In Defense of fun. and the Sublime Blandness They Do So Well
Hey, man! What are YOU doing Saturday night? Wanna go to Radio City Music Hall with me and watch motherfucking fun.? Wait, where are you going? Dude, why'd you just unfriend me on Facebook? I just tried to email you and it bounced. I thought we were best friends, and now you're acting like you barely even know me.
But, like, okay. Here's why you should see fun. with me tomorrow, or at least not be actively mad that me and eight gazillion other people are gonna go see them.
One thing that's always concerned me is how the listening public (you included) gets really pissed off about things they don't listen to. Like, a band like fun. is essentially inoffensive and earnest, if more than a little goofy. There's no reason anyone who doesn't give a shit about modern pop-rock should be upset about them; they're not sonically odious, they don't appear to be a bunch of racists, and they seem happy to occupy the lane that they've found themselves in, which is That Band Who Makes Pleasant But Boring Pop-Rock Songs Who Aren't The Lumineers. Maroon 5, the former Band Who Makes Pleasant But Boring Pop-Rock Songs, are obviously a bunch of dickheads because Adam Levine is a human tribal arm tattoo. But fun.? They seem fine. I dunno man, maybe I'm missing something.
And have you listened to Some Nights? Doesn't count if you streamed half of it on Spotify while you were in the shower. I mean have you sat down and marinated in this auditory cardigan's sublime blandness, its perfect storm of faux-soulful (fauxful?) singer-songwriterneering colliding with super-universal statements that feel vaguely personal? It's almost a beautiful tapdancing-over-hot-coals act that Some Nights manages to accomplish, sounding like almost 38,496 different genres and pulling it off in the most innocuous way possible. They do Billy Joel doing Queen doing showtunes where the phrase "jack my style" still occupies the pinnacle of edginess and should be delivered with the exact phrasing of some plucky dude in a high school musical wearing rags and fake dirt on his face. They do 808's And Heartbreak-era Kanye songs that turn into Jimmy Eat World songs. They steal Hold Steady riffs and repurpose them for Elton John songs. They exist in a world where Sufjan Stevens and the dude who wrote the songs for The Muppet Christmas Carol would collaborate on a Lenny Kravitz album. The whole thing is lathered in AutoTune, the vocals are multitracked to fuck and back, and there's a nice slice of Key Lime Kanye Drums for dessert. fun.'s Some Nights is the Sgt. Pepper's of shit that sounds like other shit, and its dead-centerdom should be applauded. Remember: Some people's favorite ice cream is still vanilla, and some people's favorite music sounds an awful lot like the stuff fun. is coming up with.