|Rating: 4 / 5
Reviewer: Andrew Mitchell
Though Aim and Ignite, the critically acclaimed debut release from indie pop band, Fun. possesses all of the elements of a meticulously crafted pop album, it failed to achieve the kind of mainstream attention it warranted. On their sophomore release, Some Nights, Fun. have taken the same type of pop concoction and thrown in a level of bombast so grandiose that it absolutely defies being ignored. If the early released single, ‘We Are Young’, an anthemic celebration of youth, is any gauge (after having already been covered by the cast of Glee and issued as the soundtrack to a Super Bowl Chevrolet commercial) Some Nights, seems certain to attain the mainstream attention it seeks.
And deservedly so, for a multitude of reasons. Foremost is Nate Ruess’ supple tenor. It’s rare to hear a voice that can poignantly embrace a quiet phrase as easily as it can command with force somewhere up in an ungodly register. And when Ruess’ sound is coupled with guitarist Jack Antonoff and percussionist Andrew Dost’s highly theatrical, grand orchestral arrangements, it’s hard not to summon Freddie Mercury comparisons. If ‘Carry On’, ‘All Alright’ and title track demonstrate the crowd chanting, tribal beat throbbing, anthemic prowess that exemplifies the Fun. recipe best, ‘Why Am I The One’ with its lush harmonies and subtle hooks is the track that takes these elements and excels most. Yeah it’s still showy and exultant but unlike the others, it never teeters the fine line of becoming dangerously overblown. And just like the discordant riff on ‘One Foot’ or the blatant overuse of vocoding on ‘Stars’ makes you scratch your head and wonder if an experimental tangent feels out of sorts, it really just further demonstrates how little these guys take themselves seriously. Sure, Some Nights is one serious piece of pop mastery but it’s also a whole lot of fun.