How do you classify The Killers? I'm not sure, so I looked it up on Wikipedia: they were no help. So here they are, under the tag pop. I use pop only to mean popular (a rather objectively ascertainable value), and is not intended to be derisive. Difficult to pin down to one genre (generally a positive, IMHO), The Killers play music drawing on influences as diverse as i.e. Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Cash and Pet Shop Boys (source: Wikipedia).
Is this retrospection—they released an album in 2013 and are planning another! To this I can only answer: maybe it isn't retrospection. But sometime after 2008, after the release of Day & Age, the band went on a hiatus due to personal matters and I haven't listened to their latest album. So for me this is retrospection at least. Since we're doing personal matters, I might as well mention that my first experience with The Killers was being gifted their first album, Hot Fuss, in 2004, my eleventh birthday. Sam's Town was, if I remember correctly, a gift from my maternal grandmother. I forget how I came to acquire their third album, the compilation album Sawdust, but I have that one as well. I can't remember how Day & Age entered my possession either, but I have it. Somewhere. I can't find it. As you might have guessed, I have a somewhat nostalgic relathionship with The Killers, hence it is—at least for me—retrospection.
A great deal of trouble was suffered in the course of selecting the songs I will highlight. I hope therefore that they do bring some enjoyment, in spite of being amongst the less accessible of their tracks.
Andy You're a Star
The riff. Oh sweet merciful God, the riff. What is the bloody deal with that riff? What is it doing? I don't get it! And Brandon's singing? And the lyrics! What the actual fuck? What is going on here! Who the fuck is Andy?
Sorry guys: I don't know. I'm still wondering, eleven years later. But I love this fucking song.
Who Let You Go
A personal favourite from their compilation album, Sawdust, Who Let You Go is a heavily repetitive track with a refrain consisting of one line (Who let you go? and some sha-la-la-ing). The track has a rather distinct eighties vibe, but does it, in my opinion, without being old-fashioned or, if you will, archaic. No band member features too prominently on the track, perhaps a defining characteristic of The Killers, maybe except for Flowers's sultry moans: Somebody must have loved you/Not the way that I do...
This refrainless track (which has a cool riff) is the story of Jonny, who is a crazed cocaine addict: Feel a burning in your body's core/It's a yearning that you can't ignore. The song is based on a family member of Summers's, who—in spite of shooting himself and his drug addiction—always pulled through (source: NME). The track mixes two first person POVs: Jonny's and a kin or friend's: [Spoken] Hey Jonny I got faith in you man/I mean it, it's gonna be all right
This treaty on The Killers's music will has been about specifics. There is one natural explanation for this: I find their musical output, for the most part, eludes generalization to a surprisingly high degree.
One general tendency I have noted, however, is a personal one: the hits I find generally to be bland (albeit catchy and well-produced), and inevitably grow trite, dull, old. The songs I most appreciate is what I will call their oddball tracks, the tracks that confound you at first, the tracks that elude your interest for some time before you crack their code. With this said, it might be no surprise that Sawdust is my favourite album of theirs, with Hot Fuss most likely a second, Sam's Town in third and Day & Age at fourth. I like them all, but in Day & Age, I felt for the first time that none of the songs stood out as truly interesting (all the songs are so slick and polished! The best track on the album, according to me, is Neon Tiger), and though Human made a splash commerically, it was no Mr. Brightside or Jenny was a Friend of Mine.
Another general tendency is that, on most tracks, no particular band member is given a more prominent position than the others. I say this half in jest, because Brandon Summers is the most well known member by a landslide and the most prominent writer. Even so, his singing isn't made a big fuss of; instead, his it's usually done in a sober manner which suits the track.
Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll - another oddball. I like this song very very much indeed, yes.
And because fuck it, it deserves an honourable mention as well: Benjamin Britten's opera intended to be sung by children and amateurs: Noye's Fludde. The thing is pure awesome.
Edited by Nose, 12 August 2015 - 01:49 PM.