FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Patrick Stump – Soul Punk

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Change. We all do it, some to more extreme degrees than others, but regardless, change is unavoidable. For some, this can mean something as simple as finding different route to work, but for others it can be as big as finding a new place to work altogehter. In the case of ex-Fall Out Boy vocalist Patrick Stump, it’s actually a little bit of both.

Having cut his teeth as the early songwriter in Fall Out Boy, he moved away from lyrics and more into the position of vocalist/guitarist for the major years of the group (bassist Pete Wentz wrote the majority of the lyrics). Then, following the band’s hiatus, he went radio silent for quite some time and emerged much thinner and seemingly more dedicated to music than he was when he vanished.

This new Stump had his eyes set on the pop world and with only a couple of tracks unleashed his sound via Truant Wave earlier this year. The tracks instantly divided longtime FOB fans, but those that got it, loved it. I was one of those who “got it” and have since been impatiently awaiting news of when more tunes would arrive.

Waiting paid off earlier this week an email arrived containing five songs from Stump’s upcoming full length. Showcasing only a piece of the seemingly grandiose Soul Punk, these tracks showcase a more developed version of Stump’s new sound and fully cements my faith in this record. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that based on what I have heard, I fully believe Soul Punk could be one of the year’s best. You can read my thoughts on each of the tracks below. Soul Punk arrives October 18 through Island Records.

“This City” (Featuring Lupe Fiasco) – Anyone following Stump probably heard this song about a month ago when he posted it via Twitter. Filled with a handclaps, a hook that you’ll sing for days, and Fiasco’s impenetrable flow, this song isn’t just a hit, it’s a platinum record waiting to be (further) unleashed to the masses.

“Explode” – From the opening seconds, this song feels like it could completely live up to its title. A disorienting synth line and snaps lead us into what seems to be a modern interpretation of Michael Jackson at his finest. Seriously, Stump embodies the king of pop here and makes a damn good argument for being given the crown by the time his album arrives in October. This track is for dancing, but so is the rest of the record, so polish those shoes and get ready to groove.

“Allie” – Starting with a guitar riff you’ll swear could be an FOB song, Stump quickly changes gears and enters this subtle, dare I say, sexy area with his voice and instrumentation that will surely give fans old and new cold chills. It’s a slow jam that still packs a punch (and sick guitar solo) in the end. I have few doubts this won’t be the album’s second or third single. It’s beautiful.

“Everybody Wants Somebody” – This is the song I was waiting for, this is “the hit.” Big horns and a dance floor ready beat greet us before Stump’s crooning comes in to join the party and lead us into the song’s gigantic hook. Seriously. If this song were to have video that matched the scale of the hook, the only viable option would be to recreate the parade scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with Stump leading the festivities. It’s that good.

“Spotlight (No Regrets)” – This one should be familiar to everyone, but it has been updated for the album in all the best ways. Where the original showcased Stump’s vocal abilities beautifully, this one does that and adds a bit of “pop magic” to the mix to liven things up just enough to make it feel new once more. Those turned away from the original will most likely love this version.

Written by: James Shotwell

*BONUS* In case you missed it earlier this year, here is the video for “Spotlight.”

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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