Guilty pleasures: The Killers

I know it’s hard to believe sometimes – well, most of the time – but I do know the difference between things that are cool, and things that are uncool. But when it comes to music, I seem to have a mental block: I can list all the reasons why a particular song is uncool and should be shunned, but I’ll fall in love with it anyway.

When You Were Young by The Killers is a pretty good example. I can’t make up my mind whether it’s the product of cold-eyed careerism or an endearing and unsuccessful attempt to channel the band’s influences, but either way it’s a huge rip-off of some better-known artists. It’s got the bass breakdown from U2’s Beautiful Day and the guitar sound – and, it seems, most of the guitar solo – from the same band’s Miracle Drug; the key riff is alarmingly close to Coldplay’s Talk (which, of course, is Kraftwerk’s Computer Love through a fuzzbox) and vocally and lyrically it’s Springsteen on pomposity pills.

And I haven’t stopped listening to it for days.

All together now – we’re riding down a highway skyline on the back of a hurricane…


15 thoughts on “Guilty pleasures: The Killers

  1. Stephen says:

    Well, as I argue in this post, nothing is truly original; all art is about influences and interpretation, and perhaps, ignoring for a moment technical skill, nothing more than an exercise in taste: taking some of the best elements what has gone before, and re-presenting them in a new form, or format, or combination.

  2. david says:

    I have to admit that (despite originally hating them) the killers have kinda grown on me.

    U2 however – what the hell are the lyrics of Elevation on about? (It was on the radio this morning and I don’t think I’ve ever paid attention)

    I’ve got no self control
    Been living like a mole now
    Going down, excavation


  3. Gary says:

    re-presenting them in a new form, or format, or combination.

    Oh, I agree. Sadly though, too often – and I’m thinking of the Fratellis here, thanks to the chat on Jo’s blog – the new form, format or combination is just a lame copy.

  4. david says:

    Do the Fratellis count as original by merit of being a cockney band from Glasgow? Next single is Knees Up Maw Broon.

  5. Ms Mac says:

    Gosh, you’re so music savvy. I usually just judge The Killers on whether that Brandon boy is looking cute in the video or not. (He usually is.)

  6. tm says:

    >looking cute in the video or not.

    This is the method gary uses to judge the merits of each Girls Aloud single, isn’t it?

    And so far they’ve all been brilliant as far as he’s concerned ;-)

  7. david says:

    On the subject of unoriginality – anyone notice that the current No.1 single (Black Parade) is a blatant ripoff of the instrumental that Bill and Ted do at the end of Bogus Journey.

  8. Squander Two says:

    > nothing is truly original

    No, very little is truly original, but we do get the occasional visionary — every century or two, perhaps. Remember, someone invented counterpoint, and surprisingly recently, too. That was original.

  9. Gary says:

    This is the method gary uses to judge the merits of each Girls Aloud single, isn’t it?

    You mean, not everybody chooses music on those criteria?

  10. David says:

    The Feeling. I have to admit I quite liked the first 2 singles (sewn and fill my world) but the last one was rubbish (People in Love or something) and was more twee than a wainfowest.

    Just heard their new one on the radio. It is almost 100% Huey Lewis. Retro is not cool.

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