Album Review: fun., “Some Nights”

“Some Nights,” the second album from indie pop trio fun., was released Feb. 21 and holds its own against its hard-to-follow 2009 counterpart, “Aim and Ignite.”

Avoiding stagnancy through a tasteful experimentation with new sounds, the slower-paced release does not radically depart from what listeners adore and expect from fun.

 “Some Nights” possesses similar euphoric, larger-than-life musical arrangements, flawless, playful vocals, brutally honest lyrics and innovative inclusion of various genre styles that makes fun. difficult to categorize but always interesting to listen to.

fun. abandons the classical symphony-backing prominent in its debut, incorporating signature ‘80s pop elements like synthesizers and distorted 8-bit drum machine beats in its place throughout “Some Nights.”

The regrettable decision to auto-tune vocals on several songs is the only major mistake fun. makes on the album, as the robotic effect significantly detracts from the band’s strongest, unmistakable trademark: singer Nate Ruess’s pitch-perfect voice.

Consistent with fun.’s debut, “Some Nights” is uplifting both sonically and lyrically.

In the song “Carry On,” Ruess encourages listeners by singing, “If you’re lost and alone or you’re sinking like a stone, carry on. May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground. Carry on.”

Soul and R&B singer Janelle Monáe joins the band for a brief vocal appearance on the inspirational third track, “We Are Young,” and leaves listeners feeling empowered and capable of conquering the world.

The title track would fit well among songs from the soundtrack of the original “Lion King,” featuring heroic percussion and the stirring, Queen-like choir backing vocals and contagious joy for which fun. is renowned.