The Killers - Hot Fuss
Record Label: Island Records
Release Date: June 7, 2004
The Killers are currently one of the most successful bands in the world, and Brandon Flowers knows it. Riding on the back of 2007's world-conquering Sam's Town, the band has accumulated a massive following worldwide, and Brandon Flowers has achieved high status everywhere. But where did it all come from? Hot Fuss was The Killers' 2005 debut, now usually overshadowed by the success of their later work. While they enjoyed some success with a few hit singles, personally, I think this album has a lot to offer, and it's a great shame that few people see this as the better of their two albums.
The album begins with "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine", an easy-going tune with an anthemic chorus. While not a bad song, it serves more as a warm-up for what is to follow rather than anything else. "Mr. Brightside" is the first of the 'big 4' song on this album. Flowers begins with the lyrics "Coming out of my cage / I've been doing just fine" and mumbles further forward, steadily crescendoing into the well-known chorus, complete with distorted guitars et al. "Smile Like You Mean It" kicks off with a simple, yet catchy riff, and moves into a much more reminiscent, melancholy (perhaps bordering on cliché) mood, focusing on memories of summers past, and better days experienced.
The tone changes and we are introduced to the totally upbeat, purely fun "Somebody Told Me", where Flowers jealously jokes about the looks of an ex-girlfriend's new flame, creating an air of raw enjoyment, which is great to hear on any CD. The pendulum-like style of this album swings back, and the tempo is lost for the next track, "All These Things That I've Done". This song is easily my favorite song on Hot Fuss, and one of my favorites of all time. From the atmospheric, distant bells in the intro, through the anthem of a chorus and including that memorable lyrical-ostinato of "I've got soul, but I'm not, a soldier," this is five minutes of pure genius.
Contrary to popular belief, the remainder of Hot Fuss is not actually 'just filler' at all. In fact, after you've got past the fantastic four there are some gems that are often overlooked, perhaps due to the less-than-sensible track listing.
In particular, "Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll" is a stand-out effort. Putting aside the rather odd notion that Flowers & co. are part of either an independent label or a rock and roll band, this is a fantastic musical performance. Both band and vocalist push themselves to the limit, creating a fantastic portrayal of what The Killers really represent. "Believe Me Natalie" is another one worth hearing again, due to its offbeat tempo and varied dynamics, but in truth leaving out but one of the songs on Hot Fuss would render it incomplete.
I am very curious to see where 2009 may take The Killers. Now they have further distanced themselves from the utter crap that is 'new-wave indie' (aka any British band saddled with the prefix 'The'), and have secured themselves a solid fan-base, they may feel that they no longer need to prove themselves, and no longer have to look at progressing into even better musicians. I, for one, hope that this is certainly not the future for this immensely talented band.
Nice review, although i am not sure this album is really that overshadowed by Sam's town. Going to have to say i prefer Hot Fuss over Sam's Town but both are pretty decent, even the b side album sawdust has it moments. Looking forward to what they produce next given the consistency of the material they have released so far. Oh and Glamorous Indie Rock is track 8, not a b side
Great review, great album, great band. . I prefer Sams Town but this is just as good. I am pretty sure Glamorous Indie Rock is a b-side. It is a great song anyways. I am so excited for Day and Age. I am sure it will amaze and will probably be my AOTY.
what? it's on the album.
Anyway good review Love this album a lot more than Sam's Town
I love this CD, it will always be one of my faves. preferable over Sam's Town. Midnight Show is an awesome song on there! I honestly think the entire track list is awesome, i even got my hip hop loving brother to like it.