Album Reviews

Album Review: Patrick Stump – Soul Punk

on October 21, 2011, 7:58am
Patrick-Stump-Soul-Punk D-
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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.

And not in a good way, if that could ever be good. A worrying number of tracks follow the same formula, getting funky and soulful for the verse and embracing a pop-power ballad sound for the chorus.

The results are disappointing. On “Coast”, for example, he sings, “It’s gonna get better, so just coast with me,” a cluster of Stumps chiming in very close harmony and far-too-close-for-comfort mixing on the word “better”, echoing it three times. When it comes to the embarrassing opening track, “Explode”, he belts, “I feel like I’m gonna explode any moment, I’m ready to blow/I can’t stand it, I get so worried,” and it becomes clear that the shiny pretend-rock that is pop rock will be working with full force.

Still further, the more soulful side of things often seems to slip up. On “The ‘I’ in Lie”, as on plenty of the tracks, Stump tries his hand at falsetto (think more like Justin Timberlake than Jackson) and sounds, at worst, uncomfortable with the transition and, at best, like he’s trying to show off.

As an album, the shift in style doesn’t really work. Where Soul Punk‘s many choruses let Stump down with their over-emotion, the funk, R&B, and soul elements sound forced, even obnoxious.

Nonetheless, Stump should be given credit for his ambition. It isn’t easy, after all, to move on from being the impetus behind an incredibly successful band and emerge as a solo artist who isn’t judged by the standards of the band in question. And Stump, by distancing himself from Fall Out Boy’s musical style, has certainly taken a step away– and a definitive one at that.

The problem, though, is this: Differentiating yourself isn’t the same as creating quality music, and Patrick Stump has only managed to do the first and not the second.

Essential Tracks: “Dance Miserable”

19 comments

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PStumpFan
October 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm

you suck, your review was far from impartial, and your bias was quite obvious. 

PStumpFan
October 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm

you suck, your review was far from impartial, and your bias was quite obvious. 

PStumpFan
October 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm

you suck, your review was far from impartial, and your bias was quite obvious. 

greg jones
October 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm

This album SUCKED!

greg jones
October 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm

This album SUCKED!

greg jones
October 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm

This album SUCKED!

musicman8293
October 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm

If you listen to him singing, and if you have listened to Fall Out Boy in the past, at any point, you’d realize he sings exactly like he did in ALL of the FOB albums, with the same lyrical ideas as in the last two albums. This is just Fall Out Boy with an electronic background, as opposed to with instrumental background. This was quite a good album, considering he did EVERYTHING on his own. It’s not only a solo album, everything on it was done by him. EVERY SINGLE THING. No matter the quality, that takes both balls, and skills. And Patrick in this album showed that he had both. Your bias was obvious in this review. Judging by your past reviews, you don’t know what the fuck music is.

Next Twenty
October 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm

“If you listen to him singing, and if you have listened to Fall Out Boy in the past, at any point, you’d realize he sings exactly like he did in ALL of the FOB albums”

This statement makes it abundantly clear that *you* either haven’t listened to Fall Out Boy in the past or you’ve given Soul Punk no more than one perfunctory listen. The vocals in Soul Punk are so clearly pumped with all the confidence he never really let out in FOB records. The fact that you think he sounds even close to the same as he ever did as FOB’s singer is honestly beyond comprehension to me. 

Also, in response to this review because I’m not bothering with a whole separate comment, the bias in this is so embarrassingly obvious. Come on, man.

ragamuffin
October 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm

For a guy that did ‘EVERY SINGLE THING’ on the album.  There’s an awful lot of people credited with contribution:
http://www.allmusic.com/album/soul-punk-r2295055/credits

Tomboxe
October 29, 2011 at 4:11 pm

An awful lot? Most of the other names read A&R, artwork, stylist and stuff like that. Anyway, no major record label would allow you do every single thing, unless you owned it.

J.P. Whittacre
December 26, 2011 at 8:00 am

He played all instruments and even tracked them himself. Also wrote all material. Sure, someone else wrote Lupe Fiasco’s lyrics, but that’s because he expected Lupe to write them. You can’t produce and distribute an album out of your house you fucking imbecile. You need a company to do the market work.

Gaara123blood
October 21, 2011 at 8:07 pm

You are unbelievably biased.

cryan88
October 23, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Reviews aren’t meant to be impartial or ubiased. The job of the critic is to formulate a judgement  on a specific piece and back it up with evidence. His or her judgments will always be rooted in what sort of music appeals to their ears and what they have been exposed to (ie. their bias). Although this particular review fails to offer much evidence and is a generally a sad piece of writing, stringing the writer up for being biased really makes no sense in this context.

Big Red
October 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm

bias?  

A particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question?

Like opinions and taste and stuff?

I don’t want a critic without that, ta.

Tomboxe
October 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I like this album. A lot. I think it’s one of the best albums released this year. I like it more than I ever liked a fall out boy album. But that’s just me. 

Rike Moffman
October 30, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I don’t understand how these fanboys always find COS whenever they review an album like this and just tear up the comments. Do you guys realize that the people who actually read this website don’t listen to shit like Patrick Stump? Check out some other albums they review, maybe some good shit?

Frankie Gonzalez
January 3, 2012 at 4:01 am

Then they shouldn’t be reviewing the album at all.  What’s the point of the review? Of course your not going to like an album.  It’s like a hardcore metal head who hates rap reviewing a Jay Z album.  Of course he’s going to hate it.  This just seems like they’re catering to their crowd.  If that’s the case did any of you need a review to know you wouldn’t like this album.  I actually really like this album music is subjective and everyone is entitled to their opinion and listen to what they like whether you consider it good music or not.  You stick to what your comfortable with.  Don’t just bash people.  I know you’re upset at some of the other comments bashing the reviewer which is also just unnecessary. I just did a search of this album review.  I’ve never visited this website.  Reading Chris Woolfrey’s likes in music and about him it should have been someone else reviewing this album.  Or at least another person who likes this kind of music to make it fair.  Again I’m not bashing his article he’s entitled to his opinion and many will agree with him.  I for one am not one of them and that’s ok we don’t all have to agree.  But let’s all be tolerant this is not just for you but for the rest of the comments that went over the line as well.

Rike Moffman
October 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Also can someone please explain to me why this man is biased against Patrick Stump and how I could so clearly figure it out by reading other articles he has written? Because that argument makes no sense. 

You can’t just call someone “biased” because they don’t like something you like. That’s making you biased…

MrMoreRightThanU
January 8, 2012 at 9:42 am

ur an absolute bellend mate… what the fuck do degrees and qualifications have to do with “opinions” of music?

So, if you don’t like a genre of music, and yet the band is REALLY talented…  then your amazing qualifications can debunk all of that huh?

Idiot.