fun: An Anthem For The Outsiders

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If the best pop songs are deceptively simple, then Nate Ruess is a master of deceit. Ruess, frontman for the now-defunct band The Format, created fun. with Andrew Dost of Anathallo and Jack Antonoff of Steel Train, and the new project continues The Format's tradition of anthemic choruses and self-effacing, slice-of-life songwriting. fun. spares no expense for its sharp lyrics and lush harmonies: The songs often sound as if they're backed by a full orchestra and choir, with more than a few passing references to Queen along the way.

Tuesday's Pick

  • Song: "All the Pretty Girls"
  • Artist: Fun
  • CD: Aim and Ignite
  • Genre: Pop-Rock
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With its dance-happy, sing-along sensibilities, the brilliantly catchy "All the Pretty Girls" is the definition of pop, complete with rousing percussion, gorgeous strings and Ruess' slick vocals. All the youthful angst in the world can't hide the song's dramatic arrangement. And while it theme seems juvenile, it's also credible, as Ruess reflects on a regrettable breakup between outsiders too cool for anyone except each other. Lamented are the difficulties of flirting — "I say, 'I've never heard the tune' / But I have, I just hate the band / 'cause they remind me of you" — and uncertainty after the end of a relationship. "Please don't make me face my generation alone," Ruess begs, at least half tongue-in-cheek. Experimental and edgy? No. But fun? Absolutely.

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