Review Summary: This album produced alot of hits, so let's find out what is so special about it...
During 2004, The Killers took an immense rise to fame, while playing gigs across the states, Somebody Told Me was blasting from nightclubs across the world. They were the band on everyones lips, with a sound so catchy and upbeat, they were taking the world by storm. The album itself sold over 5 million copies and in 2005, they won the MTV Best New Artist award and won the NME Best International Band award. The video's for Mr Brightside won various awards and the band were nominated for around 30 other awards up until their second album Sam's Town.
The Killers are:
Brandon Flowers - Vocals, Keyboards
David Keuning - Guitar
Mark Stoermer - Bass
Ronnie Vannucci - Drums.
For all this hype, there must be something in the music to deserve this. Now, there aren't many people who haven't heard of this band or heard at least one song of theirs.
The album is something that's rare to find, because nearly every track sounds completely different from the last. Which is something that should be applauded. Saying this, they still remain to their Indie-Rock roots.
Hot Fuss is an album that has stand-out bass licks and a driving guitar that guides Brandon's voice swiftly through each song. The synths are impeccable and whenever they're used, they sound near enough perfect. The drums stick to the basics but thats what makes it so good. The fact that they don't need to do any crazy drum solo's to make this interesting. The same goes for the guitar.
Now, onto the songs:
Jenny Was A Friend of Mine:
In my opinion, this was a great song to open the album with. It gives us an inclination of what this band is all about; Writing powerful songs that stick in our heads. The bass and synths in this song are the highlights. The song has a chord structure that is so simple, that it's perfect for this. Brandon outdoes himself on pushing his voice to the brink that it does truly sound as if he feels every word that escapes his mouth on this. The lyrics let on that it is about being accused of murdering a friend, and is being questioned by the police. [4.5/5]
Opening with a quick guitar and speedy vocals, this song was to become one of the biggest hits of 2005. The song switches between panicked verses and a well-sung chorus that makes this a highlight on the album. The synths are there, but not loud and in your face like some of the other songs on this album. Here, the guitar is the main focus. [4/5]
Smile Like You Mean It:
A song where the vocals and the guitar appear to be the main focus. Opening with a soft synth line, it sounds promising. Although the only downside is the song gets a bit repititious towards the end with Brandon chanting "Smile like you mean it" over and over again. [3.5/5]
Somebody Told Me:
The biggest song on here. It was a huge hit and that was well deserved. Dubbed as the "Bisexual anthem of the year" by many clubbers and listeners with the chorus "Well somebody told me that you had a boyfriend who looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year" the song shows The Killers at their best where every instrument in this song at it's best. The song appears to be the best on here and is the fastest on the album. [5/5]
All These Things That I've Done:
This song brings the tempo down after the last one. It uses some simple piano and starts with Brandons voice at it's softest before coming in with a noticeable drum line and soon after, after a punchy guitar riff. The first half of the song is pretty good although it does get boring after that. Repitition from there on. [2.5/5]
Andy You're A Star:
Perhaps one of the darker songs on Hot Fuss, The guitar clangs and is something pretty different from what we've heard so far. Brandon comes in singing in a lower key than before and introducing some acoustic guitar in the background. The song keeps in the same key up intil half-way through where things really take off and brings Brandon back to his comfort zone with the vocals. The synth is here and there through this although this is a really good song, I feel they could of done more with it. Nevertheless a 4 for this. [4/5]
Opening with a simple synth line that sounds almost techno, the song quickly changes when the guitar comes in and the synth is nearly drowned out, but is even less noticeable when the vocals come in. The song keeps the band sounding catchy with this slower song about sex. After the chorus, the synth line comes back but again is soon sidelined by vocals. [3.5/5]
Glamourous Indie Rock & Roll:
With this song, they bring in some really distorted guitar but it goes in nicely, now and again though, I seem to hear a guitar part once used in a Queen song (I can't remember which one). The song is quite slow and is self-explanatory what the lyrics are about just from the title. [3/5]
Believe Me Natalie:
Opening with a sound drum part, the song is slow to start compared to other songs on this album, with the vocals coming in nearly a minute into it. Although, the song remains quite slow throughout, it seems a bit of a filler track to slow down the tempo before it heads off into the next song. [2.5/5]
The song is something that really shows how well The Killers write songs, the guitars here are something that ring out and Brandon pushes his vocals now and then energetically. [4/5]
Everything Will Be Alright:
We close the album with a very experimental song that The Killers fit in very well. Some may think this gives us an idea of what the next album may be like. The song itself is quite calming and the effects used by the band work really well here. The vocals are quite different, and the song does use alot of repitition. Although I don't believe they intended this song as a hit or anything. It does pick up about half-way through, coming in with piano and other keyboard lines. [3/5]
So in conclusion, I think the band have alot of potential from listening to this. They prove they can write hits and not sound the same in every song. I think the downsides are that some of the songs use repitition in themselves, not copied from their other songs. Some lines feel like they are repeated too many times in the same song. This album comes as the best Killers album of them all. Maybe if they start returning to the sounds we hear here, then perhaps we'll all get a bit more excited when we here they are releasing a new album.
Overall Rating - 4/5
Jenny Was A Friend of Mine
Somebody Told Me
Andy, You're A Star.