* Prices may differ from that shown
I was a bit sceptical about this album at first as I was unsure it could live up to the track "we are young".
We are young, is an amazing track and I defy anyone to dislike it. I never skip past it when i am flicking through my mp3 player.
I was surprised to find the album a lot different than I expected but it was a good mixture of great tracks and some styles of tracks I had not heard before. I was surprised there were several anthemic tracks which i love. I think it is lyrically brilliant and I love the strength of the percussion in the whole album. It feels like it has a heart beat.
It is a group that I would love to see live based on this album. It is a great new heartbeat for current music. I would recommend this to my friends.
After recently being forced to watch an episode of X Factor I recently saw a band called "Fun" on there. Sadly I'm so far from being "down with the kids" that I'd never previously heard of the band and thought they sounded like they were rather fun (excuse the pun). With this in mind I decided to give their break out album "Some Nights" a listen on Spotify.
For those who are "uncool" as myself, Fun are a 3-piece American alternative rock band. Their members are Nate Ruess (lead vocals), Andrew Dost (keyboard, piano and various other instruments) and Jack Antonoff (guitar, drums and various other instruments). The band were formed in 2008 and released their debut album "Aim and Ignite" in 2009 (which reached #71 on the US Billboard 200).
In 2011 the group then recorded their second album "Some Nights" which was released in early 2012 to both critical and commercial success, peaking at #3 on the US Billboard 200 and #7 on the UK Album Charts. The big question then is, what do I actually think of it? I'll admit I actually enjoyed the track they played on X Factor (it seems to have been the one highlight of the show) however would their album be up to the same standards?
The album opens with "Some Nights" (Intro) a track that is lead off with an almost musical feel, combining not only Ruess on lyrics, but also an operatic backing voice as well as some wonderful piano accompaniment. The track would have sounded out of place on a Queen album and was really not what I expected this album to start with, however it's a brilliantly clever opening and well worth a listen to. It's then followed up by "Some Nights" another excellent track which sounds much more like the alternative catchy rock that we'd expect from the band. The track is bold, very catchy and will almost certainly have you singing along from the first time you listen to it. Unsurprisingly "Some Nights" was released as the album's second single and has gone on to massive success in both the US and the UK. In all honesty it's almost certainly the albums highlight.
The albums third track "We Are Young" is arguably the bands most famous song (and also the one they played on X Factor) and was the first track from the album to be released as a single. As well as the bands 3 members it also features American musician Janelle Monáe and like "Some Nights" the track is hugely catchy and combines radio friendly catchiness with some clever and interesting lyrics (especially early in the song). In all honesty whilst I prefer "Some Nights", this is the track that will be the albums long standing anthem and the success of the track has seen it reaching #1 in a number of countries (perhaps thanks in part to the TV show "Glee" who covered it).
Sadly the album seems to peak with in the first 3 tracks and the fourth track "Carry On" seems to be a big drop off from the opening 3 tracks. That's not to say it's not a good track but the high tempo, catchy "Fun" sound seems to suddenly vanish as the band almost seem to take themselves a bit too seriously as musicians. Sadly however things never really recover from this point and the album, that genuinely started so very brightly starts to sort of fade away in to what feels like a bit of average filler music.
Don't get me wrong tracks like "It Gets Better" and "Why Am I The One" are decent tracks in their own right but sadly they feel really poor when you look at how the album started and you start to feel a bit disappointed in just how big the drop off is in quality. I think this is sort of evidence that track placing really matters in an album and putting the best songs at the beginning is actually a bad idea as fans will only listen to a few of those songs. Putting good songs through out an album gives an impression of a ups and downs rather than starting at the top and slowly sliding down.
Despite feeling disappointed with around 70% of the album I can't help but feel I'd have really enjoyed it had they re-arranged the track order and with this in mind I need to concede that I'm probably being overly harsh in my views. It's worth a listen through that's for sure, though I imagine you'll just rip the first few tracks off the album and put them on your iPod/MP3 player whilst leaving much of the album to just sit by it's self.
What can you say about Fun ? The indie rockers from New York have produced their second album called Some Nights and have now hit the big time.
Despite the success of this album, Fun have been around since 2008 and their first album, Aim and Ignite, while still a good album did not match the giddy heights of Some Nights.
What really kick started everything was off course the epic single, "We Are Young" featuring Janelle Monae, which received substantial airplay on the mainstream radio channels as well as featuring on several chatshows.
The album has the intro song of "Some Nights,(intro)" swiftly followed by the main track, "Some Nights" and we are immediately introduced to the very distinctive voice of Nate Reuss on lead vocals.
The third track on the album is the showstopper, "We Are Young" and if you haven't heard Fun before then you will be blown away by this track. The best thing about, "We Are Young" is the fact that you will struggle to categorise it in any particular musical genre. Most people's initial reaction is,"It's different" followed immediately by, "I like that". You then find yourself humming or whistling the chorus for the whole of the day!
Although the band may initially seem to be just another happy band of indie rockers, this would be doing them a dis-service and you should pay close attention to the insightful lyrics as well.
Fourth track, "Carry On" gives you inspiration with the lyrics, "If you're lost and alone, Or you're sinking like a stone, Carry On. imploring you not to ever give up, no matter how tough things get.
The more you listen to Some Nights, the more meanings you find in each of their songs which certainly came as a bit of a surprise to me, albeit a pleasant one. Track 5 is the up tempo, "It Gets Better" and yet again, whether you are walking along the street, in the car, on the bus you will be singing away, "It Gets Better, It Gets Better, It Gets Better, We'll Get Better!"
Tracks 6 & 7 follow a more mellow tone with, "Why Am I The One" followed by "All Alone" but like the rest of the album are still quality tunes.
Track 8, although still pretty mellow is the more anthemic, "All Right" featuring yet another searing vocal performance from Nate Reuss.
Track 9 takes you on another musical journey with, "One Foot" and you sometimes feel tempted to strut along the road, shouting at the top of your voice, "I PUT ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER ONE" Fun do this to you and listening to "Some Nights" is definitely a feel good experience with an edge without the sickly sweetness associated with modern day boy bands.
Track 10, "Stars" is another story which you will find yourself drawn into and the album concludes satisfyingly with the sing along, "Out on the town".
All in all, a great album and well worth adding to your collection
I have been thinking of reviewing some albums for a while, but found myself writing and rewriting them, over analysing and trying to work out how I felt about each song... Until a friend suggested a better idea might be to follow my gut and write my feelings after just one listen... so I'm giving it a go! The following is my honest, instinctive feelings on each track of the album Some Nights by Fun.
1. My initial feeling is that this song has a Nursery rhyme feel to it, but with darker lyrics and clashes in chords. It presents a real conflict between the lyrics and cheerful instrumental. I absolutely love it's manicness!!! It's quite show-tuney.. (and yes, that is a good thing!) Builds nicely to a roaring crescendo.
2. I have an immediate urge to sing along. This track has a hugely contagious drum line, my head is bobbing and I'm on a train, I'm enjoying it so much my worry of public embarrassment is mometarily forgotten! The chorus is particularly catchy, and the aggressive but positive drum line builds the song so well. The bridge uses this build to lead into the final set of massive choruses. The drums are a winner on this track, without a doubt! Could be a worthy next single?
3. Electronica turns retro, emphasised with some deep piano chords. Chorus feel really familiar, and it's bothering me massively that I can't think what song it's reminding me of. So far, least favourite song on the album...
4. Some insistent drums to open, with some harder guitars. It reminds me of mid 2000's pop rock, but Nate Ruess' vocals aren't really indicative of this genre so it's definitely an interesting listen. Reminds me a little of Josie and the Pussycats but male! Truthfully, a little bit of a filler track. Nothing to write home about really.
5. Gorgeous vocals and melodies a cappela to open. I love this song, a little country and western-esque track that I reckon a fair few line dancing clubs will have a bash at! The lyrics are massively feel good and I can't listen to the drums on this track without wanting to jump around quite a bit. (I am a bit of a drum geek, in case you hadn't guessed already...) On a night out, this would make a good end of night join-arms-with-your-friends-and-jump-around-like-looneys track!
6. Carry On is a mid album dose of seriousness. Particularly when listening to this track you cannot deny the vocal prowess of lead singer Nate Ruess. Even though the song is a little more melancholy than other tracks the chorus picks up the pace and the song gains momentum. The track makes nice use of multiple voices on the chorus. Nice little cheeky guitar solo before the song builds to its strings riddled climax. Openings bars had me convinced this would be a token sad song, but lo and behold by the end I the song I'm smiling and tapping my foot! What are you doing to me fun.?
7. Easily the most contagious, never ever going to stop humming/singing/whistling chorus. The combination of luscious piano chords and military-esque drums make this a blinder of a song. Perfect first single and it was the merits of this song that had me buying the album on the day of release. As awesome as the album version is, truthfully the live lounge version really is something else. The lyrics take on a haunting beauty, particularly the bridge and the first introduction of the honey sweet vocals of Janelle Monae. Gorgeous, gorgeous track, but you already know that because You can't possibly have not heard it already... Surely?
8. The tone of his voice instantly engages me with the melodies, and the simplicity of his melodies emphasise the lyrics. Clashing drums work well with the clean synthy background. Yet another catchy chorus, but I'd hate to be any song following the last track, so no matter what track this was, it was never going to blow me away. Unlucky draw! Probably a good idea to put one of the least memorable tracks after the song, because it would make even the best song on the album fade into the background...
9. Honestly, feels like another filler track, not particularly memorable, but it does have a lovely chorus that builds nicely.
10. Loved this song within the opening ten seconds. I love the hoping-to-be-epic opening that's followed by a nicely quiet verse. The song ends in a vocal effects-ridden crazy mess of sound that could have been quite irritating but somehow never crosses the line and instead maintains an infectious feel.
11. Closing (bonus) track, I am expecting something big, and the drums and trumpet are making my head go already, less than ten seconds in! Massively catchy and infectious chanty feel to it. The repetition of the backing rhythms just gets under your skin almost immediately. Excellent track to close with.
I would happily put this album on for me and the girls when we are getting ready for a night out. It would ramp up the feel good atmosphere and get us prepped and ready for a big night out dancing and singing until our feet are sore and our eyes are tired.
Melodies are easily hummable after a single listen. Contagiously feel good music that makes my feet tap and my head bob. What else can you possibly need from an album of pop music?
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Some Nights (Intro)
2 Some Nights
3 We Are Young (Feat. Janelle Monae)
4 Carry On
5 It Gets Better
6 Why Am I The One
7 All Alone
8 All Alright
9 One Foot
11 Out On The Town (Bonus Track)