Monday, December 12, 2005

Late Adopters: The Reject Files

I've decided, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Hot Fuss by The Killers is only so-so.  The sound is incredible, the songwriting is good, but ultimately, just not that good.  The second half of the album is straight-up filler, and it bores me.  The only way to get away with a filler-filled pop album is if every song on the album sounds the same; not true of Hot Fuss, which starts out with four or five songs that are clearly above and beyond any that follow them.  They aren't bad songs, they're just plain old boring pop, and as such aren't compelling enough.

Why think about this?  Because I just listened to The Back Room by Editors, which I do find compelling, all the way through the sixth bonus track.  They've clearly duplicated The Killers' sound (albeit not as effectively or impressively), and have no singles as strong as "Somebody Told Me" or "Mr. Brightside," but the Richard Butler/Morrissey-esque vocals on The Back Room give the filler a little more urgency.

This isn't to say The Killers suck.  They are good.  But I think the praise for Hot Fuss is misguided.  Praise the band, not the album.  Hot Fuss is nowhere near the blazing debut that Franz Ferdinand or The Back Room are; instead, it's a gauntlet, thrown at their feet in anticipation of their next few albums.  We will see better from them.

(P.S. I really should have listened to Interpol before commenting on this, but what can I say?  I'm bored.)

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