Fun., a band known for its desire to create unique music without compromising their integrity, recently signed with a major record label, Fueled by Ramen, with the production of their newest album. Nate Reuss, a singer/songwriter known for his distaste for big record companies, wrote a song called “The Compromise”, effectively terminating him from his previous label. Every aspect of Fun. jabs at formulaic albums produced by record companies.
Reuss is a skilled vocalist who lifts songs to new heights with his vocal talents alone. However, he auto-tunes his voice on occasion which detracts from the music and covers up his true talent as a singer. Sadly, the auto-tuning is not the worst offense on the album. Drum loops and other technological innovations are sampled frequently by Fun.. They tend to try almost every single technological sound as if they had never used this technology before.
Even the lyrics have declined. Reuss’s talent has been in singing, not songwriting. He, at one time, wrote complete songs. However, he now writes half of a song and overly repeats the chorus to fill the gaps in the music. Musically, these songs don’t go anywhere and make the music uneasy to listen too.
Creating a sense of rigidity to the album, Fun. begins with their classic indie style and moves to teen rock, and electronic pop. While bands can explore many genres, if they explore too much in one album they lose their cohesiveness and create an atmosphere of confusion. Instead of crafting a nicely thought-out album, Some Nights remains as a collection of songs.
Aspects of Reuss’ talent do appear on occasion. The band’s old work shines through and redeems the album on many respects. Drawing inspiration from rock-legend Queen, Fun. does so in a respectful and energetic manner. They set the stage for an album that is much more musically focused than the one that follows. “Why Am I the One” sheds the gimmicks that the rest of the album uses in favor of a cleaner sound. The track “All Alone” creates a unique fusion of indie-pop with hip-hop, and the album’s bonus track “Out On the Town” manages to not overburden listeners with its drum loops. These brief moments, while showcasing Fun.’s potential, will inevitably leave many listeners disappointed.
Understandably, after signing to a rather large label, Fun. became enamored with all of their new shiny equipment. Fun. needs to rediscover what made them popular in the first place and create an album with those tactics. More money and equipment does not equate to better music. Hopefully, Reuss and Fun. will recognize this and attempt to do more with less on the next album.