We Are Young by Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe (official video) is an alternative rock song.
Song Title: We Are Young (official video)
Artist: Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
Album: Some Nights
Genre: alternative rock, adult pop, rock, adult contemporary, indie pop, power pop
Composer: Copyright © 2011 Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff, and Jeffrey Bhasker
Musical key: F Major
Lead Vocals: Nate Ruess, Janelle Monáe
Lead Guitar: Jack Antonoff
Piano: Andrew Dost
Bass Guitar: Andrew Dost
Drums: Jack Antonoff, Andrew Dost
Director: Marc Klasfeld
Producer: Jeff Bhasker
Recorded: 2011; Jungle City Studios in New York, and Massive Studios and the Village Recorder in Los Angeles, California
Released: September 20, 2011
Label: Fueled by Ramen, Nettwerk, Atlantic
Number of listens: 25627
Current rank: 60 (updated weekly)
Highest rank: 5 (play the video all the way through to register a vote for this song)
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: #38, 40 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
Radio Songs: #48
Digital Songs: #63
On-Demand Songs: #14
Adult Contemporary: #12 (twelve)
Canadian Hot 100: #30
Billboard information for the week of Oct 6, 2012
Billboard chart listings courtesy of Billboard Magazine
Summary quotation from Wikipedia:
We Are Young is a song recorded by American band Fun for their second studio album Some Nights (2012). It was released on September 20, 2011 as the lead single from Some Nights. Musically, We Are Young is an anthem that incorporates the genres of indie pop, alternative rock, and power pop. The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, with many noting the song as a breakthrough for the indie genre and praising the songs catchiness. We Are Young has attained commercial success worldwide, reaching number one in several countries.
The track initially only gained attention from online media, although it did receive its first commercial radio airplay on WDHA-FM during the October 2, 2011 edition of Anything Anything with Rich Russo. However, it was soon covered by the television show Glee. With the Glee version having success on the charts, the song was licensed for use in a Chevrolet Sonic commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLVI. The single song propelled the band into mainstream success, topping the digital charts in February 2012 and becoming a crossover hit, peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 through airplay on contemporary hit radio stations, topping the chart for six weeks straight. It is also the first song to log seven weeks of 300,000 or more in digital sales, a record that was previously held by Eminems Love the Way You Lie (2010). We Are Young has been certified five-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and is both Fun and Monáes first charting single on the Hot 100, as well as their first number-one single. The song also topped the Hot 100 Airplay chart with 120 million impressions in seven weeks, becoming the first group since Destinys Childs Survivor (2001) to do so.
An accompanying music video was directed by Marc Klasfeld at David Sukonick Concert Hall in Los Angeles. It features the group performing on a stage at a bar where a riot breaks out. As part of promotion for the song, it was performed at the 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the American late night television show Conan, and was used as the opening song at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards. The song is featured in the music video game, Rock Band Blitz. The song won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year at the 55th Grammy Awards, where it was also a nominee for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
Background and recording
The songs roots can be traced back to February 2011, when Fun frontman Nate Ruess met with high-profile hip-hop producer Jeff Bhasker in New York City. Ruess was anxious about meeting Bhasker, so he arrived early at the bar in the Bowery Hotel on the Lower East Side and had a little to drink just to make sure I was loosened up. Bhasker had just finished a long day in the studio with Beyoncé, and had decided to give Ruess 10 minutes. He had previously already canceled two meetings with him. The two began talking about music, and Ruess desire to merge hip-hop beats and electronic effects with pop rock intrigued Bhasker, who invited Ruess up to his hotel room to show him some Beyoncé tracks he had been working on. Slightly tipsy and feeling inspired, Ruess belted out the chorus for We Are Young, which at that time was an unfinished composition. Bhasker was taken aback and automatically freaked out, demanding he see the band for studio time in the next few days. The next day, Bhasker and Ruess booked a New York studio and cut a version of We Are Young not far from the final version of the track.
The band invited Janelle Monáe to provide guest vocals on We Are Young through her friendship with Bhasker. After being played the song, Monáe was enthused about the song and recorded her vocals in Bristol, England. Guitarist Jack Antonoff called We Are Young the bulls-eye center of the sound the band was striving for while producing Some Nights. The song displays the influences brought by Jeff Bhasker and hip-hop music. Antonoff agreed with the notion that the song was their de facto anthem: Its pretty rare, because any other projects that weve done, I dont think any of us have ever had that song that was like, This is our band, Antonoff said. Were proud to say, Listen to this one song, and then come listen to the rest. Here it is.
We Are Young is a power ballad that combines the genres of indie pop, alternative rock, and power pop. The song is written in the key of F major, based almost entirely on the 50s progression (I vi IV V) with the exception of its bridge, and follows a tempo of 116 beats per minute, changing to 92 bpm from the pre chorus to the end. The song has a slow hip hop groove from the first chorus onward, and the song in its entirety is in common time.
In the song, careful arrangements layer sharp, bright piano melodies with big, booming drums and multiple vocal harmonies. Ruess shifts from vulnerable verbal tumbling in the songs sonically sparse intro to the grandiose declaration, Tonight, we are young / So lets set the world on fire / We can burn brighter than the sun in the massive chorus. According to Spin, the song incorporates a marrying fist-pump stadium rock to the prim indie-pop of Grizzly Bears Two Weeks, keeping the deliberate beats and soaring melodies but replacing choirboy primness with a percussive whomp. Andrew Unterberger of Popdust compared the songs chorus to that of Pat Benatars Love Is a Battlefield and Supergrass Alright, and noted that nearly every word in the chorus is imbued with maximum passion and importance. Tim Jonze Guardian.co.uk described the chorus as anthemic and compared it to work done by Arcade Fire and stated that the lyrics were life-affirming and fit for a teen movie soundtrack.
Lead singer Nate Ruess says the lyrics were inspired by one specific night, after my worst drinking night of all time. Ruess told Rolling Stone that he was kicked out of a taxi cab for puking all over it. The cabbie was demanding all this money, and all I could do was stand on the corner with my head against the wall. It took me another day before I was a functioning adult and could actually write down the verses, he said.
The music video, directed by Marc Klasfeld, was filmed at David Sukonick Concert Hall in Los Angeles. It features fun. performing on a stage at a bar where a riot breaks out. A majority of the scenes were shot in slow motion with the rest shot in real time. The video opens with a girl (played by Rachel Antonoff, the sister of bands guitarist Jack Antonoff and girlfriend of lead singer Nate Ruess) messaging another person on an HTC Titan. On the screen a was a text message reading NOW! giving the implication that the message was possibly a signal to begin a flash mob. The girl then throws the smartphone into the middle of the bar where it hovers in mid-air. As the first chorus begins the girl gets a wine bottle smashed over her head as the patrons degenerate into a bar fight. Different types of food are thrown and smashed at various points in the video, most notably grapes. Large amounts of flour and confetti are sprayed across the stage from the left and right. People run, fall and fly across the bar. Streamers and a disco ball also fall from the ceiling. During the second chorus various glassware is thrown around and as a result, shatter. A couple kiss with food spread all over their faces and Janelle Monáe walks into the center of the bar and sings the first half of her bridge in real time and the second in slow motion. Monáes role in the video was described as being the eye of the storm. It is also implied that Funs performance mirrors the intensity of the bars atmosphere, as their performance becomes more intense and energetic as the video progresses. The video concludes with Fun ending their performance as the girl from the beginning of the video walks out of the bar smiling.
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