fun. recently informed fans that they are not breaking up, but they are going on an indefinite hiatus for each member of the band to explore his own musical ventures. First, it was Jack Antonoff with his side project Bleachers. Now lead singer Nate Ruess has gone solo with the release of his first single, “Nothing Without Love.”
Unlike Antonoff who with Bleachers heads in a slightly different direction stylistically from fun., Ruess’ song sounds like it belongs on the band’s last album, Some Nights. Ruess does nothing to differentiate his solo project from his work with fun. The production of the “Nothing Without Love” sounds exactly like every song fun. has released.
The song starts a cappella with Ruess’ voice captivating the listener. Next a piano melody is added, followed by full instrumental backing. The song is an alternative-pop love song that is slightly generic. With lyrics such as “Oh baby show me a sign/ Send up a signal, that everything’s fine,” Ruess does not bring anything lyrically spectacular to the song.
Although lyrically the song is not impressive, Ruess’ voice shines throughout the entirety of the song. He commits to each lyric, forcefully delivering an emotional performance. Ruess’ unique tone and inflection give the song vulnerability and depth. Through his vocal performance, Ruess adds an unexpected intensity to the song.
“Nothing Without Love” is written and produced in a way to perfectly showcase Ruess’ vocal ability. However, due to this production, the song sounds like it was recorded by fun. Ruess does not stylistically differentiate himself from the band’s signature sound. It will be interesting to see if this holds true for Ruess’ debut solo album.