|Photo by: Amazon|
Key Tracks: "Some Nights," "Carry On," "All Alright"
No one could be prepared for the level of insanity fun. brings to their second album, Some Nights. Even fans expecting for the band to continue the theatrical, over-the-top, experimental elements from their debut could not foresee the levels of intensity and creativity on this record.
Many people will not enjoy the album though, but those people simply won’t matter. Because Some Nights is an album for people who love music. Not people who use it as background fodder while driving or writing a paper or to just fill the silence. It’s for people who lie down with their eyes closed simply taking everything in. For people who care about the complexities of harmonies and chords and arrangements. And for those people, when the final notes die out, they’ll open their eyes and ask themselves, “What the hell?” as they hit the repeat button.
The album appropriately starts with “Some Nights Intro,” a track that gives a fairly accurate glimpse at the album as a whole. The swells of sound and peppering of operatic elements give a nice ode to Aim and Ignite while still showing the band’s progression.
The track segues into the title track, an up-beat tune filled with Lion King-esque rhythms mixed with wonderful harmonies, chanting and the occasional heavy guitar riff. “Some Nights” features some classic fun. elements, including their pattern of building a song up just to drop off and let Nate Ruess’ voice take over. Ruess sums up the heart of the album with the lyrics, “My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she called ‘love’ / But when I look into my nephew’s eyes / Man you wouldn’t believe the most amazing things that can come from / Some terrible nights.”
“Carry On” is one of the more traditional songs on the album. It starts off with an acoustic guitar paired with the light strokes of piano keys. The track provides a nice breath of fresh air for those intimidated or overwhelmed by the complexities and loudness of earlier tracks. It simply lets Ruess’ vocals shine. Lyrically, it shows Ruess finally coming to terms with his past: “And it’s nice to know / When I was left for dead / I was found and now I don’t roam these roads / I am not the ghost you want of me."
It’s difficult to find low points in the album, but there are plenty of confusing ones. People who prefer undistorted vocals will suffer through “Stars.” Anyone familiar with Ruess knows that the man doesn’t need any help hitting the high notes. And the auto-tune positioned over a soft orchestral arrangement and chill rhythm add a surprisingly pleasant contrast.
The band incorporates a children’s choir on the eighth track, “All Alright.” Their soft voices blend with Ruess’ beautifully, adding an innocent air to the lyrics of failure and heartache. The track features some of the best orchestral arrangements on the album, making “All Alright” transcend typical ‘feel-better’ songs.
Overall, the album is a wonderful exploration into what pop music can sound like. Fans concerned with the band selling out after “We Are Young” being featured in a commercial and covered on "Glee" have nothing to worry about.
The album is so precise and intricate that after dozens of listens, fans will still discover something new. Some Nights still feature some classical Ruess elements. The lyrics are as personal as ever as he continues to sing about his gratitude for his family, failed relationships and his insecurities, yet are able to continue resonating with fans. Even though the album can sound extremely odd, it still sounds like fun.
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