Aim and Ignite

Aim and Ignite

by Fun.
5.0 5


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Aim and Ignite

Even in the early part of the 21st century when everything from heavy metal dub to unlistenable lo-fi shoegazer mumblings gets rave reviews in the online press, progressive rock still has a bad name. So when a band comes along claiming both ELO and Sly & the Family Stone as influences, you can't help but cringe. Thankfully, the oddly punctuated band known as Fun. doesn't take itself too seriously. It's progressive, but in the best possible way. Full string sections provide Beatlesque swells of sound, churchy harmonies hint at African American Gospel music and the swooning vocals of Queen, and, yes, the rhythm section does have some of the pop bombast of ELO, but the diverse elements all come together neatly in service of the song. The arrangements break down rigid song structures with an open-ended and open-minded creativity that ranges far and wide over the musical spectrum. This music needs to be listened to as an album, in one sitting, so you can appreciate the way the musical and lyrical ideas flow together and play off of each other. That said, there are moments of genius that grab you even on your first casual listen. "At Least I'm Not as Sad (As I Used to Be)" sounds like a long-winded country song title, but it's a cabaret-flavored rock song with a vaguely Latin instrumental break, big grand piano flourishes, a nursery rhyme chorus, and a big finish. The ambiguous lyric deals with the loss of friends, or maybe the loss of one's soul, and could be a parable about the music business, or just growing up, as Nate Ruess sings it in a tenor voice full of an adolescent yearning. Life-long love is not often addressed in rock music, but that's the subject of "The Gambler." You could call it the grown-up cousin of "When I'm 64," a long, beautiful, linear narrative that takes love from 18 to old age, making the journey sound lovely and worthwhile. "Be Calm" is based in part on the melody from Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," an old prog rock trick, but Fun. keeps thing moving brightly along. The song is about an approaching nervous breakdown, and the song's shifting tempos -- from jittery verse to soothing chorus -- aptly convey the singer's growing panic. In the '70s, a lot of prog rock was marred by pretentious or overly sincere or consciously mythic lyrics. Ruess, main wordsmith for Fun., doesn't fall into that trap. His lyrics have a way of investigating the larger truths of life -- loneliness, the struggles of maintaining relationships, growing up, insecurity, even death -- with a witty approach that keeps the songs bubbling merrily along on a positive note.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/25/2009
Label: Nettwerk Records
UPC: 0067003084727
catalogNumber: 30847
Rank: 37227

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Aim and Ignite 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
ameh More than 1 year ago
This album was one of those that you could listen to all the way through, only to go back to the beginning and listen to it all over again. It's something I've listened to repeatedly for months; whether it's to cheer me up, start the day, calm me down, whatever - this album can do it. Nate's voice is one of the best I've ever heard, and it's only complimented by the complexity of the songs. Being as picky about music as I am, I went into this with zero expectations, only to be happily sucked in within 30 seconds of the first track. This is one album I've recommended to everyone - family members, friends, anyone willing to listen. You could learn more about life from this album than you could from almost any other. Definitely worth buying.
fearella More than 1 year ago
It was an amazing album, sounds much like the Format, but (if its possible), even better! Great album! I recommend any Format fan, and maybe Steel Train fan, to purchase this album! Its worth every penny!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun. is a great and unique band. Their sound is so original. I first heard them when they opened for Jack's Mannequin this past year and the first thing I did when I got home was order the CD. If you like Vampire Weekend or Phoenix, you are going to love Fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago