If Fun.'s singer Nate Ruess hasn't killed more A&R careers than filesharing, it's certainly been close. Long before the music business sausage factory desperately churned out glossy Fun. singles in search of a hit—which they found in spades with last year's Some Nights—Ruess was at the helm of the Format, another band beloved (and heavily bankrolled) by the industry, yet never quite appreciated by the wide-eyed masses. Ruess' current success has been assembled like a modern-day music industry ship in a bottle: deliberate, painstaking, and with a generous incubation period that most artists would kill for. It's allowed the NYC-via-Arizona frontman to cultivate his style of bellowing every single lyric like IT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT WORD EVER. How the charismatic Ruess has sidestepped the churn-and-burn nature of modern big-budget recording remains a mystery, but kudos to him, and long may he continue to (over) sing each and every song like a small child in an audition for the role of Simba in The Lion King. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
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