Album Review: “Some Nights”


“Some Nights”

Music Critic and Music Critic

Grade: B+

Indie pop trio, fun.’s rise to mainstream success is definitely one of 2012’s biggest surprises, or is it?

By now you’ve already heard the brilliant lead single (which features Janelle Monae) “We are Young” on constant rotation on the radio. The song starts off sounding like The Fray with soft pianos and introspective lyrics, then explodes with a huge monster of a chorus.

The fact that “We are Young” hit number one on the charts is no surprise; it may be destined to be the anthem of the summer. What the real surprise is is that longtime indie mainstay Nate Ruess (formerly of The Format) is about to be the next big pop star.

Ruess and fun.’s sophomore effort “Some Nights” is packed with undeniable pop songs that manage to be catchy as well as musically advanced. There is some obvious Kanye West influence throughout the album, and that is likely due to the album being produced by Jeff Bhasker, who also was the musical genius behind West’s magnum opus, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”

The instrumentation on “Some Nights” manages to have variety while still being pretty cohesive. Bhasker and fun. give you a blend of piano, guitar, synth, horns and strings to create the soundscape for Ruess to unload his neurotic lyricism and Freddy Mercury-esque vocals.

Songs like the title track (which is sure to conquer within a couple of months) and “Why Am I the One” are perfect examples of Ruess’ unmatched ability to create euphoric, explosive choruses.

Lyrically “Some Nights” is the indie pop answer to Drake’s “Take Care,” which delves into topics such as alcohol, relationships and basically trying to figure out what to do with your life.

“It’s All Right” (which is co-produced by Jake-One) sings about a former love: “I got nothing left inside of my chest, but that’s all right” and “I gave everyone I know, a good reason to go.”

And on the title track Ruess sings about a night of drinking in a way that only the Canadian rapper could match as he questions: “What do I stand for? Most nights I don’t know anymore.”

“Some Nights” is consistently catchy, introspective and well, fun. But there are a few missteps including the pop-punk inspired “It Gets Better.” It is the most polarizing song on the album; it could either be extremely catchy or obnoxiously repetitive; I choose the latter.

But overall, “Some Nights” is one of the first great albums of 2012, and it will be in constant rotation throughout this wonderful spring weather on into the summer.