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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Some Nights Review

Album: Some Nights

Artist: fun.

Label: Fueled by Ramen

Release Date: Feb. 21

Grade: A

Unpredictable and passionate, diverse and inspired, fun.'s latest release is one that certainly lives up to the band's namesake.

While the group can be found filed under indie pop, fun. are most certainly not tied to the genre label. Led by Nate Ruess, former frontman for The Format, fun. is a band that is always redefining its musical identity. The 2009 release of Aim and Ignite took listeners by surprise and kept them guessing from the vivacious opener "Be Calm" to the eight-minute-long upbeat downbeat closer "Take Your Time."

Now, three years later, fun. have returned with their sophomore effort, Some Nights. In one word the album could be described simply as ‘unpredictable,' but to do so would be an injustice. Some Nights is an emotion-evoking, thought-provoking, and awe-stoking LP that continuously changes tempo and style while maintaining that indefinable aspect that makes the music distinctly fun.

Every song on Some Nights warrants multiple listens; especially since a couple might take a few plays to fully appreciate, à la the auto-tune laden "Stars." The variety in the songs make the album so addicting that before you know it you'll be on your 10th listen, pondering whether audio heroin was smuggled into the music.

The album's icebreaker – aptly titled "Some Nights (Intro)" – makes a grandiose statement, much in the fashion of "Be Calm" on Aim and Ignite. Elegant piano strokes and profound cello meld with Ruess' refined theatrical vocals to give the whole number an overall operatic feel, complete with a justified closing round of applause.

In contrast to the intro's melancholy mood and theatrical tune, the follow-up "Some Nights" feels more optimistic, almost challenging. Throughout the song, listeners will find influences seeping in from all sides, including Queen-esque vocal stylings, a booming drumbeat, an '80s-reminiscent guitar riff, and even a pinch of auto-tune. The musical medley that is this song is as close to being a quintessential fun. track as possible, in that you never know quite where it will go next.

Jarring transitions, like the one from the intro to "Some Nights," define the album from start to finish. Whether it's switching from the robotic rock style of "It Gets Better" to the simple and slow paced "Why Am I the One," or from the unexpected hip hop-inspired "All Alone" to the uplifting "All Alright," Some Nights prides itself on keeping listeners' ears unprepared and in a constant state of anxiety.

Staggering the tracks in this manner, intentional or not, works well in the album's favor. While each song is a success in its own right, it's when the album is presented as a whole that listeners are sure to have the most fun.

Lyrically and instrumentally gripping, Some Nights is an album that radiates with the band members' passion. From the moment the album starts until the final note dies out, fun.'s latest is sure to keep returning fans and newcomers alike rapt with attention for the entire duration.

Email: arts@ubspectrum.com


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