If I were to describe Fun.‘s Grammy-nominated album, Some Nights into three words, it would be enigmatic, psychedelic, and melancholic. If you want to hear me out why, then continue reading.
It all began with the comedy-musical series Glee‘s rendition of We Are Young (one of the show’s most momentous and best group performances) which finally elevated Fun. to the global music-sphere. Although Some Nights was the band’s second album, they were nominated (and won) at the Grammys for ‘Best New Artist’ and ‘Song of the Year’ for WAY. Loving the single and curious of what kind of music Fun. has in store for its newly forged fans, I eventually spent ‘Some Nights’ with the band.
Fun.’s type of music is new to my ears. I stashed my playlist with slow rock, alternatives, folk, some jazz… and the sudden shuffle to a techno-warping ballad made Fun. so interesting. It felt as if I was transported into a surrealist’s painting where instead of its visual style of art, an enigmatic melody will guide your ears along each track. Your mind will deliberately grasp the reality of the lyrics as you move along with the song’s fantastical tune. (I hope you get what I am saying). Examples are Track #5 It Gets Better and #10 Stars. While reminiscent of Owl City’s electronica tunes, Fun. flavored rock and pop genres with synthesizers to bring out funkiness to the songs. Solo performances also come into play and added more element, like We Are Young‘s drum intro and Stars‘ bass guitar bridge. These rare combinations of musical efficiency created the psychedelic background (and feeling that IGB exudes) that could be Fun.’s signature style.
Listening closely to the songs, you’ll discover that Fun.’s lyrics are not that fun at all since the key theme was the perspectives of being alone = melancholy (you can just figure it out with the titles All Alone, All Right, Why Am I The One) which have all undergone the funky, melodic treatment. But Fun. bridges melancholy to euphoria through its anthem-like tracks of WAY and Carry On (which has a Les Miserables vibe). Some Nights album also conjures infectious choruses like the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Some of which are:
Tonight, we are young. So let’s set the world on fire. We can burn brighter than the sun. (You’ve all heard and sang of it.)
Yeah, it’s all alright. I guess it’s all alright. I got nothing left inside of my chest but it’s all alright. (You’ll be singing it to yourself when something bad happened.)
When your lost and alone, and treated like a stone. Carry on. (Best when sang with a group for rapport.)
Bands nowadays can synthesize their music and personalize the output but what makes Fun. stands out is no other than the man behind the commanding and mysterious voice. Nate Ruess is chameleon-like which perfectly blends on Fun.’s musical environment. He carries the enigmatic music of Fun. with him as his voice morphs from ballad to rock, pop, electronica, and hip hop. He can belt out to the highest notes and eventually succumb to the lows in flawless transitions. His voice is full of energy and agitation that subconsciously pleads ‘Here us out! We’re an indie band from New York!’ Don’t worry Fun., it all paid off.
We Are Young is the best track for me in the album since it’s the song that really connected to Fun.’s audience. The anthem-like tempo and engaging lyrics make WAY as one of the defining songs of today’s generation. Carry On can fill up the void after WAY. I also like the arrangement in the song that mixes percussion and synthesizers as the soft melody in the verses slowly builds up to climatic chorus. All Alright also will induce listeners on the marriage of alternative and techno music, plus its syndrome-like refrain. Stars is at first a weird conception but eventually you’ll be surprise of how Nate Ruess’ vocal prowess can make a difference.
Those are just some of my thoughts on Fun.’s Some Nights album. We Are Young is just a fraction of what Fun. can offer to the audience. If you want to listen to something that’s a legitimate cross between rock, pop, and techno, here’s the album for you. If you’re running out of creative juices, this album will inspire you. Winning ‘Best New Artist’, Fun.’s next album will be extremely anticipated. But for now, Some Nights will bring you the pleasure of eargasm to rule your nights.