Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

fun. – Some Nights

“We Are Young” had me playing Supergrass in my head whenever I saw the title; so far, this one’s bringing up Rod Stewart.


Iain Mew: In which fun. go beyond the limited concessions of their #1 hit and go full on Glee, so now you can see their true colours shining through. Their true colours, and that’s why I… ugh. 

Katherine St Asaph: Glee, Billboard’s new rules and all those fueled by ramen have made it so that these guys can follow up a No. 1 Jeff Bhasker slab with something that sounds like Jason Robert Brown scoring Once on This Island for vocoder, bagpipe and Wentz. I’m not sure I like this, but I am ecstatic that it exists.

Alfred Soto: So…”college radio” now listens to REO Speedwagon with tribal drums? Or is it Freddie Mercury fronting Kansas? 

Anthony Easton: I am a sucker for this Paul Simon/Peter Gabriel noise, even if I understand the significant problems with the politics of this white Pan-Africanness. In fact, I suspect that they are as aware of the political problems, and so I’ll give them a pass, mostly for the sheer pleasure of the middle chorus.

Jamieson Cox: Coco Chanel once offered up the following fashion proverb: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” The gentlemen of fun. could’ve used a quick glance at their reflections before releasing “Some Nights,” a song layered and stuffed to the point of gluttony. But I’m a sucker for harmony, and the lovely opening allows me to forgive the regrettable, Auto-Tuned warbling segment. I’d sing along in the grocery store; that has to mean something, right?

Josh Langhoff: About two thirds of the way through, right after Nate Ruess gets sucked into his nephew’s eyes and flips into his little Autotune cadenza, I realize I have no idea what or who this piece of music stands for. It builds a stadium singalong out of insular incoherence, like the verses of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” only even more embarrassing. Who wants to sing along to a 7th grade notebook line like “What do I stand for?” Especially around other people? All this business about martyrs in beds and lips building castles is icky icky icky, “jack my style” is Train-unforgiveable, and this guy can’t expect us to care about his sister if we only just met her. But, yes, this is a singalong, if only because I’m sure I’ll be singing along to it the rest of the year. If anything, the glorious drums and guitar ostinato and Ladysmith Black fun.bazo voices make me wanna get to the bottom of Nate’s narcissism, surely an impossible task, but more exciting for that.

Sabina Tang: Wanders from choral-Mumford into Train territory. It might have picked up a couple of points had it stayed out of the latter — or if it had been Glee‘s hypothetical cover of “Cecilia,” which it resembles en laid.

Zach Lyon: I probably enjoy whatever reference you want to throw at this song as a pejorative anyway — it’s fortunate that they meld the Speedwagon and the Gabriel and the Journey and the Queen together with such conviction. And the sum total might represent everything I can’t stand about my generation, but I guess it’s still my generation.

Brad Shoup: To save a little money and because my perfect sleepytime soundtrack is LAN parties, I lived with six other guys in a four-bedroom apartment about seven years ago. Our neighbors (four in four) were total sweethearts, and we bonded over one particular song: Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecilia”. It became a kind of party touchstone… when the song was summoned by shuffle, a group of us reliably ran to the stereo and belted it out. Whenever I’m at a party with at least one of those guys and “Cecilia” comes on — and we often ensure that it does — it still happens. That’s a roundabout way of saying “Some Nights” has a congruous melodic feel, but there’s something else, a breathless recitation that will lend itself well to someone else’s memorization and public recital. It’s the maximal alt-pop take on Kanye’s demons (untrustworthy associates, getting up off that cheap-ass sofa, AutoTune fascism, succubi). Everything I thought was unearned about “We Are Young” now scans like a tapestry. We can probably switch the period for an exclamation point now.

Jer Fairall: Overheard at HMV recently, on the topic of the latest fun. album: “It’s okay, but it’s a bit too Glee-like.” There’s no way I could say it any better than that.

One Response to “fun. – Some Nights”

  1. Minutial info: “this is it boys, this is war” is also a line in Nena’s “99 Red Balloons”.