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    The Killers

    day and age hot fuss sams town

    Hot Fuss 5 ( 2004 )
    Jenny Was a Friend of Mine / Mr. Brightside / Smile Like You Mean It / Somebody Told Me / All These Things That I've Done / Andy, You're a Star / On Top / Change Your Mind / Believe Me Natalie / Midnight Show / Everything Will Be Alright

    We all want a band to believe in, don't we? Well, apparently not as the success of The Killers ably demonstrates. A few hints of late eighties in the keyboards, early nineties in the guitars and vocals. All the hits tumbled carelessly together towards the start of the LP. I'm listening to 'Smile Like You Mean It' as we speak. It's all repetition and lacks any actual soul behind the fake veneer that is the singers voice. The lyrics have no more meaning than Busted or McFly and the music is equally as creatively lost. Sure, when these guys turn their guitars up they can almost pass themselves off as a regular indie band, but who wants another one of those, anyway? Jesus, we have enough mediocrity and unoriginality around at the moment to need bands like The Killers. It's shopping-mall music, the kind you hear when you're feeling sick in a crowded shopping center Saturday lunchtime. A few songs, 'Believe Me Natalie' included resemble 'Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me' era The Cure, a sound that's surely a little dated by now? The Killers are taking from music that's not old enough to be taken from unless you're going to add a semblance of personality to it that's your own. There's no personality here. For all of those, and apologies for going off at a tangent, that laud music like this for being 'real' as opposed to the 'fake' Kylie Minogue or 50 Cent or whatever, they are surely missing the point. Being real doesn't get you anywhere. Ocean Colour Scene are as real as they come, but also as dull as ditchwater. There's nothing on display here bar the odd affecting moment or two. The falsetto during 'Midnight Show', possibly the finest track here actually. Yes, better than the singles! Well, i'm not one to follow the crowd and just repeat here popular accepted opinion. What would be the point of that? It's just I like the singers voice during parts of 'Midnight Show', it demonstrates his more, dare I say it, feminine side. Not that the rest of the album demonstrates his Mike Tyson side or anything, but you get what I mean, I hope.

    When the final track starts, 'Everything Will Be Alright' I momentarily have raised hopes after hearing the first ten seconds or so by mistakenly believing i've put on 'Waterfalls' by TLC instead. Unfortunately, whereas the singer did well on 'Midnight Show', he does very badly on 'Everything Will Be Alright'. Not since the New Radicals appeared have I heard such a poor excuse for a track on any commercially released product. The vocals have been compressed, digested, stuck through the mixing desk and come out the other end sounding like a cat pooping. 'Somebody Told Me' repeats it's own title around six trillion times amidst keyboards that would have sounded dated and uncreative in 1983. There are two polar opposites. Extreme musical virtuosity can spark creativity. Extreme musical amaterurish-ness can also spark a rich vein of creativity. The Killers are just competent, the worst kind of thing you can possibly be, unless you're going to add huge dollops of imagination to you're 'ok' competency. You know, make a track that sounds like the drums are falling down a flight of stairs, the guitars so distorted for a brief blast of ten seconds or so you think your speakers are going to blow up. A vocal so demented the singers actually sweats every time he sings it. All such things can be done to enliven the merely 'alright'. Or take from unusual influences, anything to add something different. House fans like 'The Killers' and that's about all I can say further. What did I hear at the back there? Cynical? What, me? Surely not!

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    Sam's Town 4 ( 2006 )
    Sam's Town / Enterlude / When You Were Young / Bling (Confession of a King) / For Reasons Unknown / Read My Mind / Uncle Jonny / Bones / My List / This River Is Wild / Why Do I Keep Counting? / Exitlude

    The Killers are an American family pop group who achieved enormous worldwide success as teenybopper idols in the 1970s. The group originally comprised brothers Alan Ralph Killer (born June 22, 1949), Melvin Wayne Killer (known as Wayne Killer) (born August 28, 1951), Merrill Davis Killer (born April 30, 1953), and Jay Wesley Killer (born March 2, 1955). The Killers' career started with a big break at Disneyland, followed quickly by regular appearances on The Andy Williams Show in the early 1960s. In the mid-60s they performed with Sweden's most popular singer Lars Lönndahl, and gained a lot of popularity in Sweden. However, their most successful period was the early 1970s, when they achieved a string of chart hits. They were joined for a time by younger brothers Donny Killer (born December 9, 1957) and subsequently 'Little' Jimmy Killer (born April 16, 1963). They had a self-titled Rankin/Bass-produced Saturday morning cartoon series on ABC-TV from 1972 to 1973. Donny, and to a lesser extent Jimmy, both achieved success as solo artists, as did their one sister, (Olive) Marie Killer (born October 13, 1959). Marie's signature hit was the country song "Paper Roses" (hence the recurring theme on their variety show where Marie sang, "I'm a little bit country," and Donny responded by singing "and I'm a little bit rock and roll"). Jimmy achieved particular success in the UK and Japan (most notably for his single "I'm a Long-Haired Lover from Liverpool"), while Donny and Marie's success was nearly worldwide. Donny and Marie also performed as a duo, and hosted their own variety show, Donny & Marie, on ABC from 1976 to 1979.

    The family members are well-known as devout fans of Robert Smith of The Church of Latter-day Cure. The Killers today Wayne, Jay, and Merrill continue to perform as The Killer Brothers, with frequent appearances in Branson, Missouri, as well as the UK, both as a quartet with Jimmy. Merrill also performs as a solo artist. Today, their sound is more country & western, with a bit of rock, and adult contemporary thrown in. Jimmy performs in Branson and the UK, as well, and has become a successful businessman. He recently appeared in the UK series I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here. Marie has been a radio host and makes and sells dolls. At the end of March of 2007, it was announced Marie and her second husband, producer Brian Blosil are divorcing after nearly 20 years of marriage. Donny maintains a successful touring and recording pop career in the UK, and occasionally the US. He was a theatrical hit, starring for over 2,000 performances in the lead role of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Up through December of 2006 he starred as Gaston in the stage production of Beauty and the Beast. All of the brothers are married with some of them having large families themselves. Alan's eight sons sometimes perform as "The Killers - Second Generation" or "2ndG". Due to a resurgence of interest, they are to tour the UK in February and March of 2006.

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    From Michael Dallaway michael.dallaway@ncl.ac.uk
    Other than the fact the Killer's lead vocalist is Mormon, I'm not totally sure what you're getting at here. Another jipe at an NME lauded band who wear their influences on their shoulder? Oh, let the kids have their fun...
    From John john.j.doyle@nuim.ie
    I must confess that having seen their performance at Glastonbury, I'm developing a soft spot for these guys. Their first album still does jackshit for me, but "Sam's Town" does have some great moments. If the FM radio and Bebo hype tones down a little, I think The Killers have a genuine top notch album in them.
    From Benjamin Western benwestern66@hotmail.com
    How upsetting! Never could I disagree more. I may be wasting my breath, but this album is truly brilliant. I have a friend (yeah yeah yeah....means nothing to you) but he is the hardest man to please in the world, I mean literally it's like 2 beatles albums, let it bleep, dolittle, never mind and a handful of Dylan which he believes in. Hard guy to please. And he loves it....truly loves it. Weak argument? I say not. I can see the arguments, I can see the annoyance at the NME bumming this band, and I can see why some hate such things. But wow oh wow, this album is just churning brilliance. Sorry! Actually, I really am not. Get used to it....because they are getting very big! And sometimes big does mean best
    From Stu Stumethil@yahoo.co.uk
    What is your problem with the killers??? Totaly unfair reviews on both albums, because quite frankly hot fuss is the best debut since definately maybe and sams town is the best follow up since morning glory! 2 top class 10/10 albums, and a band that will continue this trends on all their following albums.
    From Chuck USA
    I completely agree with your view on Hot Fuss. There is no soul or heart. But what Hot Fuss was missing suddenly appears in Sam's Town. It has enough soul for 2 albums. Not only do they keep the catchyness that they became famous for but they also have meaningful lyrics and great melodies. I would give this one another listen because I was truly blown away.

    top of page Day And Age 7 ( 2008 )
    Losing Touch / Human / Spaceman / Joy Ride / A Dustland Fairytale / This Is Your Life / I Can't Stay / Neon Tiger / The World We Live In / Goodnight, Travel Well / A Crippling Blow

    I don't dislike The Killers personally, i've never met them. Some people just take things far too seriously, you know? Thankfully, as far as The Killers are concerned they themselves seem to be taking things less seriously, than either the calculated indie of their debut or the 'Sam's Town' tilt towards America. This time out we've got some mad kind of cross between U2, A-Ha and Duran Duran. A song such as 'This Is Your Life' demonstrates this new Killers very well. It sounds either like an infinitely better Keane or at the very least, up there challenging the more adventurous moments from the latest mega-selling Coldplay set. Besides, I like the marching rhythm here very much indeed. 'Neon Tiger' has some swirling Beatles noises in there somewhere as well as soaring 'clap your hands' moments, a track clearly written with arenas and stadiums in mind. The single 'Human' is a strange beast, something I particularly disliked when I first heard it. It's kind of the sort of song Vince Clarke of Erasure/Depeche Mode might have written, complete with a silly hookline asking 'Are we human or are we dancer?' Well, I don't even know what that's supposed to mean...

    Opening tune 'Losing Touch' is brilliant and I never thought i'd say that about a Killers song. It's got brass, lots of guitar parts, a decent set of vocals and lyrics and it's also suitably grand and ambitious. What's not to like? 'Joyride' also scores points in the Denning household for having moments that remind one of Duran Duran. Trumpet solo? Check. Funk bass-lines? Check. Mentions of a dress? It's all here, nothing serious, just fun to be had. What else? Well, 'Goodnight, Travel Well' is upsettingly boring but made up for to an extent by the shuffling fun of 'I Can't Stay' and the closing 'A Crippling Blow'.

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    From Ann Newport
    I actually did think that you hated The Killers, but this review pleasantly surprised me. I think this is a brilliant album and I loved their other ones as well. Brandon Flowers is handsome, charasmatic and electric on stage, and he always looks immaculate. I absolutely love this band.

    top of page this page last updated 11/07/10

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