'Some Nights' lacks original feel, but new Fun. album still fun
Album: “Some Nights”
Label: (Fueled By Ramen)
The name of New York group Fun.’s second album, “Some Nights,” seems a misprint for “some tracks” to warn listeners that only some of the 10 songs are worth playing.
AT A GLANCE
Album: “Some Nights”
Released: Feb. 21
Top tracks: “We Are Young," “All Alone” and “Stars"
GO AND DO
Fun. in OKC
WHEN: June 8
WHERE: Diamond Ballroom, 8001 S Eastern Ave.
PRICE: The band is selling presale tickets to fan community members through its website
Band members Nate Reuss (The Format), Andrew Dost (Anathallo) and Jack Antonoff (Steel Train) come together for their second album following “Aim & Ignite,” their 2009 release.
By the fifth track, Reuss sings, “What have we done? Oh my God. What have we done? Oh my God.” — and I cannot help but ask the same question.
Statistically, the album encompasses about a 50-50 ratio for good to bad songs. However, coming off an intelligently mastered debut album, “Some Nights” remains inconsistent after signing with record label Fueled By Ramen in August 2010. The label has released albums of bands such as Paramore, Panic at the Disco and Gym Class Heroes.
“Some Nights” anatomy contains the heart of The Format, with Hellogoodbye vibrations flowing through its veins and thoughts of Fun. swarming in around its brain. Thus, the indie pop-inspired trio meets power pop and indie rock, which color a modern-day Queen knock off.
The first track on the album, “Some Nights (Intro)” familiarizes with Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” by mixing opera melodies behind talk-singing and accompanied spurts of “Oh my gods” that transition into sweeter tunes, creating an over-the-top production.
Later, track four inspires listeners to “carry on, carry on” just as Freddie Mercury sang, “carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters.”
Fun.’s first single, “We Are Young” features R&B, funk musician Janelle Monae, who can go unnoticed the first few times through the song.
In December 2011, the cast of Glee covered the song in the “Hold On to Sixteen” episode, which you can take as you will. However, this recognition did transmit the song to No. 1 on iTunes that night. The song also has appeared on the television show “Chuck” and the Chevrolet Chevy Sonic commercial.
“It Gets Better,” the fifth track, comes in a form of irony. Up until this point on the album, the songs embraced clever lyrics, experimental guitar riffs and consistent Fun. harmonies. All of a sudden, Reuss disguises his pitch-perfect vocals with auto-tune and repetitive lyrics.
The album seems to level off after this, although the remaining tracks have a few redeeming qualities.
“All Alone” begins with Renaissance-inspired composition and brings in hip-hop beats and drum-line percussion, making up for the subsequent tracks. “All Alright,” the next on the list, brings in a children’s choir, one of three songs that include kid’s vocals, downplaying the deeper meaning of the lyrics within the playful appearance.
The final track, “Stars,” makes one final over-the-top production, incorporating an audience cheering, violins, guitar solos, a children’s choir and, yes, auto-tune.
Maybe it is a little harsh to give the album a 50 percent success rate, but the auto-tune comes as a huge disappointment, when Reuss’ vocals have tugged at my heart since his early Format days. Reuss himself admits, “Well, some nights I rule the world.”
Although “Some Nights” isn’t perfect, listeners still can have some fun.
Courtney Goforth is a journalism senior.