fun. – Some Nights (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
HAVING missed out on the success their debut album Aim & Ignite deserved New York outfit fun. look set to reap massive rewards from sophomore effort Some Nights.
Buoyed by the overwhelming success of its lead single, We Are Young (which became the first rock song to top the Billboard 100 in almost four years, before then spending six weeks there), the album proceeds to underline what makes fun. so darn appealing.
And that’s the way they mix their idiosyncratic song-writing style with an infectious pop-rock energy that appeals to mainstream sensibilities as well as, apparently, lovers of Queen.
We Are Young is a classic case in point, changing tempos whenever it pleases, coming over cute and impossibly upbeat, yet delivering a stonking chorus that stays with you from the moment you’ve first heard it. It’s a glorious anthem and arguably the greatest song they’ve yet delivered.
If the remainder of the album struggles to climb such heights again that doesn’t mean to say it’s a disappointment… far from it. But it’s certainly more prone to mixing the firmly idiosyncratic moments with those more generously mainstream ones.
Album opener and title track Some Nights, for instance, hits you with another humdinger of an anthem… a cacophony of ‘woah oh woah’s’ building into a “what do I stand for?” chorus complete with pounding drums and chiming organs and live-wire guitars. It’s giddy but totally infectious and, yes, it sounds like Queen as sung by Glee’s Kurt Hummel at times.
Carry On, meanwhile, slows down the tempo early on before hitting listeners with a sharp mix of traditional Irish folk and Queen-style rock histrionics (complete with a Brian May-style solo) and It Gets Better flies out of the blocks although it’s auditioning for a Prince Charming-era Adam & The Ants track before morphing into a euphoric all-American chorus that wouldn’t sound out of place on an American Pie-style soundtrack.
Even when playing things seemingly straight-forward, as on the ballad Why Am I The One, they throw in the odd surprise (on this occasion, the gentle guitar and string arrangements giving rise to an almost dream-like mini-opus at the end).
All Alone bounces along in happy-go-lucky fashion and drops in another euphoric, sing-along chorus, All Right hits you with sky-scraping harmonies and another towering, chime-laden chorus, and One Foot is just a foot-stomper par excellence that is a festival in its own right.
Yet throughout, fun. ensure they live up to their name by delivering something that’s easy to embrace and get behind. It may be quirky to some and a little too off the wall at times for others, but for those willing to give into its easy charms Some Nights offers a veritable feast of listening delights. It’s an excellent follow-up to Aim & Ignite that deserves to bring them massive success.
Download picks: We Are Young, Some Nights, It Gets Better, All Alone, One Foot