The first must-see music video of 2012 has already been preceded by both an artful perils-of-peeling teaser and a stirring, acoustic vid seemingly shot adjacent to a bank vault. Oh, and a performance by the "Glee" cast too.
The official, real-deal version of Fun.'s "We Are Young" video premiered Monday on MTV.com, and I mention all the lead-up not just because it was rather unprecedented (especially for a band this green; they've released just one studio album to date), but because, rarely, if ever, does the final product live up to the advanced hype.
Except this time, it does. The latest — and, one can assume, last — version of "Young" is a gorgeous, gasp-inducing thing, a swirling, slow-motion snow globe of imagery that gradually envelops the band (and guest vocalist Janelle Monáe). Bodies sail through the air. Bottles shatter and seemingly hang in space. Booming cannons launch glittering bits of detritus skyward. It is, at turns, strangely violent — since, in theory, the video is just a bar fight stretched and slowed across four minutes — slightly touching and, of course, sublimely pretty, the rare marriage of style and substance. And it's all thanks to director Marc Klasfeld, the old pro who has turned in no shortage of eye-catching clips over the years, like Against Me!'s "I Was a Teenage Anarchist" and Jay-Z's "Girls, Girls Girls."
It is the kind of eye-catching video that generally launches bands upward, and given everything that's led up to its debut (and Fun.'s upcoming sophomore album, Some Nights, due February 21), you kind of get the feeling that trend could continue once again. But the thing that separates "Young" from so many of its inbox-clogging contemporaries is that the song it's promoting is actually really good too — a big, bold ballad that just keeps building and building, one that manages to capture both the wide-eyed optimism and the burgeoning, world-weary pessimism of millennial youth (or whatever you want to call them). You will pump your fists to it, send your bodies sailing to it, cry to it and, most importantly, shout along to its anthemic chorus. You know, if you haven't been doing so for months already.
With their bold new video and bombastic new single, Fun. serve notice that 2012 may very well be their breakout year. Heck, it's never too early to call these things — especially since we've been given advance warning since, well, last year. But it was worth the wait.