fun.
Some Nights


4.5
superb

Review

by Erinwolf1997 USER (2 Reviews)
April 23rd, 2012 | 22 replies | 3,857 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A dynamic and personal album

Fun. sure has been getting a major spotlight in the media lately, after their new single "We Are Young", was covered by the cast of Glee and climbed to #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. It's surprising how an indie band made it to the top of the charts, surpassing major mainstream artists like Adele, One Direction, and Katy Perry. It definitely takes a dynamic track to make it up that high, which is exactly what fun. has delivered in their sophomore album, Some Nights.

Fun. was formed by Nate Ruess, (The Format) Jack Antonoff, (Steel Train) and Andrew Dost (Anathallo) after the Format's disbandment in 2008. They released their debut album, Aim and Ignite in 2009, which was packed with Queen-esque quirky indie pop hooks. The album didn't receive much attention from the world, but fun. toured with artists, like Paramore through late 2009 and 2010.

In 2011, fun. started writing their next album, Some Nights, which was later released in February of 2012. The album is packed with energy, and has tastes of hip-hop, along with the theatrical poppy style they had in their debut. This album is phenomenal, a near-spotless compilation of songs that will stick with you for quite a while.

The opener, "Some Nights Intro", is a brief introduction to the album's title track that makes you feel like it should belong on Broadway. With meaningful lyrics similar to those of "Be Calm" off of Aim and Ignite, and the dynamic vocals of Ruess, it is a short, but deep and necessary part of the album.

The title track is an airy, yet complex tune with an amazing beat that is extremely vivacious the whole way through. It's hard to resist listening to this song, with it's foot-stomping beat and great energy. With lyrics like, "I try twice as hard and I'm half as liked…", "Some nights I wish that this all would end, 'cause I could use some friends for a change" and "My heart's breaking for my sister, and the con that she called "love"…." it's easy to see that this is not your idea of a happy song, lyrics-wise, but it never puts me in a bad mood.

"We Are Young" is a song lots of people know, due to it's recent popularity. It's a slightly melancholy song, but upbeat and melodic. With it's lyrics, "Tonight, we are young, so we'll set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun." it's has a message that is versatile for almost any situation. Although not particularly a highlight of the album for me, it's still a great listen anytime.

Taking a step back from the brightness of the rest of the album, you get to "Carry On", a mellow but uplifting and optimistic tune. "If you're lost and alone, or you're sinking like a stone, carry on." shows how much optimism you can pack into an album that is also full of hardship. "Carry On" is definitely a great, airy tune that makes me think every time I hear it.

"It Gets Better" shows off the hip-hop influences of the album. Inspired by the bands support in LGBTQ rights, it is another cheerful and buoyant song. Although the vocal effects can be slightly overwhelming at times, it has a great message and is a great, bouncy song.

A beautiful but blue track is "Why Am I The One." It has a gorgeous melody and heartbreaking lyrics that you just want to sing along to, like "My life's become as vapid as a night out in Los Angeles" and "We were fools to think that nothing could go wrong." Even with it's sad tone, it is a highlight that makes a great transition to the second half of the album.

One of the most unique songs, in my opinion, off this album is "All Alone." It is another heartbroken song but is hip-hoppy and vibrant. "I fell in love with a wind-up souvenir." and "How do you cry with inanimate eyes? You're never gonna smile with the way that you are." showcases this quirky track's unique qualities, both in lyrics and composition.

Setting the cheery songs aside, you get to "All Alright." Although optimistic in chorus with, "Yeah, it's all alright, I guess it's all alright. I got nothing left inside of my chest but it's all alright." it's a dark and slightly depressing song. It is complex in nature, with tearful lyrics, but is very enjoyable.

One of my favorites off this album is "One Foot." It has a fantastic, foot-stomping beat with thundering bass, and is unforgettable played live. Although it has some anti-religious lyrics like, "What you're calling a sin isn't up to them. After all, I thought we were all your children." it also has a lot of heart with "Lucky that my father's still alive. He's been fighting all his life, and if this is all I've ever known, may his soul live on forever in my song." This is a great song that is bound to be a hit.

The last song off the regular-length album is "Stars." It is the longest song off the album, almost topping 7 minutes, and is often overlooked and underrated due to it's use of auto-tune. I, however, think this effect contributes to the slightly sad, dreamy sound. It has many great lyrics, like "Some nights I rule the world, with "Barlights" and "Pretty Girls," but most nights I stay straight and think about my mom. Oh God, I miss her so much." that allude and dwell deeper into Ruess' personal life. Although the song is a bit long, I never lose interest due to it's intoxicatingly dreamy and almost sleepy sound. This is an amazing finish to this great album.

On the deluxe CD version, there is a song titled "Out on the Town." It is another fantastically woven song with more meaningful lyrics. It's another very personal song, with "I set all my regrets on fire, 'cause I know I'd never take the time to unpack my missteps and call all of our friends, I figured they would take your side." and "I drink a lot, I'm not sure if that's new, but these days when I wake up from a night I forgot, I just wish that it never came true." It is a more dim-lighted song than the others, but is amazing nonetheless.

I think this album is really amazing, the lyrics seem to tie in all over the theme of "Some Nights," even showcasing that phrase in other songs beside the title track. It has its few flaws, but they are overshadowed by the amazing qualities this album has to offer. "Out on the Town" says "I know I could be more clever, and I know I could be more strong" but I think fun. has got "clever" and "strong" written all over this album.


user ratings (664)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • teslabarrier (3)
    all alright...

    E. Furniss (2)
    One of the most acclaimed albums of 2012, Fun. creates an overrated and Sad. attempt at mu...

    Green Baron (4)
    Dripping with emotion and personality, does fun.'s sophomore outing live up to their first...

    Steoandnoodles (3)
    fun. draw influences from Kanye West, Drake and other hip-hop personalities to bring you a...

  • bob0716 (4.5)
    What could have wound up a discombobulated catastrophe, "Some Nights" succeeds on every le...

    Chris Fowler (4.5)
    A jubilant and wholehearted trip through the last ten years....

    Jacob Hampton (5)
    Why don't we break the rules already?...

    Adam Knott EMERITUS (4)
    Fiercely upbeat and drenched in charisma....

  • John Fraser (4)
    Drawing from new and varied influences, fun. create another album that's just that....


Comments:Add a Comment 
balcaen
April 23rd 2012


3183 Comments


1997? whoa dude whoa
WHOA

but anyway I'm not a dick and you're not an annoying user yet, so your average writing isn't really an issue. I'd suggest staying awayf from track-by-track reviews though, as they're frowned upon here.

Doesn't read like a 4.5 either, really, but I may be saying that by the amount of moments you express seeming only "okay" with the sounds on here. A better way would be to sum those up into a general statement on what makes this album a 4.5, but not a 5.

Anyway, jah. Welcome to hell


SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2012


15959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not a bad second review, welcome to the site.

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

Tyrael
April 23rd 2012


20866 Comments


why is the lead single so shitty

like really

they spam it 24/7 on the belgian music channels so annoying

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2012


15959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know its overplayed, and there's nothing technically great about it, but I enjoy we are young. The title track is clearly the best though, hopefully radios won't ruin that one for people.

Tyrael
April 23rd 2012


20866 Comments


Yep that's what I meant. A lot of people never heard of fun. before and they might get the wrong impression if We Are Young is their first encounter with the band

scissorlocked
April 23rd 2012


3509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good album but it seems that I'll return to Aim and Ignite sooner or later

Tyrael
April 23rd 2012


20866 Comments


Aim and Ignite is like 100000x better

scissorlocked
April 23rd 2012


3509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, Aim and Ignite is like it's always fresh

this has a weird mainstream maturity that stole little of their creativity

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2012


15959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed there

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2012


7263 Comments


TONI-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-GHTTT...

WE. ARE. YAHNG.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2012


7263 Comments


CHO LEHTS CHET DA WURLD ON FAI-UH.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2012


15959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The retarded remix

someguest
April 23rd 2012


20519 Comments


how the hell is this album 'dynamic'

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2012


7263 Comments


WI KEN BERN BWIDDER. THAN DA SUUUUHNNNN!!!

caprio4us
April 24th 2012


182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

your review did justice to Fun. Thanks

Steoandnoodles
April 29th 2012


2832 Comments


I'd drop this down to a 2 if it wasn't for the lyrics. =/
Jack, Nate and Andrew lost a lot of artistic credibility to me with this album.

I feel that Nate wanted to go big, adding hip-hop elements to their music. So, Jeff Bhasker got on
board and he was happy to share his expertise in producing R&B and Hip-Hop records. What he had, was
no intentions of savouring the great qualities of their debut album.

Didn't matter to Nate and the gang. Seems that they were happy with hammering away at all the tracks
with vocal effects, drum machines and synths until they got that hip-hop sound.

This is a record completely hammered out of experimentation. It's clearly not refined and the band
clearly had no idea what they were doing. They had a goal (to have a bigger sound) and it didn't
matter how they got there. Where instead, when you listen to other artist who use these elements to
a positive (for instance, Bon Iver) you can tell he actually has some clue as to how these elements
make up a pretty sounding songs, musically. On Some Nights, most of these elements are exempts or
unnecessary vocal filters. Why is there vocal effects on One Foot? Why? Why use a drum machine on We
Are Young? Why? It's clearly not through a concious decision, it was only to pull them into that
hip-hop direction more.

Another thing that makes no sense to me is why they thought to use less instrumentation. When you
bury your ears deep into these songs, there isn't much actually going on, at least not as much as
Aim and Ignite had.

I really feel the song-writing took a turn for the worst in terms of structure too. Nate's songs
used to
be so unpredictable. Take, for instance 'At Least I'm Not as Sad(As I Used to Be). No song on this
album stretches and moves in the way that, that song did.

This album sounded awesome to me at first but it's only when you actually put aside the hooks and
lyrics and listen to the music that I realised... I think it's terrible, musically. =P

And that's all I'll ever need to say about this album. =)

Knott-
Emeritus
April 29th 2012


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Your rationalisations are getting annoying. You don't like the new sound. The structure of 'Stars' is every bit as daring as that of 'At Least...'.

You're calling the instrumentation (drum machines, filters) arbitrary as though there was some profound decision to use strings on 'Be Calm'. There wasn't; they used strings. What, you think the instrumentation of their first record played to some higher calling, but this is electronic so can't be as meaningful? How can a particular instrument mean more than any other?

This is only marginally less ambitious and creative than Aim & Ignite was. You just don't like the direction.

Steoandnoodles
April 29th 2012


2832 Comments


I'm saying it's naively used. Neither Nate, Andrew or Jack have any experience with production, we
know that. =P
That's why Jeff was on board and I'm cool with them going in a different direction, like I was with
other artists but what I don't like is the substituting their experimentation for albums.

And I never said anything about meaning bud. I still think lyrically, this is grand but musically,
it's genuinely them messing around to get a Kanye West sound as best they can. As if they bought a
Lego play set and decided to try and build the lego house purely by looking at the picture on the
box.

'Stars' is actually the one track where I think the sound genuinely works. Okay, it's a tad limp
musically and the sounds on the second half of the track, I found a little dry but the first, they
weave and flow really nicely.

I'm saying they excused deeply layered instrumentation for rather sloppy instruments, such as the
consistently looping horn on One Foot, I mean, come on. Not that electronic music is bad, it's just
bad here because it's not nurtured, for the most part.

So, don't get me wrong man. =/
Sure, I don't like the new sound but I'd like them to keep working at it. It just needs more life,
it sounds so diluted and compact.

I think this is actually more ambitious but too ambitious. Like, say you had a math test and instead
of studying for it; you decide to just go and do it, pretending you're a mathematician. That's Some
Nights. And yeah, it's less creative. What I'm saying is, they should have made themselves more
familiar with the new sound before releasing tracks like 'It Gets Better'.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2012


7263 Comments


CHO LEHTS CHET DA WURLD ON FAI-UH.


SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2012


15959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't really see the point in breaking fun. down to the technical aspects...they are, and have always been, a carefree pop band. They are the best at what they do in my opinion, but neither album is musically brilliant.



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