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Patrick Stump

By Luke O'Neil
Globe Correspondent / October 18, 2011

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The first solo record from a popular band’s singer can go one of two ways. Ideally, he’s smuggled out a few held-over gems, but more often, the lack of a democratizing filter (i.e., the rest of the band) can lead to indulgence. Removed from the pop-punk context of Fall Out Boy, Stump’s penchant for soulful dance-pop loses its interesting juxtaposition: Here he’s just a soulful pop singer singing pop. Occasionally, it’s quite good, as on “When I Made You Cry,’’ which conjures early Michael Jackson. Other times, it’s dreadful. “The ‘I’ in Lie’’ finds him bogged down in Jackson’s mid-tempo schlock balladry period. “Greed’’ is a mess that meanders randomly from one musical idea to the next, while an odd guitar solo parachutes into “Annie’’ from out of nowhere. Still, “Coast (It’s Gonna Get Better)’’ is a mainstream-radio contender with its trance-keys riff and Auto-Tuned effect. “This City,’’ the most pop-friendly track, with a great, effortless falsetto turn, enlists rapper Lupe Fiasco with that sort of crossover in mind. You can’t fault Stump for having ideas to burn, but maybe some could have been saved for the next record - or better yet, forgotten. (Out today)

ESSENTIAL “When I Made You Cry’’