Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Songs #506 & 507 - It's TWOsday!

Song #506 of 9999                                     Song #507 of 9999

Title: Some Nights - Intro                          Title: Somebody to Love
Artist: fun.                                                  Artist: Queen
Year: 2012                                                  Year: 1976
Album: Some Nights                                  Album: 
A Day at the Races


I'm certainly not the first person to compare fun. to Queen. Anyone who's heard Nate Ruess's soaring tenor and has even the faintest clue who Freddie Mercury was would acknowledge the similarities between the two singers. The introductory track to the band's 2012 smash Some Nights connects the dots in permanent ink by turning the drama up to ten and adding a dollop of (unintended?) campiness to an arrangement that would have felt right at home among the Baroque masterpieces that populate Queen's pair of classic mid-70s offerings A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races.

What I really like about "Some Nights - Intro" is that Ruess and Co. allow for extra beats where the lyric requires it (for example, on "have you listened to me lately?") and vary the dynamic of the presentation in ways that are really impressive (and soon to be abandoned for the remainder of the album). These are the kinds of details that we hear in "Bohemian Rhapsody" and an assortment of lesser known Queen tracks that pay homage to the complexity of Romantic music, particularly opera.

That's one of the strange and delightful things about fun.'s seeming reverence toward a band whose heyday occurred before the birth of any of their members. Fun (I'm dropping the stylization now for sake of readability) is in many ways replicating the music of Queen, who were in many ways replicating music from an entirely different genre. And where Queen developed a propensity toward anthems ("We Are the Champions," "We Will Rock You," and the featured track of this post, "Somebody to Love"), Fun too seems to be interested in carrying that torch for the millennials ("We Are Young," "Carry On," and the title track).

My only question is "why so glum, chum?" Compared to Mercury's optimism, Ruess seems downright downhearted. Instead of "pray[ing] for a sign" or "wait[ing] for someone to save us," why don't you just put on a unitard and go find somebody to love? 

1 comment:

  1. Unitard is the answer to many of life's difficult questions.