Posted by: Jeff | March 7, 2012

Album Review: fun. – “Some Nights”

fun. – Some Nights [Buy Here]

Fueled by Ramen
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Grade: D

fun. – “Some Nights”

fun. (period intentional) is a band that may be born from the ashes of college-rock legends The Format, but from the opening number – a cabaret prelude of sorts – it’s clear that frontman Nate Ruess pays more homage to the memory of Queen than his former band on this, the band’s second full-length album.  Except that in fun.’s world, the only thing that can improve upon the awesomeness of Queen is liberal use of autotune.

Ahead of its release, fun. gained some wide name-recognition by lending their catchy lead single, “We Are Young” (which features the wonderful Janelle Monae in a frustratingly understated guest appearance), to America’s favorite high school makeover artists on “Glee”.  The immediately memorable chorus and “la la la’s” of the single make up in melody what the song lacks in substance (“tonight / we are young / so let’s set the world on fire / we can burn brighter / than the sun”).

As inoffensive pop-rock goes, “We Are Young” is a worthy addition to the canon, but it’s also the clear highlight of the album.  After the aforementioned prelude to “Some Nights”, the first full song on the LP starts with a promising alt-country-meets-glam-rock sing-a-long over a nicely complicated percussion pattern.  Ruess gives a solid vocal performance… and then leads the listener on a ridiculously strange foray into spoken whisper and deep into the land of autotune.  It’s kitschy and way behind the fad, which kind of sums up the whole effort.

For those still not sure of the overt Queen influence, a weirdly out-of-place electric guitar solo on “Carry On” practically slaps the listener with it, to the point that you can’t listen to the rest of the track without chanting “Bi-cycle! Bi-cycle!”  More autotune follows on “It Gets Better”, with some additional edgy guitar over what sounds like a high school drumline.  It would be forgivable to stop listening here.  Alas.

“Why Am I The One” is a perfectly inoffensive adult contemporary ballad with a neat string section that twists the ending into something more interesting than the cheesy 70s re-tread that the first few minutes suggest.  “All Alone” may have originally been written for Aaron Carter or another late 90s teen flash in the pan, but Kuess attacks the song with panache, reminding the listener of why they’re embarrassed to admit what they listened to in high school.  “All Alright” is another ballad that jumps the shark two minutes in by introducing a children’s choir to back Kuess’ lament that he “never meant to be anything more than a one night stand.”  In the end, that’s fitting, because it is hard to imagine giving ‘Some Nights’ any greater commitment than that.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Just wondering how many times you listen to these albums before reviewing them? Also, am confused if you are pro-Queen or anti-Queen and I need to know before this relationship gets more serious.

  2. Usually 3-4 times, though in this album’s case, just twice. I am mostly ambivalent on Queen – I appreciate, but wouldn’t call myself a fan…

  3. so sad you didn’t like it – I LOVED their first album but haven’t caught up on this second one yet.

    • I really liked “We Are Young” when it was released and the start of “Some Nights” was really promising… but the autotune wasn’t working for me, so it’s not my favorite thing he’s released. Who knows though, maybe you’ll enjoy it more than I do!

  4. and I for one love Queen. thankyouverymuch


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: