Alt Tuesday: fun.

It has been a long time since I have been so excited about a new release the week that it is released. The norm for bands these days is to continue re-releasing their first album with a twist on their lyrics and the rhythm of each track. But fun. has clearly gone against the grain and decided to be ambitious with its second release, Some Nights (released Feb. 21 on Fueled by Ramen).

The first track, “Some Nights Intro,” does an unbelievable job setting the tone, building gradually with Freddie Mercury-style vocals. The song comes to a climactic ending with lead singer Nate Ruess confidently hitting notes that are no where near the register of most singers. This leads directly into what I presume will be the second single, “Some Nights.” An anthemic track layered with a plethora of vocal harmonies, “Some Nights” keeps the energy of the album at an incredible high.

The lead single comes in the three spot (as on every other album that anyone’s ever made… ever) and features R&B singer Janelle Monae. Although the song has an undeniable hook, the cameo by Monae is very much unrecognizable and understated.  However, the chorus has been resonating over the airwaves for a couple of months now and there’s a reason for that.

Successful genre experimentation is one extremely unique quality of Some Nights. Stand out tracks include “Why Am I The One,” laced with clever lyricism and honesty that makes the listener believe the sincerity of Ruess’ heartbreak. It ends with a wonderful, fluttering string arrangement that gave me chills the first time I heard it. “All Alone” experiments with a hip-hop beat in the verses and “One Step” uses a big horn section to drive the song from start to end.

After several listens through Some Nights, I had difficulty picking out my favorite track because there were simply so many strong candidates. fun. has done something truly ambitious by experimenting with different genres and creating an album that is truly unique in an otherwise stale field of pop rock artists.

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