After yesterday’s inspirational post, it’s back to the sexy. And boy is this album sexy. Musically that is. I am talking about Some Nights by Fun., which was released at the end of February and which has been a major obsession of mine since I got it last week. The last two times I have been this much into a record was with Rival Sons’ Pressure And Time and Foo Fighter’s Wasting Light, both of which turned out to be my favourite records of 2011. So unless Some Nights starts fizzling out it’s shaping up to be an early favourite for “Best of 2012″.
It’s a difficult to describe album, too. It’s grand and in a strange but not at all annoying or cheap way bubbly at times, deep at others. It’s a little bit rock’n'roll. Nay, it’s an indie rock’n'pop circus and a half. It’s musically super stylish and at the same time a little dirty, which makes for a sexy mix. And pretty much the entire album does one thing really well, that thing being “epic”. Never a quiet moment, because just when you think it gets quiet and slow, a surprise pops up and kicks things up a notch.
But then Some Nights is also really easy to describe: it has this getting-home-after-a-long-night-out-on-the-town-when-the-sun-is-already-coming-up-again-feel. This smile-on-the-face-over-a-time-well-spent and slight-melancholy-over-it-being-over feel.
Mind you, it’s not a perfect album for me. There are these moments in which the vocoder-ish sound sets in, and I just can’t stand any autotunage or similar effects anymore. It’s like a tramp stamp for a song – doesn’t improve the actual quality, has long ceased to be cool (if it ever really was), and is even more painful to hear when used by artists who absolutely don’t need it. And lead singer Nate Ruess certainly doesn’t. Towards the end of the beautifully driving Some Nights the effect can even be forgiven. Same goes for the subtle use in It Gets Better. Still, both songs would have been a good deal better without it. But the effect completely ruins the track Stars for me. Good thing the album has more than enough to make up for that.
The intro track itself is a thing of beauty. Wonderfully quirky, it gives you a good taste of the epicness of the Fun. mixture that is about to hit your eardrums. At this point it appears almost needless to say that We Are Young – featuring the divine Janelle Monae – is a keeper. It’s one for the ages. I was lucky enough not to have heard the Glee version of We Are Young – and still consider myself lucky to have found the “close window” shortcut fast enough not to have heard that (as usual über-syrupy) cover in its entirety – before I heard the original. That might have ruined it for me. Being as it is, We Are Young is gaining play count in my music library faster than your regular 14-year-old can push out Tweets about the Biebs. It’s no surprise that this song has put the band on the map in a big way.
Fun. isn’t a one-trick-pony either. Tracks like Some Night, Carry On, Why Am I The One, All Alright and One Foot easily carry the promise made by We Are Young. Yes, that’s almost all the album tracks. That’s just how good the material is. But my second personal standout track, other than We Are Young, is the bonus track Out On The Town. It is hot on the heels of We Are Young when it comes to the play count. Hardly ever has heartbreak sounded so positively wicked. I think 14 years after a great song has been played to death it is becoming okay again to use this expression: Out On The Town is indeed a bitter sweet symphony.
All in all, Some Nights is the kind of album every iPod, while still in the darkness of its box, dreams of having put in its memory. Spin it and you’ll be hard pressed not to think ‘More nights should be like this’. And, for what it’s worth, it has one of the coolest album covers in recent history.
- Some Nights Intro
- Some Nights
- We Are Young (Feat. Janelle Monae)
- Carry On
- It Gets Better
- Why Am I The One
- All Alone
- All Alright
- One Foot
- Out On The Town (Bonus Track)
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(Listening to while finishing this blog entry: Out On The Town by Fun.)