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Friday, March 16, 2012

The New fun. Fan's Guide to the Format

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 10:03 AM

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Statistically speaking, you or some iTunes user you know has, ton-i-i-i-i-ight, confirmed that he and someone else are both young and proceeded to set the world on fire.

fun., America's least search-engine-optimizable band--and, somehow, the first rock band since Nickelback to debut on top of the Hot 100--has the biggest rock hit in three or four years, and an enormous group of fans buying its album one song at a time over the internet. Its singer and songwriter, Nate Ruess, also has a back catalogue of two beloved indie rock albums from his days with a band called the Format.

For those new fun. fans, then, and for my own selfish desire to see one of my favorite bands get a second life as the Uncle Tupelo to fun.'s Wilco: A brief guide to the Format, for people who don't realize how much they love the Format yet.

"We Are Young"--It's tough to find a song from anybody that's quite as anthemic or of the moment as fun.'s current hit, which has been resilient enough to fight off challenges from a full cadre of booming, echoey '80s-throwback dance tracks atop the iTunes charts.

But The Format did plenty of anthemic, too--"Let's Make This Moment A Crime," from Interventions and Lullabies, offers all of the rapid-youthful-intimacy bombast and the loud chorus, with, for better or worse, less of the Janelle Monae. It also sounds less like it was recorded to a tape filled with carnival sounds than most Format songs, which makes for an easier transition from fun.

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