fun. - Some Nights
Record Label: Fueled by Ramen
Release Date: February 12, 2012
Very few artists have the ability to blow listeners away on first listen, with the current state of pop music being dull and repetitive. Nothing is refreshing or new anymore, everything is a copy of a copy. However out of the woodwork comes the sophomore effort from the New York based; three piece, alternative-pop band fun. and their new album Some Nights. Some Nights is a deep and brutally personal album, yet a creatively brilliant effort from the band.
fun. Front man Nate Ruess (ex The Format) puts in a vocal performance eerily similar to that of the late Freddie Mercury on the title track Some Nights which features an explosive chorus and some of the most personal lyrics heard on the album. As he croons his audience with the lyrics “my heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she calls love, when I look into my nephew’s eyes, you wouldn’t believe the most amazing things can come from some terrible lie.” Despite the fact that these lyrics are somewhat simple it’s a true testament to the band that they are able to wear their hearts on their sleeve as they perform songs which obviously have a very personal meaning behind them.
It must also be noted that on this track the band adds an extra element on Ruess’s voice by adding the use of a vocoder. Although it is not necessary to alter his vocals the band uses the right amount to add some extra depth to an already brilliant song.
A lot of fun.’s success can be given to the lead single, We Are Young featuring the wonderful Janelle Monae. The song was featured on Glee and a Superbowl advertisement which has definitely opened up their music to the mainstream masses. Although the song is inherently better than most of the other pop songs on the radio, compared to the other tracks on this album the song is fairly weak, but is by no means a bad song. Monae’s verse is angelic whilst she and Ruess trade vocals during the bridge. Its pop sensibilities make this song an ideal track to push as a single.
The fifth track It Gets Better is a fun upbeat number that is very bouncy and is sure to be a live performance favourite as it carries a lot of energy and is definitely a great dance number. The song features an entertaining electronic drum beat and also features use of vocal editing but once again is done professionally and not over the top. T-pain could learn a lot from fun. The keys throughout the verses and the guitar work during the chorus are also done very well. Overall, the musicianship on this album is fantastic; this song is a perfect example.
Why Am I the One? is a mid-tempo song which also channels Freddie Mercury throughout the chorus as Ruess sings about his past relationships and coming to terms with a break up. The song features a solid piano performance and also a great string section appears in the bridge. This is definitely one of the best songs on the album. As it remains very personal but also shows the band is able to write more than upbeat pop songs.
The next two songs All Alone and All Alright are two very solid tracks, the first featuring a very infectious horn section and a catchy snare drum beat which is sure to make this track a fan favourite as it shows the side of fun. which everyone fell in love with in the first place, being able to include something left field in their songs but holding onto their own unique and fun (excuse the pun) sound.
All Alright is another mid-tempo song featuring a child vocal choir and a worthy of-a-mention synth beat. This song is also deeply personal as Ruess sings about all types of relationships and how he has acted selfishly in the past stating “Now all my loves have come back to taunt me, my regrets and texts sent back to haunt me”. Also, “I’ve given everyone I know, a good reason to go. But I come back with the belief that everyone I love is gonna leave me”. Ruess hides nothing on one of the albums standout tracks.
The last 3 tracks really take this album from good to great. The crazy catchy One Foot features a fantastic trumpet effort and another infectious drum beat (Andrew Dost kills it behind the kit on this album.) The theme of the song features the overcoming of obstacles and getting out of one’s comfort zone. The chorus provides one of the catchiest, yet simplest hooks on the album with the simple “I’ll put one foot in front of the other one; I don’t need a new love or a new life, just a better place to die”. Simple, yet backed up with incredible instrumentation.
The album closer Stars (If you didn’t purchase the deluxe edition of Some Nights) is a great song as Ruess shows off his vocal prowess again, experimenting with the use of auto-tune and singing over a simple beat. The child choir and string section are back on this beautifully constructed song. The auto-tune is a little bit overdone on this track, but that is really the only criticism I can give on this song.
Bonus track Out on The Town features a soft guitar riff at the beginning which leads into a nice little synth beat when Ruess kicks in with his greatest vocal performance on Some Nights. His pitch ranges so much and with relative ease he goes from soft in the verses to booming in the chorus.
This album is definitely a stand out for the year of 2012 as critics should rejoice that seemingly out of nowhere fun. comes in and changes the spectrum of current pop music. For too long pop music has been dominated by the Ke$ha’s and Nickelback’s. Some Nights is pop music’s saving grace and definitely deserves the recognition it is getting as it is very refreshing to hear something creative coming from our radios and music channels.
This album is undeniably a fun. album, throughout. Sure, it's different from the last release, but if it was the same I'd be a bit disappointed. The drummer have improved much, he must have gone into a serious drum lessons..