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The Killers | Hot Fuss
a ryan j mack review

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THIS ALBUM IS SO F%CKING GOOD.

I hope that swearing doesn't offend you, but I assure you in The Killers' 'Hot Fuss' case, the mother of all qualifiers is the only word powerful enough to work. Yes, they have two songs on the radio, one of which probably even qualifies as a certifiable "hit." But this band should be bigger. This band should be huge.

The Killers are from Vegas, but we're the ones who've gotten lucky. This is the kind of album you can put on and get lost in, whether or not you wanted to intentionally focus on the music. It just has this ability to rhythmically and lyrically find its way to your attention so that it's all you're thinking about.

The album kicks off to a rock start with "Jenny was a Friend of Mine". The vocal quality here is awesomely unique. It's not in any way similar to the styling of Interpol or the Cure, but it does have that kind of instant distinction. It's immediately infectious-loud with the neo-synth quality so popular now thanks to bands like The Faint. It just drives you right away to shake the booty. It goes on to "Mr. Brightside" without ceasing. The second single from Hot Fuss, it remains driving, bouncy, building, and sing-able.

Are you dancing yet? You will be. Dancing a rock dance - the child of ska, kind of bouncing around from foot to foot with your arms all over the place. The kind of thing girls look cute doing and boys can't terribly mess up. It's just happy feeling, which, I think, comes from the guitar break that sounds a little like Ode to Joy.

The album settles into its style with "Smile Like you Mean It", very synth-y in the intro but with lyrics at the forefront. It's groovy. "Somebody Told Me" was the pre-album single-the one with the grinding drumbeat, sweet increases in motion, and more hook-tastic lyrics. They're clear and simple but not simplistic. And really, it's just that he has such an amazing voice that you listen.

"All These Things That I've Done" gives you a little breather. It's a little more chill, a little more guitar-y, a little less lyrical and synth-y. For the first time, the harmonies sound similar to Queen, which I noticed again later, which is awesome. It's a little slower and a little darkly dreamy with "Andy, You're a Star", all strung out. But you get to bounce again with "On Top", a positive song about the simple joy of having a good night out with no expectations.

I really get into "Change your Mind", all major sounding and unpretentiously upbeat. "Believe Me Natalie" is another of the songs that make me think of Queen. "Midnight Show" is the cousin of "Somebody Told" me. The whole album is definitely hot, though it doesn't quite seethe with intoxicating passion as much as it pulls at you. The album closes with "Everything Will Be Alright". Mmm. It's like the album is giving you some sweet, sweet lovin'. Goodbye lovin'. Everything will indeed be alright, because I own this CD and I can play it again and I have to go now and do just that.
Buy it


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