Everyone has heard Fun’s “We Are Young” by now. In fact, it has become an anthem of youth (“tonight we are young, let’s set the world on fire….we can burn brighter than the sun”), boasting a cross-over appeal from indie-rock to mainstream audiences. The track became the first debut single by a rock band to ascend to the summit of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in over a decade. The intro to “Some Nights” sounds like My Chemical Romance doing Glee at Artscape, but that’s not a bad thing.
The title track begs the question whether fame and fortune is really worth giving up a normal life. The lyrics are sombre, in contrast with its pulsating, infectious rhythm. “So this is it? I sold my soul for this? Washed my hands of that for this? I miss my mom and dad for this?” laments lead singer Nate Ruess. “Carry On” ,a melodic rock song about hope, is a subtle reminder not to let one’s struggle hold you back or define you. “It Gets Better” is an angsty, emo anthem reminiscent of Blink 182 in their prime. So is “Why Am I Alone”.
“All Alright’ is a reminder that, even though you may sometimes crash and burn, the important thing is to rise to the challenges life throws at you. No other song expresses the band’s struggle to achieve mainstream success better than “One Foot”. The song speaks of a tortured artist, ready to give up, but still holding on:
“I am over twenty-five
And I can’t make a name for myself
Some nights I break down and cry
I’m lucky that my father’s still alive
He’s been fighting all his
And this is all I’ve ever known
May his soul live forever in my song”
The dreamy “Stars” and catchy 1980’s synth pop song “Out On The Town” complete the record. It is clear from listening to the album, Fun is a band that would prefer performing on a rooftop full of hipsters, rather than sell out massive arenas, but there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it is refreshing to find a band that is not obsessed with mass media explosion, and would rather focus on their music. Their indie-rock confection is an enjoyable album with legs, assuring fans that these guys have a solid career ahead of them. Get yourself a copy soon.
Hits: “Some Nights”, “We Are Young”, “Carry On”, “One Foot”
Misses: There are no particularly bad songs on the album, I just didn’t care much for “All Alone”.
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