Album Review: Fun, 'Aim and Ignite'

A week ago today, New York City band fun. (yes, that's how they spell it, don't blame us) played Chain Reaction in Anaheim along with OC veterans Hellogoodbye and Limbeck. Now, their debut album Aim and Ignite is in stores, and being that fun. lead singer Nate Ruess and myself are both former Phoenix residents, I reviewed the record in last week's edition of sister paper the Phoenix New Times. Since the album can now be bought, and all that, here's the review for what is sure to be a scintillating reading experience. (Oh, and they're playing an in-store at 7 p.m. this Sunday, August 30, at Fingerprints in Long Beach.)

The first lyric of “Be Calm,” the opening track of Aim and Ignite, finds Nate Ruess
narrating “as I walk through the streets of my new city.” The former
Format singer has always let his life affect his lyrics in very literal
ways, and his move to New York City and work with new band fun. quickly
prove no exception — which means there's at least some level of umbrage
Arizonans should take with the fact that the first single is called “At
Least I'm Not As Sad (As I Used to Be).”

But leaving Phoenix really does seem to have cheered the guy up, as he's joined ranks with Anthallo's Andrew Dost and Steel Train's Jack Antonoff
to create a record full of ornately crafted pop tunes. It's a natural
progression from the Format's second (and at this point, final) record,
Dog Problems — there's no stripped-down “On Your Porch” here,
with each song tilting toward the melodically chaotic and the
bombastically layered. Female backing vocals (“Be Calm”), rousing
harmonies (“Benson Hedges”), horns (“Barlights”) and steel pans (“At
Least I'm Not as Sad”) help diversify a familiar sound, and fans who
appreciated the more complex and less radio-friendly elements of the
Format should be grateful Ruess moved away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *