Fun.'s "We Are Young": Why This Song Sucks | West Coast Sound | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
Why This Song Sucks

Fun.'s "We Are Young": Why This Song Sucks

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Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 5:00 AM

[Editor's note: Why This Song Sucks determines why particular tracks blow using science. It appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday.]

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Song: Fun.'s "We Are Young"

History: Fun. are a band from New York. (We are not going to do that period thing anymore.) "We Are Young" is the first single from their second album. If you have ears and are not deaf then you have heard it. Ostensibly, it is brilliant, the actualization of cool. Which is why it can only aptly be described as the most nefarious, most misleading musical project of the last twenty years.

Atmospherics: Anthemic everythings.

Scientific Analysis: Fun would appear to exist within the parameters of science. I mean, dudes, their lead singer, Nate Reuss, obliquely looks like Guy Pearce and Guy Pearce was in a movie called Time Machine and in that movie he played a scientist who invented a time machine and used it to go forward in time and fought some monsters that lived underground and if I'm not mistaken that's basically the whole point of science, bro.

click to enlarge time_machine_poster.jpg
But that's largely why this whole thing is so effective. They're dangling reason in your face and engaging in witchcraft behind your back. The song is a farce, a dastardly magic trick played on not only your ears, but your eyes as well.

For your ears: This song is wonderfully interesting the first time you hear it, or even if you hear it occasionally in commercials in whatnot (I swear to God I thought I wanted to buy a fucking Chevy Sonic when they started using "We Are Young" as their theme song). There are interesting arrangements (the level changes are especially fun) and interesting drums (there are few finer moments in all of music right now than the opening stanza) and interesting songwriting ("My seat's been taken by some sunglasses asking 'bout a scar") and interesting supplemental vocals from a girl with interesting eyebrows. But listen to it more than twice in a row, or even all the way through at a high volume. Its charm unravels itself quickly; it all just becomes too much. It's like those marshmallow Peeps. Eat a couple and they're delicious. Eat more than three and you'll want to murder everyone standing near you. There's a reason they only sell them on Easter, is what I'm saying.

click to enlarge The Marshmallow Peeps Corollary
  • The Marshmallow Peeps Corollary
More dastardly though is the trick it plays on your eyes. To wit: the video.

Watch the video for a second. Marvel at it. That's what 74,000,000 have done since it was uploaded to YouTube five months ago. But, to be clichéd about it, in appreciating it you're missing the forest for the trees. What Fun does here is utilize the time-tested Slow It Down, Make It Look Cool As Shit video technique. Everything always looks more interesting when it's slowed down and played over music. Like this:

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