October 19th, 2011 1:00am

Tragedy Seemed To Put Me Back Together

Patrick Stump “Coast (It’s Gonna Get Better)”

Patrick Stump seems very eager to impress on his first solo album. This isn’t coming from desperation, but rather a desire to show off a pretty wide-ranging musical skill set – he plays every instrument on the record, and very well at that – and a talent for glitzy, hyperactive modern pop songwriting. Though there are points on Soul Punk when the ambition, performance and general razzle dazzle of the production values are more impressive than the actual hooks, Stump mostly succeeds in his attempt to hold on to the cerebral charm of his Fall Out Boy while fully embracing the aesthetics of R&B-centric chart pop. Listening to the record, it’s clear that this is exactly what he wants to do, and that at the same time, he’s unwilling to give up any part of his personality to fit into another genre. His obvious confidence carries over to the sentiment of his lyrics. He spends a lot of time grappling with the diminished expectations of post-recession life, but he projects his can-do spirit and enthusiasm on the rest of the world, insisting that there is a real possibility that things will get better. It’s escapist, feel-good pop, but he leaves you feeling convinced that something positive is just around the corner.

Buy it from Amazon.

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