Saturday, December 19, 2009

"I knew nothing of romance, but it was love at second sight."

You know how every once in a while there's a song that gets you REALLY EXCITED? Yeah, all caps. A song that you listen to over and over because it's so catchy and skillful and wonderful? A song that's too good to be true, but it is true, and you can hardly believe it? And then you find out this song is part of an album and you worry that the rest of the album won't be as awesome because logically there's just not enough awesome to go around but then you listen to the album and you're completely bewitched and it's all you listen to for the next two months? That doesn't happen to me often. Nooo. But it did happen with Fun.

Actually, this feels like a superfluous post, because a few of you have already absorbed the win that is Fun. But I kind of just need to vent. I got Aim and Ignite a few weeks ago, and I downloaded their acoustic Daytrotter session today [three songs you can get for free here] and my fandom has grown so much since I first heard "At Least I'm Not As Sad." [Which you can get for free if you sign up for their e-list on their Myspace.]

Vocally, they're astounding. Andrew and Jack and Nate's harmony is pretty skillful, and just sounds nice. But the tonal quality of their voices is what I really like; it's just so wonderful to listen to! I don't know, I can't explain it, I like Nate's voice. Like the rest of their music, it's unique. And they sing well. On "Benson Hedges" especially, it's a hard song to sing, all their songs are, but they pull it off with skill. The vocals carry each and every song, and considering the loud and powerful sound of the instruments, they have to really belt it vocally. The result is so full -- I like it, I like it lots. [And hey, they actually enunciate when they sing! Yessss! WIN!]

Instrumentally, they remind me of Panic at the Disco on Pretty Odd, with accordion and all sorts of brass: trumpet, saxophone, tuba, trombone. They use percussion artfully, and the piano and violin that features on most of the songs if fantastic. Even "The Gambler" which is comparatively stripped down with just vocals, piano, and some violin and cello, it still feels completely rounded. There's no hint of guitar anywhere on the record, except on "All the Pretty Girls" and a distorted sound that might be electric guitar on "Walking the Dog." There's a lot of contrast in the songs, fast and full in some places, but slow and acoustic in others, the result being a song that builds along with the lyrics. Their sound is just really different, I can hardly compare it to anything, it's just unique. And that's partly why I love it so much.

Lyrically, they're not as spectacular or poetic as Sleeping At Last. But judging on a curve, Fun holds their own. The lyrics aren't choppy or forced, they flow nicely, and they're thoughtful. The token love songs are sweet, not sappy, and the token breakup songs are hilarious, not overly venomous. Mostly, I like that the lyrics are happy. Even when they're sad, they're happy. The theme of record feels like it's saying, "Even though your life is not what you thought it would, and even though you've been disappointed time and time again, you're alive, so go live." Or, maybe that's my overly idealistic interpretation. I was irked because "Take Your Time" drops a swear, but I got Hannah to cut it out for me with her Garageband skills. At any rate, the lyrics are quotable and just as catchy as the music.

I don't think I've ever written so much about a band before. But for a debut album, Aim and Ignite is absolutely fantastic. They're all extremely skilled musicians, and every single track is off the hook. I'm a fan. You should be a fan, too.


Michael said...

"Now at least the birds are singing to me, but what they're trying to say, I don't know!"

Siobhan said...

i just looked up this band.

now i'm a believer.

Micah E. said...

I think I've heard At Least I'm not as Sad on the radio before. I like that one.

I dunno, I wasn't really that impressed with the other downloads.

Justin said...


how did you hear of their greatness?