CD Review: fun., Some Nights

Long before we reach Nate Ruess's mush-mouthed, Kanye Westish vocoder outro You're always holding onto stars in "Stars," the album's closing track, it's evident that Some Nights is fun.'s ascension to stardom. While the quirkiness, uniqueness, and flair for the dramatic that were found on the band's debut, Aim And Ignite, are still present, they've been paired with grand sing-along anthems and the end result is a truly phenomenal album.

Some Nights begins with four songs that totally engulf the listener. Things pick up right where Aim And Ignite left off with "Some Nights Intro," a piano-and-strings-driven Broadwayesque number that sets the tone for the disc. After the applause dies, "Some Nights" kicks in with its layered Freddy Mercury vocals and "Cecilia" drums. After that comes the standout anthem, "We Are Young," a song that's been featured everywhere from Glee to Super Bowl Chevy commercials to Billboard's Top 10. "Carry On," with its message of perseverance, is another anthemic tune, enticing the crowd to sing along at the top of its lungs. The album ends with the one-two punch of "One Foot," with its brash horns and emotional break, and the aforementioned "Stars," an up-tempo number that decelerates and fabulously disintegrates into nearly five minutes of Ruess and the vocoder.

Some Nights is full of hope, of overcoming, of reaching for the stars. The pictures painted in the lyrics aren't always pretty, but there's always a sense that things will get better, as a quick glance at song titles like "All Alright" and "It Gets Better" will prove. Along the way, we're treated to amazing arrangements, rich thought-provoking lyrics, and Ruess's astounding powerful voice.

So how great is Some Nights? It's easily the best album released thus far in 2012. But to claim Some Nights is a front-runner for the best disc of 2012 when we haven't even turned the calendar to March would be ridiculous. So try this on for size: fun.'s Some Nights is the best album since Arcade Fire's The Suburbs.

fun.'s Some Nights will be released on February 21, 2012. In the meantime, stream it below.

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