Aim and Ignite

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Aim and Ignite
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 25, 2009
ProducerSteven McDonald
fun. chronology
Aim and Ignite
Some Nights
Singles from Aim and Ignite
  1. "At Least I'm Not as Sad (As I Used to Be)"
    Released: May 5, 2009
  2. "All the Pretty Girls"
    Released: November 4, 2009
  3. "Walking the Dog"
    Released: August 16, 2010

Aim and Ignite is the debut studio album by American indie pop band fun. It was recorded at Appletree Studios.


On February 4, 2008, The Format broke up.[1] Soon after, vocalist Nate Ruess had called up Jack Antonoff, from the band Steel Train and Andrew Dost of Anathallo,[2] They created the band Fun. and headed into the studio with producer Steven Shane McDonald.


The album was described as "what a pop album should sound like" and "the most essential pop album of 2009" by AbsolutePunk.[3] AllMusic compared the trio to Queen and the Electric Light Orchestra.[4] It was said "it used previous Format tricks like using bright horns and sophisticated harmonies".[5]


On April 20, 2009, it was revealed that fans could download "At Least I'm Not as Sad (As I Used to Be)" for free upon signing up with the band's mailing list. In addition, it was mentioned that the band's debut album would be released in August.[6] Between late April and early June, the band supported Manchester Orchestra on their headlining tour of the US.[7] On May 19, Aim and Ignite was announced for release in August. In addition, the album's track listing was revealed.[8] In August, the band went on a tour of the US with Hellogoodbye, Limbeck and My Favorite Highway.[9] Aim and Ignite was released on August 25 through Nettwerk.[10] Two of the bonus tracks are re-imagined versions of songs on the CD, and two are remixes.[11] The title of the album comes from a line of the lyrics on the track "Light a Roman Candle with Me".


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[13]
The Aquarian WeeklyB+[14]
Melodic4/5 stars [15]
Music Emissions5/5 stars[16]
Redefine (magazine)A−[18]
Rock Sound(8/10)[19]
Sputnikmusic3.5/5 stars[20]

Aim and Ignite was released to positive reviews.'s Drew Beringer praised the album, calling it "what a pop album should sound like" and "the most essential pop album of 2009".[12] Allmusic called the album "progressive, but in the best possible way" and admired Ruess's lyrics for "investigating the larger truths of life...with a witty approach that keeps the songs bubbling merrily along on a positive note".[13] Dave de Sylvia of Sputnikmusic wrote, "Aim and Ignite isn’t the most consistent pop album around," but he ultimately commended the album as "a superbly mixed and arranged album made by musicians who clearly understand the limits and potential of pop music".[20]

Estella Hung of PopMatters was less impressed with the album, praising songs "Be Calm" and "The Gambler", but criticizing the lyrics and production of the album's early tracks. Hung concluded that while Aim and Ignite is "pretty original to say the least", it "fails to live up to the Format’s last outing".[17] Popdose's Ken Shane called the album "an interesting and unusual listen". Shane applauded the album's songwriting and said "many of the songs are really good", but he objected to the "cute" production, desiring to hear the band "in a more stripped-down form. He ended his review with: "I have a similar problem with Dr. Dog, a band that was recommended to me by a number of people. I think much of their recorded work is too fussed over, but when I saw them live and their sound was more stripped down out of necessity, emphasizing their powerful songwriting, I thought they were wonderful. Perhaps the same fate awaits me with Fun."[21]

The album reached number 26 on Sputnikmusic's top 50 albums of 2009.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff and Sam Means except where noted.

Aim and Ignite[22]
1."Be Calm"4:10
2."Benson Hedges"4:00
3."All the Pretty Girls"3:23
4."I Wanna Be the One"3:37
5."At Least I'm Not as Sad (As I Used to Be)"4:07
6."Light a Roman Candle With Me"3:05
7."Walking the Dog"3:41
9."The Gambler"4:12
10."Take Your Time (Coming Home)"7:52

iTunes bonus tracks

  1. "Stitch Me Up" (Ruess, Dost, Antonoff) – 4:05
  2. "Walking the Dog II" – 4:31
  3. "Take Your Time (Acoustic)" – 3:57
  4. "Walking the Dog (RAC Mix)" – 4:30
  5. "All the Pretty Girls (RAC Mix)" – 4:25

Unreleased tracks

  1. "Jumping the Shark"[23]



Additional musicians[edit]

  • Jas Thor – trombone (tracks: 4, 6, 8)
  • Double G – saxophones (tracks: 5, 8)
  • Lara Wickes – oboe (track 4)
  • Phil Parlapiano – accordion (track 1)
  • Mike Whits – viola (tracks: 5, 6, 9)
  • Ina Whits – violin (tracks: 5, 6, 9)
  • Timothy Loo – cello (tracks: 5, 6, 9)
  • Vanessa Freebairn-Smith – cello (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 6)
  • Neel Hammond – violin and viola (tracks: 1–6, 9)
  • John O'Reilly – drums (all tracks except: 7, 9)
  • Steven McDonald – bass (all tracks except: 2, 9)
  • Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. – calliope (track 1)
  • Christopher Bautista – trumpet (tracks: 1, 8)
  • Connie Corn – vocals (tracks: 2, 8, 10)
  • Karen Mills – vocals (tracks: 2, 8, 10)
  • Ida Relhm – vocals (tracks: 2, 8, 10)
  • Anna Waronker – vocals (tracks: 1, 5)
  • Rachel Antonoff – vocals (tracks: 1, 4, 5)
  • Steven Shane McDonald – vocals (tracks: 4, 10)


Chart (2009) Peak
US Billboard 200[24] 71
US Alternative Albums (Billboard)[24] 20
US Digital Albums (Billboard)[24] 24
US Rock Albums (Billboard)[24] 23
US Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[24] 3


  1. ^ "Important".
  2. ^ "Truth in Words, in Rhymes, in Notes: An Interview with Nate Ruess of Fun. – The Airspace". 13 April 2012.
  3. ^ "".
  4. ^ "Aim and Ignite – Fun. – Songs, Reviews, Credits – AllMusic".
  5. ^ "fun.: Aim And Ignite".
  6. ^ "FUN confirmed for Manchester Orchestra tour". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. April 20, 2009. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  7. ^ "Manchester Orchestra announce spring tour with Audrye Sessions". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. February 23, 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  8. ^ "Fun. announce debut album tracklisting". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. May 19, 2009. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  9. ^ "Hellogoodbye plan West Coast tour". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. June 11, 2009. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  10. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-11-13.
  11. ^ "Aim and Ignite is out today! Listen to a special track now". 25 August 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-02-07. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  12. ^ a b Beringer, Drew (25 July 2009). "Fun. – Aim & Ignite – Album Review". Archived from the original on 28 November 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  13. ^ a b Aim and Ignite at AllMusic
  14. ^ Friedman, Eric. "Fun.: Aim And Ignite". The Aquarian Weekly. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  15. ^ Wippsson, Johan (February 18, 2010). "Fun. - Aim and Ignite". Melodic. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  16. ^ Kwon, Lisa. "Fun. – Aim And Ignite Review". Music Emissions. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  17. ^ a b Hung, Estella (18 November 2009). "Fun.: Aim and Ignite < Reviews". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 20 November 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  18. ^ Hernandez, Karla. "Fun. – Aim And Ignite album review". Redefine. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  19. ^ Kearns, Emily. "Fun. – Aim And Ignite – Album Reviews". Rock Sound. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  20. ^ a b de Sylvia, Dave (18 August 2009). "Fun. – Aim and Ignite Review". sputnikmusic. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  21. ^ Shane, Ken (27 August 2009). "CD Review: Fun., "Aim and Ignite"". Popdose. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  22. ^ ASCAP, Database. "ACE Title Search". ASCAP Database for Fun.
  23. ^ Parts of this song are used in Eminem's song "Headlights"
  24. ^ a b c d e Aim and Ignite – Fun. |