What is it with the 80s?! I'm sick of the 80s. The 80s were shit then, and they are still shit, and they are not far enough away to be glamourised so mercilessly. One single solitary good band came out of the 80s, and if you can't work out who that was, then you're demented. All the 80s means to me is shit clothes and wankers. Surely it must be time for a 90s revival? Grunge, Britpop, beef and onion crisps, THAT'S what I'm talking about.
It doesn't seem like that long ago that Sam's Town came out, so either we are quite spoilt, or standards are slipping. Maybe it's a bit of both? Let me say before I rip into this album, as I surely will, I think Hot Fuss AND Sams Town (and actually, Sawdust) are some of the finest albums of all time. I think The Killers are brilliant, amazing live, catchy, wonderful, mum-friendly. There are hardly ANY songs of theirs I don't like. OK. Here goes.
Firstly, I hate the title. Secondly, I'm not sure about 'Human'. The lyrics are silly, which is fine, but it's more that I thought it was a bit of a weak first single. But I heard a dance remix of it which leant itself nicely to the synths anyway.
Anyhow, the album opens with Losing Touch and some horrible 80's Cars-esque nonsense, but that song picks up halfway through (when it appears to turn into another song, handily). They did that one on Jules Holland, I seem to recall. Spaceman actually sounds nicer on the record, I like his breathy struggling-to-keep-up singing and the key change (not sure about the o-o-oh's, it's a bit Bon Jovi, innit).
Joy Ride has an offensive start and an annoying guitar (I'm not a teenage boy, so I can't tell you why, but it's some irritating effect on it) and then, horror of horrors, a saxophone. Fuck you Keane. Fuck you, the girl who lives two doors down. Saxophones are NEVER, I repeat, NEVER acceptable. Never. Ever. Bad Brandon.
A Dustland Fairytale, as you can tell from the title, is more evocative of Sam's Town. I very much liked Sam's Town, particularly the completely over the top ones, like Why Do I Keep Counting and The River is Wild. This is very similar, but I like less the lyric 'castles in the sky' but the song is so dramatic and overblown in a pleasing way, so I'll forgive them.
This is Your Life has a marching drumbeat but made very little impression. I Can't Stay has maracas and another fucking saxophone (or something of that offensive brass ilk) and a bit that sounds like the music on Mario Kart when you drive round the beach (i.e. fucking annoying).
Neon Tigers is another I've heard live that doesn't do much for me. I really feel like some of these songs (sans the 80s posturing) might be growers though, so don't hold me to these thoughts, they are merely passing fancies.
The World We Live In is an awful, clunky title and reminded me of a song off a computer game as well. I think its the 80s, they make me think of Spectrums. Does that make for good music?
Goodnight, Travel Well, the final track, is what's commonly known as dirgy, and a bit of a morose ending to the album. And I'm a fan of melancholy, just not... er, tunelessness.
But then there's two bonus tracks for good measure, which I think is only fair, ten tracks is a bit stingy, non? A Crippling Blow is a jaunty, horsey-hoof film soundtrack sounding song. I liked the squidgy, crunchy bit in the middle of it, it reminded me of Cartoon Blues by Bright Eyes. And finally Forget About What I Said which sounded very much like old-skool Killers to me, and was pretty good actually, in the vein of All The Pretty Faces or Smile Like You Mean It. In fact, this was my favourite song off the whole album on first listen, and it's not even on the proper album! Typical me.
Ultimately I think the album is a bit of a mess, trying to be a bit of this and a bit of that, whereas Hot Fuss and Sam's Town had a clear theme. This is like Hot Town 80s, and suffers as a result. I forgive them though, they can't be consistently good always, or they'd just be robots. I still think this will be on heavy rotation at mine. I don't hate it, I just think it's a bit of a muddle. But there are no songs I'd utterly disown, they all have redeeming features (apart from... you guessed it... the saxophones).
PS. Brandon. Thanks for shaving off the tash, now please get those veneers sawn off, they are fucking RIDICULOUS. Ta.