Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What You Should Have Heard #94

Some Nights

I was introduced to fun. A year or so ago when a friend directed me toward their debut album Aim and Ignite. It was an album full of indie pop enjoyment (I’m trying not to use the word “fun” when talking about the band “fun.”) that was catchy and a pleasure to listen to.

When I heard that a new album wasn’t long for release, I wasn’t necessarily excited, but I was definitely interested. The band definitely has a sound I can get behind. Then they released the video for “We Are Young.” Well, THAT’S when I became excited. Great video, better song.

I dragged Some Nights into my regular Spotify playlist with the intent of giving it a quick listen before heading over to Amazon and buying it. That’s when I hit a bit of a snag. For the most part, it’s a great album. The lyrics are powerful, and the vocals of Nate Ruess are clean and vibrant. The sound is generally louder, a bit more…electric. It sounds slick and well-produced. That’s not a criticism, just an observation. The snag, though, was caught as I was listening to “It Gets Better.” Synth beats aside, Ruess is all over the place with his reliance on auto-tune with this track. I hate auto-tune, and it just smacks of laziness when talented singers use it. I can almost forgive its use in “It Gets Better,” because that’s an upbeat track. It’s jarring and unforgiveable for “Stars,” though. It’s a slower track that, in my opinion, is ruined by the inclusion of auto-tune. It’s just ugly. Going back through the album, I end up noticing it on “Some Nights,” too.

Those are just two (albeit one glaring) speed bumps in an otherwise entertaining album. I really like the tracks where Ruess gets to let loose and belt out some lyrics. The end of “Some Nights (Intro)” has a wonderful intensity about it that really gets you psyched up to hear the rest of the album. I just wish this happened in more tracks to carry the momentum. Ruess comes close in “Some Nights,” “We Are Young,” and “One Foot” (probably my second-favorite track), but he doesn’t quite get there.

Did I like this album? Sure. It’s a fine album. Not perfect, but fine. Amazon currently has the MP3 album available for download for only $5. It’s totally worth it for that price. I’m very picky with what I purchase nowadays rather than just listening to something on Spotify, so I won’t even buy/download a mediocre album for $5, but this one is worth it.

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