Nate Ruess is not Freddie Mercury, but the front man for FUN. is definitely channeling Freddie’s spirit on the band’s latest release, Some Nights. No one will confuse this band with rock icons Queen, but Ruess’s voice will certainly conjure up some nice memories of their Mercurial lead singer.
(Let’s just get this out of the way first; the band refers to themselves with a period after their name and always either all lower case or all CAPS. I’ve chosen the latter throughout this review. So, please, no comments on my apparent crappy grammar.)
Ruess has been around the Indie music scene for ten years, previously with Format, and now back with FUN.’s second release. Some Nights is in a word, fun. It’s a great vehicle for the talented vocal stylings of Reuss and packed with memorable addicting ditties.
Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost round out the trio and lend their voices to create impressive harmonies throughout. While the vocals border on spectacular, the music is fairly uninspiring. Like many of today’s Indie bands, it’s primarily synthesizers and canned drum beats. While not the greatest musicianship, it is still pretty damn fun. The music may be bubble-gum, but it’s certainly not cookie-cutter. FUN. has developed a unique sound and have carved a nice niche in today’s Alt-Rock landscape.
By now, everyone has surely heard the first single, “We Are Young (featuring Janelle Monáe).” It’s been all over TV, and for good reason; it’s a great addictive tune. It’s a good peek into what you can expect from the rest of the album, and chances are if you dig “We Are Young,” you’ll really enjoy the other tracks.
The album kicks off with a powerful Broadway-inspired introduction that beautifully highlights the vocal prowess of Reuss. It’s different, it’s innovative and it’s fun. From there, it’s generally a trip through a series of entertaining enjoyable cuts. The title track, “Carry On,” “All Alone” and “One Foot” are all in the same vein as “We Are Young.” They’ll all have you singing along and tapping your feet throughout.
“It Gets Better” reminded me a bit of Blink 182, and had a welcome edge to it. My personal favorite is “Why Am I the One.” It’s more tender than the other tunes, and reflects on a challenging relationship and the impact on our protagonist’s life as evidenced by these lyrics: “Cause my life has become as vapid as a night out in Los Angeles.” The song ebbs and flows with hopeful desperation and is a great journey.
The album features fantastic vocals, catchy tunes and plenty of diversity. Check it out on iTunes below and enjoy the FUN.
Rock On! – Cretin