Wednesday 21 February 2018

Charming pop trio are fun, but don't need Auto-Tune

John Meagher

John Meagher


Some Nights

(Hassle Records)


Fun -- or fun., as they like it stylised -- already have an Irish number one to their name. The song, We Are Young, is the biggest seller in the US this year to date -- having topped the Billboard singles chart for six consecutive weeks.

A slacker, indie anthem with a minor vocal contribution from Janelle Monáe, it's not the most likely chart-topper.

But after it soundtracked a car ad during the Super Bowl's commercial breaks and got the cover treatment in an episode of Glee, the sky was the limit.

Some Nights is the NYC-based trio's second album and it was reportedly inspired by Kanye West's sprawling, magnificent My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. It certainly embraces a glut of genres -- from Queen-like theatrical rock to full-on power pop with elements of folk and hip-hop thrown in for good measure -- and, although the results are hit or miss, there is an undeniable charm to the songs of Nate Ruess and friends.

The giddy title track will raise smiles as Ruess notes: "Some nights I rule the world with bar lights and pretty girls. But most nights I stay straight and think about my mom."

Less effective are the all-too-frequent moments when -- in full Kanye-adoration mode -- the band succumb to the temptation of Auto-Tune.

Let's hope we'll soon see an end to the curious fetish for this vocal manipulator tool.

Key tracks Some Nights; We Are Young

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