fun.
Aim and Ignite


5.0
classic

Review

by Blair Chopin USER (108 Reviews)
August 31st, 2011 | 29 replies | 3,082 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Me, I'm gonna live forever

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

The classic pop album died. No one knows the exact date of this occurrence: maybe it was when John Lennon gave up the ghost, maybe it was when our society was infected by the plague of disco, or maybe it was even when an angst ridden and awkwardly blond Thom Yorke screamed that "pop is dead" in the early 1990's. Even though we do not know exactly when the classic pop album died, it is quite easy to figure out why it died. It died because of technology that encourages musicians to just make one quality song instead of a quality album, it died because other genres of music became so much better, and hell it died because pop music just isn't what it used to be.

Maybe we just all need to accept the fact that modern pop music will never have another classic album. With all of this being said though that does not mean a band cannot create an album that is a "classic sounding classic pop album." Pop was at its best when it actually was an accurate representation of pop culture yet was still one of the most creative and unique outlets of music. It is tough to say that Kelly Clarkson and Britney Spears produce the most creative and culturally defining music, but it is easy to say that The Beatles and Queen did produce some of the most creative music and that these bands created music that defined their respective cultures. So instead of a pop act going for the watered down radio sound of Clarkson and Spears, why would they not instead go for the sound of The Beatles, Queen, and the Beach Boys and create "a classic sounding classic pop album?"

The main objection to this idea that pop music should take a step backwards to when it actually mattered is that a lot of today's pop "musicians" simply do not have the creative ability that The Beatles, The Beach Boys, or Queen had in the prime of their careers. These people would say that no current pop band could write as creatively as the Beatles, no current band or act could harmonize like the Beach Boys did on "Pet Sounds", and no current band could ever give off the creative energy that Queen did in the prime of their careers. These objections are fair but illogical even on the first listen of the 2009 fun. album "Aim and Ignite."

"Aim and Ignite" is an incredible modern music achievement and the first reason why is the sound of the album. The music on "Aim and Ignite" has the energy of one of Queens best live shows, has the diverse nature of one of The Beatles classic later albums (more "Sgt. Pepper" than "The White Album"), and has the calming nature of all the Beach Boys best work. The first reason this album is a classic is essentially because it takes all of the classic sounds from the glory days of pop music and the best arena rock and puts it on an epic ten song album. Whether it is the homage to the Beatles emotionally draining later work that is the gigantic chorus of "Be Calm", the Beach Boys like harmony that is go on throughout "All The Pretty Girls", the Queen esque poetry that fills "The Gambler", or even the combination and culmination of all these influences in the albums closer "Take Your Time (Coming Home)" fun. finds a way to create an album that sounds like the best offerings of three of the most important artists in the history of music and still make an album that is still simple and relevant in the 21st century.

"Aim and Ignite" is not just an album that sounds fantastic but it is an album that features great singing, excellent songwriting, and it is an album that really does not have a bad song on it. It is tough to overstate how good of a singer Nate Ruess is and how his unlimited range matches the music perfectly on every song of "Aim and Ignite" is one of the albums many highlights. Ruess has a great moment in just about every song on "Aim and Ignite": his spaz out at the end of "Be Calm" sets up the rest of album perfectly, the breakdown to "At Least I'm Not As Sad (As I Used To Be) is the best moment of the entire album, his storytelling type of vocal on "The Gambler" is a nice change of pace from just about everything else on the album, and his entire performance of "Take Your Time (Coming Home)" is beyond impressive. Ruess never does a perfect impression of Mercury, McCartney, or Wilson, he does a great job of being himself throughout the album which turns out to be a perfect combination of all three of these legends.

Ruess lyrics on this album are also brilliant. Ruess lyrics are not the same type of brilliance of many of today's songwriting, but a more unique brilliance because Ruess writes lyrics that are relevant not only to modern culture but the culture of the pop icons he idolizes. On "Walking The Dog" Ruess writes about the boys of summer but the harmony of the song still makes it sound culturally relevant, on "Barlights" he references James Dean but makes sure that this lyric leads into his classic lyric about how he is going to live forever, "The Gambler" has the lyrics that sound like the plot to a bad Lifetime movie about an old couple but the lyrics also sound like they could be applied to any young couple who actually thinks they could grow old together. Ruess ability to write lyrics honoring his idols and still be able to make these lyrics relevant to today's market is nothing short of incredible.

It is safe to say that "Aim and Ignite" really does not have any bad songs. Even the albums worst songs ("Light A Roman Candle With Me" and "Walking The Dog) are still excellent songs. The album has lots of classic songs and just about every song on this album is catchy. "Aim and Ignite" is a "classic sounding classic pop album" that combines the best moments from all of Ruess influences on one album and still manages to stay modern. And most importantly it is an album that made modern music fun. again.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
August 31st 2011



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Nice to see you firmly back in the game B Chop. I dig the review but don't agree with it in the least.

Wildcatforever
August 31st 2011



441 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Thank you Mr. FromDaHood (that sounded really awesome with a Mr. in front.) It is a really hit or really miss album for most people, so I feel ya.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2011



10011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I feel like you having this at a 5 contradicts your statement of some songs being better than others.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

Wildcatforever
August 31st 2011



441 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

So every song has to be a classic for an album to be a 5?

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2011



10011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

In my opinion, yes. I mean, a 5 denotes that it's flawless. Your review was well-written, though; I'm just nitpickin'!

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2011



10011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

In my opinion, yes. I mean, a 5 denotes that it's flawless. Your review was well-written, though; I'm just nitpickin'!

Wildcatforever
August 31st 2011



441 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Hahaha thank you. I'm not going to say that every song on here is a classic, because that is just not true. Really, I don't know if I have ever listened to an album and thought every song was a classic. Even "Ok Computer." You are a blessed dude Omahastyleee

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
August 31st 2011



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I think it's impossible for every song on an album to be on equal footing. 36 Chambers is pretty even on the whole but it's
obvious that songs like Protect Ya Neck are better than Can It Be All So Simple

Wildcatforever
August 31st 2011



441 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I agree Hood

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
August 31st 2011



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

"I feel like you having this at a 5 contradicts your statement of some songs being better than others."

that's pretty stupid

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2011



10011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Aids, respect a fellow Laura Stevenson fan!

I can understand some songs being more accessible and immediately enjoyable than others, whereas others tend to stand out more in the long run. And I CAN understand that some songs to tend to stand out overall, because I've definitely encountered that with my favorites. The way that Hood explained it made me realize that. I guess the way that I took it in the review was in more of a context of "these songs aren't as good", but I get what you guys mean for sure.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2011



17200 Comments


this shit sounds like meatloaf mixed with billie joel but not as good as either

Wildcatforever
August 31st 2011



441 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I don't see the Meatloaf or Joel. In the last paragraph I was trying to say the two last songs were still pretty damn good. I see your point Omaha

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2011



17200 Comments


really? the melodies, the style of singing, the style of music, everything. it all sounds like those two. i mean like a ridiculous amount like it.

Wildcatforever
August 31st 2011



441 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I could see the Joel on "The Gambler" but I don't see any Meatloaf. And I used to jam to some Meatloaf

Steoandnoodles
September 1st 2011



2832 Comments


I went back to this album about a year after I was addicted to it and I'm still finding layers of
guitars in songs I didn't know were there.

This album is one of the most carefully layered pop albums I've ever heard. Period.

TrstN01
September 1st 2011



800 Comments


Grammer note: it's "Ruess' lyrics" not "Ruess lyrics." And Walking The Dog kicks ass. But yeah, Light A Roman Candle is a lot weaker than the other songs. Also, see them live. It's incredible.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
September 1st 2011



7021 Comments


a 5 denotes that it's flawless

how people come up with opinions like the above is beyond me

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

TrstN01
September 1st 2011



800 Comments


^This. I mean, name one album that was 100% flawless.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 1st 2011



10011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, of course it's relative to the person. I think No More Stories by Mew is flawless, although I did qualify my previous statement (if you actually read!)



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