If you have haven’t heard of the band fun., you are not alone. But don’t fret, because you will hear them soon enough.
The band has rocketed to the top in what seems like no time at all. Their hit single, “We Are Young,” has spent 11 weeks on Billboard’s Top 100, hanging out at No. 1 for the past three weeks. It is also No. 1 on Billboard’s Chart for Digital Songs with over 1.5 million downloads sold so far, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Fun. is the first rock band in over a decade to hit the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Top 100. The previous owner of that spot was Nickelback in 2001 for their song “How You Remind Me.”
The band formed in 2009 after The Format, lead singer Nate Ruess’ first band, broke up. He teamed up with Andrew Dost of Anathallo and Jack Antonoff of Steel Train to form fun. The band released its first album, “Aim and Ignite,” on Aug. 25, 2009. The album experienced positive reception from the music industry; Drew Beringer from absolutepunk.net described it as “what a pop album should sound like” and called it “the most essential pop album of 2009.” However, it only reached position 71 on Billboard’s Top 200 list and position 23 on Billboard’s Rock Albums chart.
Fast forward to Sept. 20, 2011 when the single “We Are Young” dropped. In December 2011, the single came in at position 53 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list but quickly fell off. The track was given to “Glee” producers. Once the song was performed on the show in December 2011, it had a 1,650 percent jump in sales. The “Glee” version topped Billboard’s Digital Songs list and became No. 1 on iTunes and No. 12 on Billboard’s Top 100. When the original song was featured in Chevrolet’s Sonic ad during the Super Bowl in February, the band’s version took off. Sales after this commercial debuted accounted for 77% (1.1 million) of this single’s total sales.
fun.’s sophomore album, “Some Nights,” was released Feb. 21, 2012. Beringer calls it “the bold, adventurous and grandiose album that the Top 40 charts need right now.”
This album includes an intro that is classic fun., with a musical manifesto accompanied by an orchestra. Ruess’ unique voice provides a perfect foundation for the rest of the album. The album transitions into the first full track, the title track, which includes theatrical rock vocals reminiscent of Queen or Elton John. The energy of this song calls for an audience to sing along.
Next comes their popular single, “We Are Young,” which provides an energetic and beat-heavy anthem for anyone listening who understands the experiences of being young, including love and friendship. The motif of youthful experience continues through the next four songs.
The tracks that follow, including “Carry On,” “It Gets Better,” “All Alone” and “All Alright,” provide the listener with a look at the collective experience of being young and the slew of emotions that come with it. Fun. covers problems like the feeling of being alone and finding people who understand you, among others.
The album ends with “Stars,” which properly closes the album with a wrap-up of all the themes noted throughout the album. Musically, it is a beautiful fade out that takes away musical elements as the song goes on, ending with just Ruess’ voice and a repeating of the single lyric, “You’re always holding onto stars.”
The band’s genre has been considered indie pop mixed with alternative with a little bit of rock and moments of electronic. What I think we can all agree on is that “Some Nights” is an almost genre-less album. It’s no wonder this album is so dynamic, thanks to producer Jeff Bhasker, who has previously worked with Kanye West, Beyonce and Lana Del Ray. This is one of those albums that has the potential to define a generation, not only with its revolutionary dynamic sound, but also with its lyrics outlining those nights we all experience when we are young.
If you are lucky, you have tickets to one of three sold out shows in Colorado: the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins on April 3, the Ogden Theater in Denver on April 5 or the Fox Theatre in Boulder on April 6th.
Video Courtesy of Fueled By Ramen
Contact CU Independent Entertainment Reporter Ellie Patterson at Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org.