I have been a proud Fall Out Boy fangirl for four years now. I was hooked by “Thks Fr Th Mmrs,” and from there my love for the band only grew. Though I loved all the band members, there is one in particular that captured my heart—no, not Pete Wentz. It’s Patrick Stump who’s the object of my fangirly obsessiveness. His voice is just beautiful. Not to mention his tousled Weasley-red hair, rumpled indie fashion sense, lovable chubby figure, and awkward smile that instantly disappears when he’s behind a mic and a guitar. When FOB broke up, I was crushed—not only because I was losing one of the most amazing bands ever, but because I was also losing the opportunity to hear Patrick’s lovely voice.
But he’s back! Only, he doesn’t have the rest of FOB behind him. And he’s lost so much weight he’s become bony-skinny. And he’s dressed like an Abecrombie & Fitch model. And . . . wait—HE’S BLOND NOW?
This is not okay.
Let’s analyze Patrick’s new solo album, Soul Punk, using a couple of lyrics from its own songs, shall we?
“Cause you can burn it to the ground/Oh or let it flood, but it’s in my blood” (from “This City”): Patrick has changed (drastically), and Soul Punk certainly isn’t the best way for him to debut—pushing away from his Fall Out Boy roots so fiercely that he’s practically a stranger—but the album still holds something that’s innately Patrick. During the recording of the album he played every single instrument you hear—over fifteen of them. He also penned every single song, and though they don’t shine with the same light Pete’s did, they still hold something unique and beautiful. Patrick is coming out of his shell (although I wish he could have done this without going blond and dressing like a prep) and the results, though not immediate, are starting to show. The album is a cross between ballads and catchy club songs—with a few in there that are just simply Patrick. And no, not the old Patrick. But who knows, maybe that could be a good thing. “This City” is simple and spirited, definitely a strength of the album.
“Cause they might, they might, try to tell you how you can live your life/But don’t, don’t forget it’s your right to do whatever you like, you like” (from “Spotlight (New Regrets)”): This is probably my favorite track on the album. It’s the most reminiscent of FOB and, in my opinion, showcases Patrick’s voice the way it deserves to be showcased. If Soul Punk consisted solely of tracks like this, I would love it.
But at the same time, I can’t hate it. I thought I might before I saw a live recording of Patrick singing “This City” for Rolling Stone. It was beautiful—like nothing had changed. Behind the guitar and the mic, he was the same old Patrick. He’s blond now, he’s lost sixty pounds, and he wears scarves that match his belts, but he’s still there. It’s easy to be that person on YouTube comments going on and on about how change is bad and how Patrick’s a sellout. But I’d rather be the person who’s going to wait and see, support silently, and dance to “Explode” when no one’s watching. I’ll keep “Spotlight (New Regrets)” on my iPod right next to “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” and watch eagerly for new singles.
Maybe one day we’ll hear the announcement that Fall Out Boy is back together and that Patrick is about to shine surrounded by Pete Wentz going crazy on bass, Joe Trohman jumping around on guitar, and Andy Hurley’s tattooed arms blurring with the fury of his drumming. But until then, kick back and watch Patrick Stump charge his way to the top with Soul Punk kick-starting him into solo glory.
Sequoia (yes, her parents are hippies) enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music! Her favorite music is Japanese pop and rock but she’ll curl up with a Linkin Park CD any day. Hajimemashite! (That’s ‘nice to meet you’, to you civilians.)