebody” and “Dance Miserable.” This is a singer that really knows how to utilize his vocals to enhance each song.
Never have I listened to a record that left me feeling so elated about the future of pop music.There’s an artistry displayed on Soul Punk, from the instrumental arrangements to the vocal nuances, that is simply unmatched by other pop records today. Likewise, there’s integrity to be admired when an artist embraces his true sound to put forth a creative work in which he so believes. Well done, Patrick Stump.
Soul Punk is available now. Patrick Stump is currently on tour with Panic! At The Disco and Foxy Shazam. For tour dates, check out his official website.
Check out the music video for “This City,” the artist’s current single:
Photo courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group.