Editor’s note: In this recurring column, music writer Chris Duncan suggests two albums to listen to this week. Have a suggestion? Send a tweet to @chr_dunc, and your pick might appear in next week’s Two Albums To Listen To.
Aim and Ignite — Fun.
Fun. came to worldwide fame with its second album, Some Nights, but its first project, Aim and Ignite, is a better testament to its pop roots. From full string sections to church harmonies and uplifting guitar, Aim and Ignite draws from creative sources all over the music spectrum. The album keeps listeners’ attention by forgoing the rigid structure of traditional pop music. Nate Ruess, Fun.’s singer and main songwriter, has a Freddie Mercury-esque style. His lyrics investigate the broader themes of life — insecurity, loneliness and relationships — but manage to stay witty and uplifting.
Tracks to listen to: “All the Pretty Girls”, “I Wanna Be The One”, “Take Your Time (Coming Home)”
Blue – Joni Mitchell
The 1970s were a golden age for singer-songwriters, and no artist is a better example of the decade’s strengths than Joni Mitchell. Built around Mitchell’s acoustic guitar and piano, Blue’s tracks are a straight-forward portrayal of emotion. Mitchell’s voice and storytelling skills render vignettes of love and heartache beautifully, incorporating details of regret and resolve. At times, her voice soars to new heights — before quickly descending to dark, somber lows. Mitchell’s transparent style on Blue lets audiences feel like they are witnessing her baring her very soul.
Tracks to listen to: “California”, “River”, “A Case of You”