Sunday, January 30, 2005

Music Review: Hot Fuss

Just as I was behind on seeing Sideways, so too am I behind on listening to The Killers' initial album, Hot Fuss. After hearing a couple of their songs I decided to go listen to the album, and after listening to the album I've decided to share my thoughts - this is my first non-movie review, so bear with me.

Hot Fuss is a strong initial offering by the Las Vegas band, a synth-rock album with a strong mix of pop. Other reviews that I've seen have been mixed (and a scathing one here: http://pitchforkmedia.com), but I feel the strong pop helps what would otherwise be too obscure become a more accessible sound. The first single, which I'm sure most have heard by now, "Somebody Told Me" is in many ways typical of the album, though a bit on the loud and aggressive side. Several of the other tracks are more subtle while equally enjoyable. The Killers do better with their quicker songs, which seem to find a few more hooks (am I using this word correctly? I mean something to the effect of "really good riffs").

One of the concerns that many of the other reviewers seemed to have was that this was an unoriginal album, stealing from the 80's and several other bands from the genre. I do not share those concerns because, although there are certainly familiar moves, this helps with the accessibility. At the same time, lyrics about jealousy and murder help push a dark undercurrent that the pop world rarely experiences. The songs "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine" and "Andy, You're a Star" have a melodramatic tone that I expect is under-appreciated. I'm not sure how I'd feel about this album if I were more familiar with the independent rock scenes, but as an outsider (who is becoming ever more interested in the scene) this album provides a wonderful introduction. It's familiar, lightly innovative, but not edgy. Perhaps we should demand more out of our music, but when you can be comfortable with a new sound it needs to be appreciated for that accomplishment. I'd recommend you check it out. If not for a few of the slow tracks I'd bump this grade up. B+

1 comment:

Alan said...

for those who read this and like the killers, you may also enjoy franz ferdinand, interpol, modest mouse and though they aren't really my favorite, postal service.