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Walking The Dog / Be Calm by Fun

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Reviewed on 26th March 2010.

 
 

Walking The Dog / Be Calm

By Fun

The new double A-side single from New York-based three piece Fun. is one of those refreshing, un-classifiable releases where you wouldn't even know where to begin the pigeon-holing process. Both tracks are quirky, character-packed, and will capture the imagination of anyone who hankers after something a little bit different.

The backbone of the first track, 'Walking The Dog,' is a line of squeaky chord-plucking, around which Fun. meticulously construct a rag-tag collection of hand-claps, whistling synths, knocking percussion and Nintendo-core synths. It sounds like a musical nightmare, but in Fun.'s world, less is more, and each bleat of electronica and hand-clap is perfectly woven into the fabric of the song. The effect is a quirkiness that feels natural, un-laboured, and perfectly accessible. But the thing that'll really catch your attention, is frontman Nate Ruess, who twists and turns his voice into fresh, edgy shapes that occasionally even have a whiff of tongue-in-cheek comedy to them. The only thing that prevents this song from attaining perfection, is the fade-down ending, which always feel like a bit of a let down.

The second instalment of this double A-side, 'Be Calm,' is another track that is wonderfully difficult to categorise. Imagine the bombast of early Panic! At The Disco tracks (in particular 'Build God, Then We'll Talk') mixed in with the flair and passion of a show tune, and the occasional spasm of slick, boyband funkiness thrown into the mix - with a full supporting cast of cello, horns, violins and accordions.

After a short introduction of accordions, we're straight into operatic territory, as Ruess paints a tale of woe against a backdrop of stabbing strings. A quick dabble with funky, pop rhythms that'll have you itching to do some synchronised dance-moves, and 'Be Calm' begins the brass-studded climb into the gloriously overblown, operatic heights of the end-section.

Ruess is clearly having the time of his life with this song; belting out those huge, show-stopper notes during the tumbling horns and bombastic drums of the finale; shrieking along during the soaring, emotional highs of the mid-section heart-string-tugger, and jabbering playfully along in his best jazz-hands-inducing fashion during the rest of the track.

This is a double A-side to whet your appetite, offering up two songs that not only manage to be completely different from everything else currently on the market, but also completely different from one another. After listening to this, you won't have a clue what 'sort' of band Fun. are, and God only know what the rest of their 'Aim & Ignite' album will sound like, but you'll be dying to hear it, all the same.

 

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