Written By Simon Chisholm
Being a rather obsessive Fall Out Boy fan it would have been wrong and disrespectful to overlook the solo projects of singer Patrick Stump. Stump had taken it on himself to work on the music he wants to work on, writing, recording and producing all of his work by himself. Let’s look his first single off of his debut E.P. ‘Truant Wave’, Spotlight (Oh Nostalgia).
The track is introduced with a marching snare and an octave left hand piano oom-pah. This is threaded throughout the track, creating a sense of movement, and affords a kind of bright, positive tone. The underlying synthesizer leads passages fill the higher frequency spectrum, providing interest, and breaking up the possible monotony that we have know and hate about pop music. The uplifting chord progression is introduced right away and continues throughout the track.
When the vocals enter, Stump sings in metaphors and other lyrical devices in order to tell a story of a character that is feeling downtrodden and struggling. Instrumental elements enter and exit breaking up the sections, creating interest.
The bar of silence before the chorus enters provides a sense of suspense and dramatics, leading up to the inspirational lyrics in the chorus. The backing vocals break the monotony of the one line hook of the chorus. The infectious hook line acts as a resolution to the feelings and tone established in the first verse, as if the character has found a solution and moved on be the best they could be.
The second verse features some of the more annoying quirks in Stumps vocals trimmings. It bugs me when he tries to sing like a computerised bassoon. The second verse also features a few light backing vocal ornamentations, making the track seem to build up as it progresses. The character’s (or a second character) insecurities return in this verse.
The pre-chorus and chorus is repeated as before, except with a little more vocal ornamentation. Enlightenment is found once again for our protagonist/s.
The bridge is definitely the climax of the track. Given that this section consists of only an organ, several vocal layers, and simple percussion, it is also a bit of fresh air. The message conveyed in this section seems to be that no matter how hard of a time you seem to be having, you can make it through. The line ‘shine alight on me’ implies to me that the message also includes the fact that all you have to do is ask for help, and it will be freely given.
The last chorus of the song is repeated a number of times while Patrick improvises with the melody, chanting the hook “You could be your own spotlight’.
The lyrics are inspiring and hold a deeper meaning at times and are delivered with an easy flow.
The single is accompanied by an inspirational video which is definitely worth a look.
Released 2011 by Nervous Breakdance Media. Produced by Patrick Stump.