Release Date: Feb 21, 2012
Record label: Elektra
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Nate Ruess, lead singer of the NYC indie-pop trio fun., might be the Platonic ideal of a 21st-century rock star. He has a huge voice, all snarl and Broadway panache; at his full-fathom best, he could send Adam Lambert scrambling for cover. His music blends classic bubble-pop tunefulness with rococo rock & roll – close harmony chorales, showy key changes, a dash of Queen here, a dollop of Les Miz there.
Fun's We Are Young must be one of the most infectious singles of the year: an ode to defiant, youthful optimism with the cliched but Empire State-sized chorus, "Set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun." In trying to repeat the formula, their second album rampages along with exuberant tunes underpinned by military-strength percussion. The title track finds singer Nate Ruess unveiling his inner Freddie Mercury. Carry On manages to combine a teenage pop anthem with the maturity of Big Apple elders Paul Simon and Billy Joel, and hurls in a big choir and Slash-type wailing solo for good measure.
Fun.'s debut album Aim and Ignite was an interesting blend of seemingly divergent styles topped by a healthy dose of grandiose ambition and performed with a precise abandon. The trio made an album that was truly progressive and also super catchy and fun. The follow-up, Some Nights, ramps up the ambition and sonic bombast, but also manages to be even more powerful and impressive.
Pablo Picasso once said that good taste is the enemy of good art, which could be the motto of NYC's Fun. They've latched on to everything a modern indie band usually finds too cheeseball and made that their focus. Surprisingly, it's immensely (and perversely) enjoyable. Fun.'s debut album, Aim And Ignite, felt like a Frankenstein monster of Queen, Bay City Rollers and Weezer, which made it both too embarrassing to play for your cool friends and a highly addictive private experience.
Listeners who come for the trio’s Glee-approved breakout ”We Are Young” will be happy with Some Nights‘ superior first half, which doubles down on the Queen-esque indie pomp the band toyed with on their 2009 debut. Soon, though, the rock theatricality and arm-in-arm choruses get ditched for Auto-Tuned verses, seven-minute freak-funk (frunk?) jams, and awkward hip-hop beats — none of which are likely to put a gleam in Ryan Murphy’s eye. B- Best Tracks:Jukebox rocker Some NightsRightfully beloved We Are Young .
To my frustration, I became aware of the Format (Nate Ruess’ band prior to fun.) immediately after they announced their hiatus. And it’s a real shame, because 2006’s Dog Problems, while seldom matching the artistry of its exemplars (Harry Nilsson, Jellyfish), was, at the time of its release, a singular and rather alien pop gem that supposedly transferred to a live setting wonderfully. In hindsight, it’s clear that a lot of the Format’s more tasteful leanings, not to mention the teensy bit of rock and roll spirit they did have, can be wholly attributed to the Format’s co-leader, Sam Means, who seems to have unjustly faded into invisibility since then.
It's an apt name, but only in that this New York trio's second album is a reminder that many things commonly regarded as fun are in fact not only not fun, but actively depressing. Lyrically vapid, auto-tuned and stadium-aspiring choruses like these, with their hands-in-the-air, mugging-with-your-mates quality, are so lacking in imagination that they make "feel-good" feel really, really bad. Singer Nate Ruess does an impeccable Freddie Mercury impression but when, on the title track, he asks: "What do I stand for? What do I stand for?" I can't help but think the answer is: "Not much." .
Awful. I'm not sure where exactly Fun. went wrong. Nate Reuss's previous band The Format were an intriguingly eclectic indie rock band, and even after their break up, Fun.'s first album Aim and Ignite offered theatrical and orchestral pop hooks that seemed to be breaking new ground. In fact, one ….
Trading in clever, orchestrated pop rock for hollow, overproduced stadium romps, fun. swing big and miss the point almost entirely on Some Nights, their second LP and first with Fueled By Ramen. I’m not sure if the fault lies with the record label change or the hype overabundance that followed their moderately inventive debut, but the band’s pleasant Aim And Ignite from 2009 had a naivety and playfulness similar to Born Ruffian’s Red, Yellow & Blue from the prior year.
New Yorkers’ second LP is one big, beautiful oxymoron, and really rather special. Al Fox 2012 Debut album Aim and Ignite made minor ripples in the States for NYC-based trio fun., but with behemoth single We Are Young leading the charge (the first rock song to top the Billboard 100 in almost four years, let alone clock up six weeks there), it’s pretty much a given that second album Some Nights will go several steps further. The way We Are Young defies convention, playing with tempo and employing Janelle Monáe on backing vocals, insinuates the makings of a game-changer.