There’s a lot of doom and gloom in the world today. So sometimes, music just needs to be fun. Forget about the deep lyrics and challenging melodies and just go for some good old fashioned pop music that makes you want to get up and dance.
Add It To The Collection… Soul Punk is a very impressive debut from Patrick Stump, the one time lead singer of pop/punk band Fall Out Boy. Stump, clearly the talent behind a string of top-10 albums and singles by the band, delivers a modern-day R&B classic on which he wrote all the songs, played all the instruments, and handled all of the production responsibilities himself. Considering how good this album sounds and how catchy all 11 tracks sound, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Stump recognized at the Grammy’s for song, production and performance excellence for 2011. I totally expected to hear an album of power-pop, guitar driven tunes, but Soul Punk sounds more like a lost early Michael Jackson album – and that’s a good thing. The album is short and the songs are catchy with great vocals and instrumentation. There’s no denying that Patrick Stump has arrived in a big way as a solo artist with Soul Punk. Must-have track: “Spolight (New Regrets)” but really…they’re all good.
Worth another listen… Rockabilly crooner Chris Isaak’s latest, Beyond The Sun, is a mostly covers album of tracks made famous by the grandfathers of rock ‘n’ roll. Recorded at the fabled Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, Isaak takes on material by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. Some of these songs (“Ring Of Fire”, “Great Balls Of Fire” and “It’s Now Or Never”) are so synonymous with their original recordings that you wonder why Isaak would even bother re-recording these tracks. But listening to Beyond The Sun is like taking a trip back in time to a simpler and more innocent time in our history, and if anyone can pull off this material with authenticity and respect it’s Isaak. He has the perfect voice and style to give these tunes another spin. I recommend listening to this album with a chocolate malt. Must-have track: “Trying To Get To You”.
Skip It… If Patrick Stump is an example of an artist who has left a band situation to make a name for himself with his first solo album, Joe Jonas’ first foray as a solo artist has been less than stellar. Fastlife is a mostly forgettable collection of songs that, unfortunately, further highlights the thinness of Jonas’ voice. Even the best pop producers in the world (some of them even worked on this record) can’t hide Jonas’ nasal delivery. Also unfortunate for Mr. Jonas has been the fan reaction to the record which only sold 18,000 copies its first week – slightly shy of the 10 million copies boy band alum Justin Timberlake sold of his debut solo effort, Justified.