REVIEW: fun. – “Some Nights”

[Feb. 21, 2012 – Fueled By Ramen // Find it at: Insound | iTunes]


A mere skim through Some Nights and you can’t help but ask – while juggling the fact it is grammatically incorrect – who are fun.? Are the indie pop musicians from the depths of New York indeed indie pop or are they trying to stretch a genre label until it fits their own design? When you hear lead singer Nate Reuss proclaim “Some nights I say ‘fuck it all’ and stare at the calendar” during the record’s first minute, do you care to relate or think it’s some songwriting charade to encourage the listener to attempt to understand the emotions that follow? With Reuss, his heart and restricted thoughts have always been on a public display and the group’s second release is yet another canvas for them. On Some Nights, fun. are simply being fun. from beginning to end. While Reuss still holds a human amount of integrity and emotion, the music is amplified. The theatrical imprint is larger, touching the personalities of hip hop (“All Alone”), rock ballads (“Carry On”, “Why Am I The One”) and everything in between the pop spectrum – which fun. are noted for – and that in between is the stain that lies in certain parts throughout the album.

The LP holds an innate ability to be ambitious and flamboyant (“Stars” is 808s & Heartbreak meets “Dog Problems”), which over a period of time projects like a broken record until another hook, lyric or change in melody scratches at your attention. Yet when it’s at its peak – as it is during the first few recordings, most notably the title track – it’s hard to focus on anything else when Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost paint a background of sound that melts together the outburst of percussion with a tender piano and wired strings to create something that’s appealing. That right there, is a trait fun. have always carried, even when Reuss laid out the perplexity of love like a deck of cards while using the name The Format. It’s simple enough to say Some Nights leaves room for the band to grow and make their own bed in the word “popular”, especially with their vocalist singing to himself and to others, “I got nothing left inside my chest, but it’s all alright”, but there’s also a realization that comes with the experience this record sculpts – the term “mainstream casualty” is finally dead. Now the band just have to run with it.

Download: “Some Nights”, “Why Am I The One”, “All Alone”

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