Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fun.: Aim and Ignite Album Review

Long have I been listening to Fun.’s new album Aim and Ignite, with it’s insane poppiness and theatrical tendencies, how can I say “no?” I previously talked about their opening track “Be Calm” and a few weeks later I’ve only grown fonder of the song. Perhaps it’s one of my favorite songs of the year? Only can tell me for sure.

It’d be wrong of me to say that every song on Aim and Ignite lives up to the bar set by “Be Calm”, but the album does have a few gem that compensate for what the other tracks might be lacking. I’ll list off the best tracks, which have survived multiple upon multiple of listens: “At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Use To Be)”, “Gambler”, “I Wanna Be the One”. It’s hard for me to pinpoint what I love about these songs. In some ways it’s the subtle changes that I love about “the Gambler”, the slight inflections in Nate’s voice that set one verse apart from another, but at the same time I enjoy the dramatic changes, like going from common time to a ¾ waltz, in songs like “At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Use To Be)”.

The rest of Aim and Ignite is hit or miss to me. I wouldn’t say that there are any bad tracks; it’s just that not all songs can stand on their own. “Benson Hedges” and “All the Pretty Girls” are fun and upbeat songs, but they fall into the pattern of the typical pop song. Chorus, verse, chorus verse, chorus…without any element really standing out. Fun.’s strength comes from their theatricality and when the band fails to acknowledge that, they become boring and repetitive.

As an album I think Aim and Ignite is only good. However it’s the perfection of just a handful of it’s songs that make me want to call this record “great”. “Be Calm”, “At Least I’m Not As Sad”, etc. take an otherwise common place album and make it stand out. I can’t say this is one of this year’s best albums, but at the same time I can’t write it off as just another album.

I give Aim and Ignite 7.5/10 Bleeding Heads

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