Fun. – Aim and Ignite (2009)

No other band today other than Fun. fits the title as the modern-day Queen. Their quirky pop style of music is charming and infectious. Why it took so long for the media to recognize them is baffling. Fun. is indeed an enjoyable band. The catchiness of their music is irresistible, especially from their debut album Aim and Ignite.

The production, which can only be described as ‘bubbly’, is consistent throughout the course of the album. Nate Ruess’s clean, non-overbearing vocals blend perfectly with the music. The atmosphere is light and pleasing, which means that it’s ideal for both focused listening and background music without being distracting. The lyrics themselves are often adorable, but there are some select strange bits, such as “Light a roman candle with me/ Just a roman candle, you can wear your sandals/ And I’ll pour you just one cup of tea.” While there are a few other nonsensical lyrics such as this one, they hardly detract from the overall listening experience and it’s one of the band’s noticeable characteristics.

It is quite obvious that the band is largely influenced by Queen and other 60s bands such as the Beach Boys. The record opens with the standout track “Be Calm”, a song perfect as the introduction for the album. Skittish violins, flutes, and bells give way to triumphant brass and electric guitar, with Nate’s vocals going from soft and hurried to bold and inviting. The intention of the band is to have the listener be eager to hear more after the opening track, and this is just the case. “All the Pretty Girls” is a strings-laced, pop delight where Nate proclaims his troubles with a girl. Reggae-flecked “At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used to Be)” is optimistic to say the least, with a steady drumline and prominent, bright-sounding guitar. By far the catchiest track on the album is ‘Walking the Dog’, where its odd consistent clapping pattern is one of its most prominent characteristics of the song. There’s no doubt you’ll have the chorus stuck in your head for a while (“Na-na-nanana-na-na/I’ll never let you go-o!”).

Overall, this is what a great pop record should sound like. If your inner music snob turns its nose up at any mention of the word ‘pop’, don’t fret. There’s something for everyone in this album. The album maintains its bright style, but it experiments as well. Its clever use of orchestral instruments paired with modern-day ones add to the band’s appeal. It tends to stray away from the formulaic structure of most pop music and instead takes the listener on its own strange musical path. Sound fun? Indeed, it is.



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