Patrick Stump's long-delayed solo debut, Soul Punk, will allegedly, finally be out sometime in February. Up front: We think it's going to be incredible. Stump has taken an unconventional tack in promoting his solo career, best exemplified by last week's elaborate a cappella medley of all the songs nominated for a Record of the Year Grammy. (In the image to the right, he's in the middle of Cee-lo's "Fuck You.")
This was a mind-boggling endeavor for a lot of reasons. First because bona fide stars do not generally produce no-production-value YouTube clips. Playing covers in your room and posting them online exists in the realm once occupied by LiveJournal and Xanga. A few, of course, have ridden YouTube to fame, but you rarely see the reverse.
Granted, Patrick Stump clearly has no shortage of production equipment in his house, and that audio was done very professionally. But the image is unfiltered and, like everything he's ever done, earnest to the core. His mannerisms remain squirm-inducing, but they are patently unforced. Part of Stump's appeal has always been that there is absolutely no contrivance.
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Then there's the actual task at hand. Every part you hear is Stump, from the melody to the harmony to the beatboxing. And let's examine the list of singers he's taking on here: Bruno Mars, Cee-Lo Green, Alicia Keys, and, all right, Hillary Scott and Rihanna. He's very much equal to the challenge.
With the notable exception of a couple collaborations with the Roots, where we learned how good his Bobby Womack is (very), Stump has been taking this solo thing incredibly seriously: He's playing/singing every part of more or less everything at this point. Observe him in action playing the only single we know for sure will be on Soul Punk.
Fall Out Boy has aged better than almost every other pop-punk band, largely because Patrick Stump has such a great voice. Now that he's on his own, we're finally getting to see how far that voice can take him. Though let us not diminish how awesome this song is: