I thought we’d delve into this one with a look into the absent ‘care instructions’ that I believe should have come with The Killers best 7 song releases. You know what I’m talking about, the miniscule tag that comes on a purchased garment telling you to hand-wash something you’re definitely going to machine wash next Tuesday.
These care instructions should ensure you get the most out of The Killers tracks, please follow them carefully, and for goodness sake, under no circumstance should you listen to any of the following masterpieces at low volume.
7. ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’
This one is to be aired on a Sunday morning. You’re making breakfast, maybe you’re rather drained from your Saturday night. The song begins and the piano gives away to church organ chords. The repeated bridge lyrics get stuck in your head when you don’t quite fully hear it the first time because the toast popping and the bacon’s sizzling and you’re half unloading the dishwasher half thinking about what sauce you’re going to dress the food with. You’ve got to play the song again and when you do this time you really tune in and you start to choreograph a sort of morning-kitchen-dance with a spring in your step as you fly around the stove top. The neighbours are watching and just to be a bit more of a pest you chuck the notch up by 4 and repeat the song for the third time. Perfect. This is how ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ from their 2004 album ‘Hot Fuss’ should be treated.
Is a teaser for The Killers new album ‘Imploding the Mirage’ coming out later this May. It truly speaks everything that is the Killers – passionately charged pop-rock with an undercurrent of immortal energy that continues on through the ages. This one is to be listened to when you’re in need of some inspiration to take a leap of faith. I wish I could use it as a backing track to the landing pages I make in my full-time marketing role as I believe it would give readers a sonic boost to click the clients call-to-action. It speaks to us that there’s freedom in throwing caution aside and following the path of uncomfortable change. Special guest and previous guitarist of Fleetwood Mac Lindsay Buckingham is the icing on the cake on this track, his solo bringing us much entertainment – a surprise treat we all desperately needed during our 6 weeks at home.
5. ‘Somebody Told Me’
Please handle this one with extreme care. It’s incredibly precious. ‘Somebody Told Me’ on their 2003 ‘Mr Brightside’ album was listened to by me on repeat through my beloved bold blue MP3 player on family holidays. To paint a picture, this was back when earphone quality would allow one’s parents in the front seat to hear your entire backseat playlist and scorn at the profanities. If you’d like to take care of this tune with proper caution, you must only listen to it when you’re single and having trouble finding someone special. It’s all about the truth behind the general cat-and-mouse chase frustration, served with a slice of cool.
The soundtrack to your next roadtrip (which with level 2 approaching New Zealand shores this Thursday – sounds like it might be soon). ‘Human’ (Day & Age, 2008) is to be heard with all windows down, unless the back left one is broken like in my car. Thanks, Leroy. This song definitely slips right into the genre of ‘alternative’ with its ethos of soft punk and pop.
The meaning of the lyrics ‘Are we human, or are we dancer’ is something fans still regularly ponder on. It’s been said Flowers took inspiration from the quote “America is raising a generation of dancers, afraid to take one step out of line”, which is a pretty important idea. At the end of the day this is a tasty and timeless tune so maybe we shouldn’t be the syntax police about the ‘s’ on dancers and let Brandon Flowers get on with his miracle work.
3. ‘Smile Like You Mean It’
Lyrics here are slightly on the more depressing side of the ‘2004 Hot Fuss album’, a contrast to the upbeat instrumentation that goes with the words. My interpretation is that it paints a beautifully sad picture of someone of age giving advice to a young person on making the most of life and ensuring when they smile, they should really smile. When they feel, they should really feel. Life can so easily pass us by with all the deadlines and milestones we cross. It may not be the big flashy rock-pop hit we all expect from The Killers, but its sincerity stands above most for me. I enjoy the minimal sound plays and think it really makes us listeners appreciate The Killers in more ways than one. I’d iron this song out on a mild heat, very slowly.
2. ‘When You Were Young’
From Sams Town (2006). Ah, this ones a thunderous sound made for screeching at full volume. You can for sure yell the lyrics at any given time, but ultimately you’re going to best digest the song under the circumstances of a messy break-up, or when you’ve succumbed to reminiscing your first relationship you thought you deserved at the time. The music video for our number 2 pick is super grunge and messy – shot in a real brothel in Tlayacapan, Mexico. It follows the story of a young village girl who thinks she’s found her perfect man behind the local bar, before they elope in a short-lived whirlwind ending in unfaithfulness and heartbreak. The song’s title ‘When You Were Young’ for certain takes us back to our first young love and what we didn’t know about the whole healthy ‘relationship’ ordeal whilst going through it in our rose-tinted glasses. Flowers and Ronnie Vannucci Jr have actually done a short behind-the-scenes dive into the music video if you’d like to check that out here.
1. ‘Mr Brightside’
This number one pick (you knew was coming) is to be played anytime, anywhere, with anyone, as long as you take your vocals seriously. No doubt in my mind tells me this song isn’t relatable to the majority of the population. Most of us have had what was just an innocent kiss set off a catalyst of an unexpected adventure with this person. Everything about this tune was made to be played forever. For generations our children and our children’s children and maybe even their dogs shall be devouring this melody. ‘Mr Brightsides’ impressive trajectory truly reflects what The Killers are all about. Music that is human. Music that reflects us, knows who we are, says everything we want to say. These euphoric emotions it stirs paired with souring synths and an indisputable throaty bass creates something that is truly divine. By all means of iconic rock – ‘Mr Brightside’ is just simply, a killer.