CD Review: fun.'s 'Aim and Ignite'

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Friday, September 18, 2009


"Aim and Ignite"

Kindred spirits: Panic at the Disco, Weezer

Show: Friday with Miniature Tigers at Jammin' Java. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. 703-255-1566.

Yes, here's another band whose members chose to spell its name in a way that drives newspaper copy editors crazy.

Fortunately the pop music created by the trio fun., made up of former members of the Format, Steel Train and Anathallo, is interesting enough to allow us to forgive. Think of some of the arrangements as theatrical, much like those on Panic at the Disco's 2005 debut, "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out," and you'll get the idea.

"Aim and Ignite," the group's debut album, makes the case for rule breaking with opening track "Be Calm." It begins with a swell of sweet violins and a touch of accordion that drift to the background as vocals, which at times ramble, at other times pause, telling the story of paranoia.

The band really shines, however, when the members play it a bit straighter. One of my favorite tunes on the album is "Barlights," an upbeat pop song that celebrates feeling alive.

Rule breaking is akin to eating candy. It's great at times, but gorge and you'll feel sick and crave something nutritious. Fortunately, fun. feeds both parts of our musical appetites.

-- Nancy Dunham

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