Vinyl Spotlight: fun. – Point and Light

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Every so often, our resident vinyl lover, Kiel Hauck, takes the time to talk about a recent vinyl release and gives a breakdown about everything from packaging to sound quality. Here’s his latest installment.

Believe it or not, we’re not quite finished writing about Record Store Day releases. This week, we’re taking a look at a very special release from fun. titled Point and Light. This 10-inch vinyl release features five demo tracks that didn’t make the final cut of the band’s debut album, Aim and Ignite. While this release doesn’t feature any brand new music (although many of the demos were previously unreleased), it was highly sought after on Record Store Day and we were fortunate enough to snag a copy. Let’s take a closer look…

Packaging and Presentation

There’s really no way around it – this release is extremely fun. While this is obviously a cheesy analysis, it’s certainly the truth. The cover artwork was done especially for this release, capturing the three members of the band in a wonderful display of color. The release opens in a gatefold with a large photograph of the band displayed on the inside. Included in the release is a poster, featuring all three members of the band in black-and-white photo form.

The record itself is a joy to look at. Pressed on clear vinyl with a splatter of rainbow color, this 10-inch record fits right in with the packaging and creates a uniform look of bright colors and popping images. If $20 seems like a high price to pay for a 10-inch record of five b-sides, you immediately understand the price tag once the record is opened. In truth, this is probably the best presentation and packaging of any record released for Record Store Day 2014, and is certainly one of my new favorite records from a visual standpoint.

Sound and Quality

It was made clear from the beginning that this was a collection of demos from the band’s first album, so we’re clearly not expecting top-notch production quality from Point and Light. These songs truly sound like leftovers from Aim and Ignite – stripped down, quirky, and a far cry from what the band has produced in the time since. That being said, if you’re a fan of Aim and Ignite or even old material from The Format, the five songs on this record will be quite a delight.

The best two songs on the release come in the form of “Light a Roman Candle With Me” and “The Gambler”. Both are slower, piano driven tracks, the first of which makes wonderful use of harmonies, while the latter features raw, but inspired vocals from Nate Ruess. These tracks feel warm and inviting in vinyl form, making the format of this release very appropriate. While this won’t be a record I spin regularly, it’s a great 20-minute investment when you need a quick indie-pop fix.

This release isn’t for everyone, but it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, Point and Light is a wonderful treat for hardcore fans of the band and vinyl enthusiasts who are passionate about time and effort spent to create an excellent visual presentation. I’ve already enjoyed showing this record off to several of my friends who all appreciate the care spent in creating the packaging of this release. If you’re a fan of fun. and are lucky enough to find a leftover copy of this in your local record store – pick it up immediately. You won’t regret it.

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by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

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