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As the band Fun. has become so popular at the moment since their single We Are Young, I thought I would review something from Fun. singer Nate Ruess' old band, The Format, which he led until they went on hiatus in 2008 and Nate began to concentrate on Fun.
I would describe the music style of The Format as indie pop with quite a large hint of twee at times. They had two full length albums. This one, Dog Problems, was the second and came out in 2006.
=== Tracklist ===
She Doesn't Get It
Pick Me Up
Inches and Falling (I Love Love)
If Work Permits
=== Highlights ===
She Doesn't Get It is the first song I heard from The Format on a mix CD years ago and was the reason I started to listen to them. It is a light, poppy, catchy song which makes me want to sing along, start tapping my feet or bopping my head. It is a great one to put on a summer playlist. It is not the deepest or most original song - it is quite a typical indie pop number with quite standard lyrics such as "she says she's leaving on Sunday, oh that leaves me one more night... could I take you home? I know it's wrong but I know your type". Nate's distinctive voice combines with full sounding musical backing.
Oceans is another poppy song which sounds like a summer hit. It is so catchy, light and easy to listen to. It is chilled, with a nice melody and simple lyrics. It's the kind of song which is perfect when lying out in the sun in a good mood when you don't really want to think about anything. About half way through the atmosphere changes slightly, with the vocals sounding a bit more spoken than sung, which I am not so keen on, but this is short and then it goes back to its previous melody.
Dead End is another very enjoyable catchy pop song along similar lines to She Doesn't Get It and Oceans. I would also include Snails along with these and that is another favourite of mine, although the lyrics are a bit cheesy and weird "snails see the benefits, the beauty in everything".
The Compromise was the first single on the album and is extremely upbeat, poppy and bubbly in style and atmosphere. I can't resist singing or dancing a little bit to this! Its cheery vibe makes me smile. They sing "meet me in the middle, come on let's make up a dance and we'll agree to call it the compromise".
== Weak Links? ===
Some of the songs do sort of blend into one perfectly pleasant but not particularly special blur. I can happily have it on in the background without really noticing much about some of the individual songs.
Pick Me Up is a prime example of the type of song I mean here. There is nothing really wrong with it, but it is just a bit forgettable.
The song Dog Problems can be a bit annoying at times as it has a sort of circus vibe to it, which is not something I generally favour! Inches and Falling also has this circus atmosphere to it.
=== Over all ===
The album is quite a nice one to put on for some cheery summer music which can lift your spirits without demanding too much of your attention. It can be a bit samey but some songs do stand out, such as the highlights I mentioned above and some songs are a bit different, such as Time Bomb which is a slightly cheesy but very catchy pop song with a bit more oomph than some of the others as they sing "tock tock, you're not a clock, you're a time bomb baby".
I am happy to have this in my collection and think it is worth a listen, but it's not a big favourite of mine. If you are interested I would recommend you to listen to it on Spotify to see what you think.