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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Track-by-Track: Fun. - Some Nights

It seems like I had heard so much praise for Fun's last album, yet for some reason I never got around to checking it out. So when they came back with this new release, I was interested to delve in. After all, I love a good indie-pop record (especially the "pop" portion). Turns out that, for me, this is really an album of peaks and valleys. The peaks are amazingly high. If only it wasn't for the valleys (but honestly, even they aren't so bad).

1. Some Nights Intro - I don't rate intros as a rule, but if I did, this would get a high score. It perfectly sets the scene for the next track in a dramatic, melodic way.

2. Some Nights - Perhaps the album's finest moment. A rollicking mix of rock, gospel, pop and bombast, this track sets the bar so high that the rest of the album struggles to keep up. I'd like to see the band follow this track for future work. It really is powerful. 10/10

3. We Are Young - The big hit single. It's wearing on me a bit after hearing it so often, but there's no denying that galvanizing, anthemic melody. Janelle Monae is completely extraneous, but she adds an interesting element, I suppose. 10/10

4. Carry On - A nice ballad. Nothing earth-shattering, but I can easily imagine this finding success on the radio. The chorus strives for the same rousing singalong nature of We Are Young. It doesn't quite get there, mostly because the song's more subdued, but it's close. 9/10

5. It Gets Better - Back to uptempo. The production here's very interesting. Frantic, cluttered and a cool mix of electronic and acoustic. The verses don't do much for me, but I love the chorus. 8/10

6. Why Am I The One - The album's best straight-up ballad. Though it takes awhile to get to the hook, it's worth it because the harmonies are simply gorgeous. It has a real throwback sound in the best way. It sounds like a lost AOR hit from the 70's. 10/10

7. All Alone - The album's first real foray into hip-hop influenced production. There's a reggae vibe too. In fact, the entire track is a hodgepodge of sounds that shouldn't necessarily go together. And yet it all works. 9/10

8. All Alright - This is where the album starts to sag for me. This certainly isn't bad, but the melody and production just kind of plods along. It's heading for epic territory, but I'm not sure it gets there. Missing some oomph, maybe. 7/10

9. One Foot - This is a bit more experimental. Over a spare, (very) repetitive brassy beat, this song is much more "chanty" (yeah, I made up that word) than melodic. In other words, it's an experiment that I'm not sure entirely works. 7/10

10. Stars - My least favorite track. Personally, I find that the high vocal parts grate and I really don't like the vocoder/autotune choices. I realize it's intentional, but this just seems to meander along. And at nearly seven minutes, that's a lot of meandering. Honestly, take it off the album and you've got a much better listen. 5/10

11. Out On The Town - I can't believe this is only a bonus track, because it's as good or better than half of the songs on the actual album. It's not necessarily the most memorable of the bunch, but its solid pop songcraft is a welcome sound after that last track. 8/10

Album Grade: 8.3/10

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Blogger Raul said...

Great Review , the album is amazing , a Sound of operapop with indie and rock elements , amazing album with great pop tracks like the Fabulous ''We are young''.

4:41 PM  

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