It took me a long time to decided if I liked this album or not. I really enjoyed their last album “Be He Me” which was very different than “Such Fun.” Musically “Be He Me” was filled with urgency, tension, and even a kind of sadness. Lyrically it was abstract and mysterious. These were the things that really drew me into that album. “Such Fun” on the other hand has a much more playful sort of sound that was present on “Be He Me” but is now more in the forefront. I had such high expectations for “Such Fun” but I would listen to it over and over again and I just wasn’t feeling it. Then I saw these new songs performed live, got home listened to the album again, and it clicked. I realized “Such Fun” contained all the elements I loved about Annuals; crazy arrangements, varied instrumentation, wonderful percussion, amazing guitars, the whole gamut. But what was different was the vibe and the presentation.
What’s interesting is that the cover art is a painting from the late Bob Ross. And I think they chose his artwork without the slightest bit of irony. When you listen to this album it makes you feel like you’re in a Bob Ross painting with the happy trees and the chirping birds. These songs are playful, whimsical, and just fun to listen to. Where the irony comes in is when you listen to the lyrics. All the lyrics seem to be telling of a relationship gone awry. So you have this playful music coupled with some heavy subject matter. It makes for an interest experience to say the least.
My biggest criticism of this album comes from something else I noticed when seeing Annuals live. Their lead guitarist Kenny Florence is just amazing but on the album the lead guitar parts don’t shine through like they should. This is clearly an issue with the mixing and/or mastering, which I’m sure isn’t an easy thing to do on an Annuals album with all the different instruments and sounds they have going on.
Three of my favorite tracks are Down the Mountain, Always Do, and Hair Don’t Grow. Each of these three songs have this country music kind of vibe that I just love. Always Do features Florence rocking a lap steel guitar and Hair Don’t Grow opens up with this throaty, bluesy acoustic guitar, followed closely by some killer drums… that songs just straight up rocks. “Such Fun” took a while to grow on me and I’m sure glad I gave it chance because it’s a wonderful album.
I give it 4 stars.