Year 5, Day 36: What’s all the “Hot Fuss” about?

Year 5, Day 36: The Killers – Hot Fuss

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Track List

  1. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
  2. Mr. Brightside
  3. Smile Like You Mean It
  4. Somebody Told Me
  5. All These Things That I’ve Done
  6. Andy, You’re a Star
  7. On Top
  8. Change Your Mind
  9. Believe Me Natalie
  10. Midnight Show
  11. Everything Will Be Alright

About the Album

Hot Fuss is the debut studio album from Las Vegas based alternative rock band, The Killers. The album was recorded in 2003 and released on June 4th 2004 through Island Records. The album peaked at number seven on the Billboard 200. The album is certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Thoughts on the Album

Day 36 of the project and we are winding it down. After today, there are only four more albums left. Today’s album comes from The Killers, who, like Muse, I discovered in high school. While the band is from Las Vegas, their debut studio album, Hot Fuss is rooted in British new wave and post-punk revival influences. The music on this album is a form of new wave influenced art rock that has been perfectly tailored and manicured.

The album opens up with the electronic noise filled, Jenny Was a Friend of Mine. The bass and synth are what stick out as highlights from the song. Perfectly fitting, is the chord structure/progression that is incredibly simple and easy to notice. Of note, is lead singer Brandon Flowers pushing his voice to new heights… it is almost as if you can feel every single word of the lyrics escape from his mouth. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine is followed up by one of the bigger hits by the band, Mr. Brightside. The song opens with equally quick guitar riffs and vocals that seem to duel with each other. Switching between panicked verses and soaring choruses, it was obvious as to why this song was one of the biggest hits of 2005. While not in-you-face, the synths lay in the background, helping bring the harmonies and rhythm.

Somebody Told Me, is the lead single from the album. The song is filled with chunky guitar riffs that is delivered with an infectious delivery. The song displays the band at their very best; where every instrument is also at it’s best. It is dance rock/dance punk at its finest. One of my personal favorites from Hot Fuss is All These Things That I’ve Done. All These Things That I’ve Done slows it down from quicker paced songs preceding it. Starts off with some simple piano notes and chords with Flowers voice chiming in quietly before building up. The drums quick in giving way to a punchy guitar riff. Midway through the song, the vocals and instruments give way to a lone guitar riff, leaving you with Flowers singing…

I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier.

Then a gospel choir joins in and from there the outro takes the song out on a high note.

Conclusion

It’s obvious as to how The Killers became one of the biggest acts in modern rock. The took the formula for alternative rock and added elements of dance rock, new wave, and some post-punk revival in for good measure. Hot Fuss was one of the biggest albums of the year in 2004 and 2005. Arguably speaking, it is one of the best summer albums that you can listen to. Hot Fuss is an incredibly front-loaded album, but the second have doesn’t detract too much from it. It’s album that will have you singing and dancing along to the songs on it.

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