Unequivocally, the best album of 2012 so far. I keep running into people who haven’t heard it yet, or have, but not the whole record. Trust me. This is as good as it gets.
Lead singer / creative force Nate Ruess (formerly of The Format) sounds like a man possessed on this cabaret of an operatic blast of an indie-pop treasure. “We Are Young” is ubiquitous by now, and luckily unseated Nickelback as the last song by a band to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is great, but almost takes a backseat to the fire-blast of a Freddie Mercury opener that is the title track. With lines like “WHAT DO I STAND FOR?” and “SOME NIGHTS I STAY UP, CASHING IN MY BAD LUCK” sung in Queen-like harmony and declaration, it’s impossible to not lose your shit during it.
fun. lucked out by getting Jeff Bhasker to produce the record, which I think sounds more focused and cleaned-up than Aim and Ignite – check his credits.
With most records I like, I scan YouTube for live performances to see if the artist is the real deal. Almost every live capture of “Some Nights” (the song) is hard to hear because the crowd is going insane the whole time.
Here’s a great acoustic performance of “We Are Young” with Janelle Monáe:
Here’s a video of people going fucking apeshit at their show in Atlanta during “Some Nights”:
This record will be hard to unseat as my favorite for the year. eMusic even did a Six Degrees on it.