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Fun: Some Nights
For energised tracks that set a listener on an inspired road, the American indie-pop band Fun hits the spot with a genre of upbeat music accompanied by the gifted vocals of Nate Ruess that, in the right moment, resemble Freddie Mercury’s vocal flexibility. The positive vibes on the band’s second album, Some Nights, is doubled with an undeniable enthusiastic theme matched with memorable melodies.
One example of such memorable tunes is the successful collaboration with soul musician Janelle Monáe. ‘We Are Young’, which might be considered the band’s introductory single for some, has a tempo change that complements the already unique rhythm belonging to the motivating lyrics. The first track of the album, titled ‘Intro’, offers a sneak peak to what the rest of the album holds.
Once the album kicks in with ‘Some Nights’, the drum line and marching beats that listeners have been waiting for surface. It goes a bit overboard in ‘It Gets Better’ with exaggerated 90’s pop keyboard tricks, but luckily it calms down in ‘Why Am I the One’; which has a soft guitar intro and allows Ruess’s voice to stand out in a swaying melody that is simple and capturing at the same time.
Even though some lyrics are depressing, such as ‘I feel so all alone’, the band manages to express them in a bubbly manner that doesn’t leave a sad impression. However Some Nights falls in a pit with ‘Stars’; which is by far the worst track on the album. It’s difficult to understand why a band that has a great vocalist would resort to using an annoying auto-tune technique that just ruins the song.
With the exception of ‘Stars’, the good thing about Some Nights is its lack of cheesy and predictable lyrics; and while the songs are moving and lyrically deep, they come out clean of any repetition or exaggerated drama.
It doesn’t feel like Some Nights has any filler tracks that are just there for the sake of quantity; each song has a life and a character of its own. Maybe there are some weaker links when compared to the stronger tracks of the album, but still, the album overall is definitely a good mood-setter that shouldn’t be missed out on.
Album opener ‘San Angeles’ will get feet moving and booties shaking, but the rest of the album is decidedly more post-rock oriented. The influences of Pink Floyd only really make a grand appearance on psychedelic tune ‘Lunar Drift’, with its spooky synths and echoing bass line.
‘The Eliminator’ takes the listener back to the eighties again, as the repetitive electronic beat that is used sounds a lot like the 8-bit sounds that were the backdrop for many early eighties video games. Imagine the aforementioned desert wasteland turning 8-bit coloured.
The eighties also dominate in the strummed intro to ‘Martin Rev’, evoking memories of Survivor’s ‘Eye of the Tiger’. You’d almost think the guys of Maserati had wished they were making music a few decades ago.
“I think of you...I haven't slept”; the opening lyrics to Coldplay’s sixth studio album Ghost Stories.
The opening track, Always in My Head, leaves little to the imagination when it comes to Chris Martin’s heartache. Released just two months after the band’s lead singer split, or “consciously uncoupled”, with his wife Gwyneth Paltrow, it is no coincidence that the album’s bursting with such despair-filled lyrics.
The album’s cover adds an element of creativity to it. At first glance, you see two angel wings etched over a gloomy, star-filled sky. Take a second look at it after listening to the melancholic track-list and you find yourself seeing a heart equally broken into two.
Magic, the album’s single, follows through with a humble yet achingly beautiful and consistent drum beat under Martin’s smooth vocals making this tune calm and soothing to the mind.
The same band that, almost 14 years ago, released the ever-loved 'Yellow' crooning that the “stars shine” for their beloved, now describe them as “a sky full of stars” in the second single of the album. 'A Sky Full of Stars' is a , peculiur, collaboration with Swedish DJ, Avicii, and is possibly the only track on the album that enticed us to move a few joints along with its hyper-electric tunes. The equally gleeful music video features a rather happy Chris Martin casually strolling through streets, strumming his guitar and carrying his drum set on his back as passer-by’s cheer him on.
'True Love' presents perhaps the most sob-worthy lyrics as Martin wilfully pleads “Just tell me you love me... if you don’t, then lie to me” along the chilled-out, mellow background beat. The same tone is set for pretty much most of the album with Another’s Arms, Oceans and Midnight all hosting the same theme of a shattered love. The songs’ slow, relaxed melodies offer quite the paradox when compared to Mylo Xyloto, the band’s fifth album’s feet-stomping, head-bobbing tunes; the likes of Paradise and Hurts Like Heaven.
'O', the final song on the sorrow-ridden album sent a chill down our spines as it sounded like a ballad straight out of a Bon Iver album. Martin’s high-pitched yet soft extended wails quickly reminded us of an old favourite; Bon Iver’s I Can’t Make You Love Me.
Ghost Stories, with its gothic tones and aching lyrics definitely, at times, made us flinch. The album’s chilled out vibe, however, make it quite perfect for listening to whilst calmingly lying on the beach, taking a lonesome walk or simply being in the mood for something a little more mellow.