Thumbing though used CD bins at Smash Records in Adams Morgan last week, I happened upon “Hot Fuss” for only $3. $3!
Since then I’ve been on a Killers kick.
“Hot Fuss” is one of those albums that was great when it was first released and is still great whenever you choose to revisit it years later, or when iTunes shuffle decides it’s time to revisit it. Although the snarky, first single “Somebody Told Me” (my favorite track ÛÓ the pre-chorus “hoo-oh-ooh’s” are impossible to not belt), undeniably catchy “Mr. Brightside” and building “All These Things That I’ve Done” were Top 40 hits, the songs’ and album’s quality outlasts the wave of mainstream success.
The Las Vegas band introduced themselves with “Hot Fuss” in 2004, and have since departed from their hometown-influenced, electronic rock roots and experimented with anything from Bruce Springsteen based sounds to new wave synths to poignant, inspiring messages. Any efforts in experimentation are done in vain as the freshman album is surely the band’s peak ÛÓ an unfortunate situation for artists, but only because “Hot Fuss” set the bar so high.
The first half of “Hot Fuss” is no doubt the strongest, opening with perhaps the album’s best song “Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine,” which leads in to a slew of singles and climaxing with the piano and organ intro, gospel chants and uplifting guitar outro of “All These Things That I’ve Done.”
(Quick poll: Who didn’t have “I’ve got soul but I’m not a solider” in their AIM profile?)
The second half holds it together with “Andy You’re A Star,” “On Top” and “Midnight Show,” but only just. Compared to a such a strong opening track, the closer “Everything Will Be Alright” is plain boring.
Despite a lackluster finish, the power of the album’s first half solidifies it as an overall great album, not just for The Killers, but for alternative rock of the millenium. Eight years after its release, “Hot Fuss” still earns a top spot in my CD collection.
By Marissa Cetin