Quick Music Review: The Killers, Day and Age
Posted on December 12, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 46 Comments
The Quick Review: It’s okay. But if Brandon Flowers were any more precious, he’d have to have a tea party with stuffed animals. Also, crafting a whole song out of the question “are we human, or are we dancer?” is the sort of pretentious nonsensery that even Seven and the Ragged Tiger-era Duran Duran would have paused at. When you’re lyrically out-opaquing Simon LeBon, it’s time to re-evaluate.
I am not familiar with Duran Duran outside the singles, but Jon Anderson of Yes is in contention for the Most Pretentious Lyricist Ever. The lyrics on their album Close to the Edge are impenetrable.
The problem, John, is not just that the title question is patently ridiculous, it’s that the song is such an earworm. I don’t like it, but I can’t get it out of my head after it comes on the radio.
Hey man, it is a *great* question. I just so happen to be wearing leggings and a pink tutu right now.
(Okay, I completely agree with you, odd lyrics are a pet peeve of mine, especially in otherwise catchy songs. This also explains my love-hate relationship with the Chili Peppers. But I look lovely in my tutu.)
Do you happen to have a favorite song that also has lyrics that simultaneously make you groove AND cringe?
I watched the video the other day because I keep hearing it at my gym, and my eyes promptly fell out of their sockets at how precious it was. They went from singing with Lou Reed to *this*?
Sure, but Yes’ music is so great that the lyrics don’t even matter.
You just reminded me that I am hungry like the wolf.
You pups ever heard of the Moody Blues? How ’bout Donovan?
Noah@3: What do I love even though it makes me cringe? Genesis. All of it up to Wind and Wuthering, especially.
Oh, and Queen II; that’s pretty (fondly) wince inducing.
Are we not men? We are DANCER!
I really enjoy the music on this album – even if the lyrics to most of the songs make me want to strangle them.
mensley @ 8: Curiously, that’s what I thought of as well.
When you’re lyrically out-opaquing Simon LeBon, it’s time to re-evaluate.
I about choked on my coffee there, John. It’s funny ’cause it’s true! Thanks for the giggle. :)
“When you’re lyrically out-opaquing Simon LeBon, it’s time to re-evaluate”
That’s kinda the Killers trademark – craptastic lyrics with catchy music. Still not a bad band though.
Oh hush now, the Killers’ nonsensical lyrics are what makes them so fun to sing along to! “I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier,” anyone? If you just don’t take them seriously, you will learn to appreciate them. And I love your “precious” comment, very true. But not in a bad way…
Obviously I love me some Killers.
Love Hot Fuss. My inner eleven year old is also digging this, but she always liked slightly inane lyrics. (Note: My guilty pleasure song was Captain Sensible’s Christmas Catalog, which has the line “There’s a turkey waiting in the wings, he can’t dance and he can’t sing,” which is enough a WTF.)
Yeah, the metaphors in ‘Dustland Fairytale’ fairly scream out for the high school English/Freshman Creative Writing teacher to sit them all down and tell them ‘No.’
What’s striking about ‘Day & Age’ versus ‘Sam’s Town’ or ‘Hot Fuss’ (and ‘Sawdust’) is that though the lyrics and such are still precious and hook-laden, that the album as unified product is less uneven than their prior effort. The downside is that there’s no “Read My Mind” or “When You Were Young” in the mix of more average.
Btw, for “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” I keep hearing Cash’s “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town” underneath it. anyone else?
There’s some clever lyrics there!
I kind of like it.
Actually, I hear Kenny Rogers’ original version of the song.
I’ve been neglecting to purchase the album — which is weird, because I enjoyed both Hot Fuss and Sam’s Town. (I was somewhat underwhelmed by Sawdust.)
Now I think I’m going to celebrate payday by buying it and seeing what all the (hot?) fuss is about.
I always assumed ‘All These Things’ was about faith, so soldier was Christian Soldier. But I’m probably just assuming since Flowers is Mormon. Regardless it’s a great song to dance to.
I haven’t listened to the new album yet though, I know it’s gotten some crap reviews.
I wish Brandon Flowers wasn’t such a douchenozzle. I also wish Sam’s Town hadn’t been such a Madonna-esque image reinvention.
And why THAT Kenny Rogers song? Yeah, talking about murdering your cheating wife is SO great. Love. It.
As for Simon LeBon, c’mon… Are you telling me you don’t love how utterly nuts he is? I mean, really….
Shake up the picture, the lizard mixture with your dance on the eventide
That? Is pure comedy gold.
As it is, John Taylor’s spectacular bass playing more than makes up for whatever nonsense comes out of Simon’s addled gray matter.
One has to cut the guy a little slack. His last name is Flowers, fercrissakes. Elementary school must have been sheer torture.
I got cards, but I’m not a cardiologist.
I don’t get it. Is he asking whether we’re reindeer?
although it has been dispproved…i liked it better when it was “denser”….not much but a little better..
“[* There has been considerable confusion and debate over the line “Are we human or are we dancer?” in the song’s chorus. Many have incorrectly heard “denser” instead of “dancer”, a change which significantly alters the interpretation of the song’s meaning. On the band’s official website, the biography section states that Flowers is singing “Are we human, or are we dancer?” and
also says that the lyrics were inspired by a disparaging
comment made by Hunter S. Thompson about how America was raising a generation of dancers.]”
How much clearer can…
“The union of the snake is on the climb..
Its gonna race its gonna break –
Gonna move up to the borderline..”
obviously there will be climbing, racing an breaking involved in getting to the borderline.
The first verse of Life’ll Kill Ya. Zevon is a genius there is no doubt about that but that first verse baffles me.
You’ve got an invalid haircut
It hurts when you smile
You’d better get out of town
Before your nickname expires
It’s the kingdom of the spiders
It’s the empire of the ants
You need a permit to walk around downtown
You need a license to dance
I’ve only listened to the whole album through once, but so far, the standouts are “Human”, “Joyride” and my personal favorite, “Spaceman”. Brandon Flowers IS a bit silly at times, but I like that he’s not afraid to think big and set obnoxiously high artistic goals for himself, even if that means falling short on occasion.
Also, damnably catchy riffs and absurd lyrics, FTW!
Sisters of Mercy. ALL OF IT.
Can’t stand The Killers. They and Jane’s Addiction want to make me add a proviso to the Eighth Amendment exempting pop singers with annoying, reedy voices.
Well, frankly, most lyrics are more than a little dodgy.
I know people who played “Every Step You Take” as wedding music. Stalkeriffic!
How about the 60s? “Surfin Bird” … “Crimson and Clover” … “Strawberry Fields Forever” … “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” … “Inna Gadda Da Vida” – ok, that was supposed to be “in the garden of eden” but the guy was too stoned to sing.
The 70s? “Rock Lobster” at least. Also nearly anything by Sparks, the various iterations of Oingo Boingo, a good chunk of Elton John and David Bowie, there were some definitely obtuse lyrics there. And the rise of hip-hop provided LOTS of examples.
I think it’s built into any music which strays away from the ‘ballad’ format.
I’m a Killers fan club member, so, uh, I’m predisposed toward liking the album. It’s not their best. It’s fun though.
I cringe at how much I like “All These Things,” mostly because of its use in the Nike commercial. Actually, I cringe at how much I liked that Nike commercial. I am far too suggestible. I’m an advertiser’s dream. It’s disgusting.
Listening to the Killers is like listening to Duran Duran with Dennis De Young of Styx as the lead singer. And lyricist.
Today is a day to be talking about Frank Sinatra, not tea parties with stuffed animals.
You know who has awesome, if somewhat odd, lyrics? Mr. Bungle, that’s who. They can also be somewhat science-fictional, as witnessed by None of Them Knew They Were Robots.
Sorry, wanted to add a YouTube link for None of Them Knew They Were Robots.
Man, Scalzi, the husband and I had the exact same conversation about “Human” and Duran Duran in the car the other day.
My guilty pleasure is “Falling to Pieces” by Faith No More. My coworkers have to put up with me occasionally losing control of my inner rockbeast and beating on the desk to it.
Here’s a link to the video of the song.
Talk about Duran Duran….
For my money, the oddest lyrics would be from Of Montreal:
“You red-rovered the Gestapo circling my heart”
“Do I have to scream in your face?
I’ve been dodging lamps and vegetables.”
this needs to be on musebin.
No, it’s fine here. My rule of thumb is to keep my own interesting content on my own site.
Seriously. Nobobody understands? You are ALL asleep?
The lyrics are anything absolutely NOT nonsensical. In fact, in context, they are quite meaningful and illustrate souls torn between their current life and the one they will be living in the not so distant future not of want but of survival.
If anyone want to put some meaning to these lyrics. Here are some topics to help you.
Denver airport D.U.M.B.
Dever airport mural
The Ruling Elite
Kanye West is a Mason…and all of Hip-Hop
Look at all of that and then listen to Human, Spaceman, and A Dustland Fairytale,
From A Dustland Fairytale
Change came in disguise as revelation set his soul on fire
She said she always knew he’d come around
And the decades disappear like sinking ships
but we persevere
But God gives us hope
But we still fear..What we don’t know
the mind is poisoned
Castles in the sky sit stranded, vandalized…
The drawbridge is closing………
I threw my money and I ran away (it will be worthless)
straight to the valley of the great divide (Denver)
out where the dreams are high (Denver)
where the wind don’t blow (2,000+ feet underground)
out here the good girls die (Only the protected will survive and most good honest people will not have access to the bunkers built by the elite)
and the sky won’t snow (fallout?)
out here the bird don’t sing (literally)
out here the field don’t grow (literally)
out here the bell don’t ring (Freedom)
out here the bell don’t ring. (Freedom)
out here the good girls die. (literally)
As you listen again, the entire album has everything to do with taking shelter through an immense castastrophe of some sort and some level of grief and guilt associated with being one of the few that will not have to worry about struggling above ground where apparently, things are supposed to be quite nasty for some time…..starting sometime in the next few years or so or so it is expected. As the crossing of the galactic plane has not occured in 25,000 years, it’s difficult to tell just what might happen.
Theories.. earths magnetic field will fluctuate, floods, extreme freezing, and then cooking in six month interval. May be accompanied by interstellar debris entering the atmosphere.
Incidentally, the best place to be during this? Underneath about 2,000 feet if rock ….and yet still high enough to avoid flood or fallout. That’s Denver Airport where a MASSIVE underground bunker is being built and supplied. There the elite will be self supporting for years as the masses suffer above.
Listen to the songs. This stuff is good song material.. and as I said before, it is FAR from nonsensical.
Read this now as it will most likely be censored from this site if it even posts. People aren’t supposed to be aware of there impending doom as their tax dollars are literally saving the rich and powerful around the world
And that ain’t no fairytale.
But if Brandon Flowers were any more precious, he’d have to have a tea party with stuffed animals.
Oh dear…that made me laugh.
Read this now as it will most likely be censored from this site if it even posts.
Nope, it will remain here as a pinata for the rest of us to enjoy.
Beck’s another good one for completely nonsensical lyrics:
Devil’s Haircut (http://www.lyricsdepot.com/beck/devils-haircut.html) is an excellent example.
“Read this now as it will most likely be censored from this site if it even posts. ”
Did I even just read that? I bet this is one of the “experts” who talks about how the moon landing was faked…
I have a theory, crazy is like energy, it can never be destroyed, simply transferred.
I’m still not sure if comment 41 is True Crazy or brilliant satire.