There’s nothing wrong with Patrick Stump’s taste: On his debut longplayer, the once and future Fall Out Boy frontman cribs wholeheartedly from Justin Timberlake and the best of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” years.
“Soul Punk” is an odd, sweet little album; more soul, less punk. It’s groovy and heartfelt, defiantly uncool, packed to its rafters with synth-
heavy, ’80s-evoking R&B/disco tracks that feel stripped-down and spare, dance-pop songs draped over acoustic folk skeletons.
Stump played, sung, wrote and produced almost everything here, threading his falsetto through a series of great (“Allie,” “Explode,” which sounds like a just-unearthed outtake from the “Beverly Hills Cop” soundtrack) and less great (the strangely syncopated “Dance Miserable”) tracks.
“Soul Punk” has that self-contained, hermetically sealed feeling common to one-man operations. When rapper Lupe Fiasco turns up on the remix of “This City,” it feels like an unwelcome intrusion, as if he made a wrong turn at a Fall Out Boy album and ended up here.