Patrick Stump, "Spotlight"

out standing in his field I have been patiently (OK, semi-patiently) waiting for the release of the first full-length by Patrick Stump, the former Fall Out Boy lead singer and ex-Law & Order guest star who also happens to possess one of the best voices in pop today. He also has finely tuned musical instincts; I saw him play a brief set at SXSW in March, where he pulled off a Jon Brion-at-Largo style “play all the instruments then loop them” bit and a Bobby Womack cover. (It was awesome. Too short, of course, but awesome.) Last night he released the first single off his forthcoming record, “Spotlight,” in not one but two forms! Let me say that again: !!!!

The two tracks are being packaged as a 7-inch, and the A-side would appear to be “Spotlight (New Regrets),” a sinewy bit of synthpop that would fit quite nicely into whatever radio station calls itself The Beat Of [Insert Your City Here]:

Then there’s “Spotlight (Oh Nostalgia),” which has a piano bit that reminds me of Billy Joel’s “My Life” for a split-second and which has a bit more of a slow-burn build that I think works better with the chorus’ lyrical sentiment:

(The outro is very Rocketship, no?)

Here is hoping that this means more is to come, but in the meantime, there’s still Folie à Deux, the final Fall Out Boy record. It’s two years old next month and I have been endlessly listening to/evangelizing it lately, because this time of year reminds me of replaying it while riding buses and subways during short-yet-long gray days that refused to stop blurring into one another. It’s a really fantastic album that got lost in the end-of-year shuffle in ’08, and recently it’s served as an excellent palate cleanser for me when I’ve tried to engage in “keeping up” by listening to wobbly-cassette “hypnagogic” bullshit like Autre Ne Veut; in stark, refreshing contrast, Folie à Deux is pop on blast. Here is “27.” It has the line “My body is an orphanage, we take everyone in,” which has been ping-ponging around my head these past few days even though it has approximately 0% relevance to my own personal visitors’ roster at this point in time: