Review Summary: Dripping with emotion and personality, does fun.'s sophomore outing live up to their first?
When fun. released their first album, Aim & Ignite
, they became superstars in the indie world. Then, in 2011, they met their mainstream breakthrough at the hands of a certain television show... Glee
. Glee butchered fun.'s first single from the album, "We Are Young", and since then, fun. has had a six-week #1 in "We Are Young", and a #3 hit with "Some Nights".
My favorite song on the album is the single, "We Are Young". It randomly changes tempos, from slow to fast, complete with a heavy drum beat towards the end. The lyrics may be a bit cryptic, but it's catchy, infectious, and will get stuck in your head for days. "Some Nights" has Nate's vocals at his strongest, albeit with some autotune thrown in. "Carry On" is one of fun.'s slower songs, and features nothing but an acoustic guitar until the second verse, and reminds me of Queen. Speaking of Queen, "Why Am I The One" has singer Nate Ruess' vocals border really close to Freddie Mercury. The lyrics are the high point, (as well as the tempo change during the chorus), being about why Ruess always ends up screwing up his relationship.
"All Alone" has a funky beat and a carnival-like beginning and ending, and sounds like a Lily Allen song. The song is upbeat and happy, but the lyrics are far from that, and the title suggests. "All Alright" is another slow song, and doesn't need an upbeat tempo because, damn, it is depressing. The bridge does have Ruess' vocals soar, though. The children chanting in the beginning and the end feels awkward, as well as the predictable violins that come in the chorus after the bridge.
"Some Nights (Intro)" can be described as a Halloween-esque song, with Ruess' vocals strikingly similar to Freddie Mercury here. This is the type of music that gets played at haunted houses. To top it all off, the audience claps at the end of it all. The last track, "Stars" has Mercury, I mean Ruess, auto-tuned to death. It isn't a complete nuisance, but it gets annoying after a while. The problem with the song is that it's not built to last seven minutes. It gets repetitive, and the guitar solo is unnecessary. It's a good album closer, but nothing else.
The other two songs, "It Gets Better" and "One Foot", suck. Hard. The former has Ruess auto-tuned so hard that it gets excruciating unbearable. I haven't been able to listen to the entire song once yet. "One Foot" has blaring horns that get so mind-numbingly repetitive, and is without a doubt, the worst song on the album. Without those two songs, I probably would have given the album a 4.5.
Is this better than Aim and Ignite
? No. But it's still a solid album, and is worth a couple of listens.