Album: The Killers: Hot Fuss
Street Date: June 15, 2004
Reviewed by: Kristen
1. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine - The bass line in this song is magnificent. It's really catchy and almost sounds like it'd fit into a disco song. Jenny..., is an appropriate introduction to The Killers/Hot Fuss, as it really embodies a lot of their style. Synthesizers blending perfectly with straightforward vocals, relentless guitar riffs, and perfect drumming make this track a favorite of mine off "Hot Fuss."
2. Mr. Brightside - My favorite track off the album, hands down. From the opening notes in the song until the end this song is an ear pleaser. Brandon Flowers' lyrics and vocals in this song could break one's heart. He sounds utterly heartbroken at points: "and I just can't look, it's killing me..." and determined at others "Gotta gotta be down because I want it all!" Not only is the emotion in this song reflected verbally, but in the instruments themselves. The guitars and synthesizer, the way they are played in this song simultaneously convey the emotion along with the vocals. If any song makes one give this band a chance, it's this one.
3. Smile Like You Mean It - Heartfelt lyrics and a reoccurring guitar riff really characterize this song. The guitar in this song is my favorite part of it, from the riff throughout the song to the solo. Again, the synthesizer plays out some of the emotion you can hear in Brandon's voice. Everything just really molds nicely together in this piece.
4. Somebody Told Me - The 'breakout' song for The Killers, and the first American single, this song is catchy and retro sounding. You would swear you were listening to a harder edged 80s Depeche Mode/Duran Duran/Doors song if you didn't know who The Killers were before hearing this. That's not a bad thing though, and, in fact, its one of the best songs I've heard in a while.
5. All These Things That I've Done - Besides 'Mr. Brightside,' this song is my favorite off the album. It starts off slow and bluesy, and Flowers' demonstrates his versatility vocally here. The chorus during the bridge is the best part of the song though, aside from Ronnie's drumming (which is superior here). "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier," sing Flowers and a backing chorus. Some might view it as "over the top," but I think it's a nice way to switch things up and add spice to the song.
6. Andy, You're a Star - This song starts off with a killer guitar riff and a sultry sounding synth riff, that resounds throughout the whole song. It almost reminded of an Oasis type song here, but then again, there is a choir in this as well, which adds flavor to it. But even without it, the song stands on its own.
7. On Top - Another great song, the band really works fully together on this one. Not one single element really stands out here, its all pretty even keel. The chorus is really upbeat sounding and the instrumentation is perfect.
8. Change Your Mind - The bass line in this song stands out, and is perfectly written and played, in my opinion. Again, Flowers' really displays he can sing really well and the lyrics in this song are some of the best on the album.
9. Believe Me Natalie - Ronnie's drumming on this song is phenomenal, and the synthesizer reminds me of something you'd hear on a Carousel, but the guitar, instrumentally is what draws one into the song. That and, of course, the vocals of Brandon Flowers. He gives a believable sounding plea to 'Natalie," and the flow of his lyrics really work well here.
10. Midnight Show - I think this song could be a potential single. It's catchy and people will be fooled into thinking its 'mainstream.' Dave Kuening displays his immense talent, again, on guitar, and Ronnie Vennucci's drumming is again really well done.
11. Everything Will Be Alright - This song reminds me of a Beatles song. Not a specific one, but just the sound of later Beatles. And here, it's a really good thing. Flowers' muffled vocals give the song a really neat sound, and the quietness of the song makes it almost mellow. Then the song picks up near the middle, but keeps the mellow feeling. It's really a fitting close the this album.
The Killers are one of the best bands to come out in about 5 years. Their sound isn't necessarily 100% new, but it's a combination of older music, and that makes it their own. Brandon Flowers has a really unique sounding voice. He reminds one of Morrissey, Jim Morrison and Simon LeBon all in one. And instrumentally, this band is tops. Dave Kuening on guitar, he is amazing in every song off this album, as is Mark Stoermer on bass. Ronnie Vannucci is a fantastic drummer, in the midst of several bands that must use studio drummers, he really stands out. "Hot Fuss" is an amazing album, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. There are no "filler" songs, every one is just as good as the other. It'll be well worth the money to purchase it.
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