Coast (It's Gonna Get Better)
Label: Patrick Stumph / IDJ
Dig if you will the picture: Patrick Stump loves Prince. Like, starry-eyed, wants-to-be-him-when-he-grows-up love. At least, that's what the former Fall Out Boy's solo debut makes it feel like. He's got other touchstones, too: Michael Jackson, new jack swing, freestyle, the Isley Brothers. But it's the slinky synths, wailing guitars, funky beats and, especially, high soul-rock drama of Prince that dominate. With a few exceptions (the politicized, synth-funk march "Greed," the anemic "This City"), Stump's tribute is so pitch-perfect, it feels like a performance art homage to the Purple One.