Today I heard The Killers’ “Human” for the very first time, and honestly, I was disappointed.
I’m not sure if I’ve really got a leg to stand on here, because (a) I’m not really a fan of the band and (b) I don’t own any of their albums. In fact, I’ve really only ever heard their singles. But that doesn’t take away from my finding “Human” to be a letdown on a variety of levels.
When The Killers first came out, I think I avoided them like the plague. It was 2003, and I wasn’t really in the mood for a New Wave revival. I didn’t like Brandon Flowers’ seemingly constant mugging and I found their lead off single to be ubiquitous to the point of being annoying. (Wow, I just reread that last sentence and I bet if I flipped it to Kanye a bunch of people would be cosigning the sentiment.)
To make matters worse, I moved to Las Vegas in the tail end of 2003—Vegas being the hometown of The Killers. That meant local support almost to the degree that Baltimore supported Dru Hill. Not that anything will ever reach that level of absurdity again—seriously, in Baltimore, Dru Hill’s debut album had like seven singles that were omnipresent on the radio. It was sickening.
But back to the Killers… I grew to tolerate “Mr Brightside” but still barely warmed up to the band. And when the publicity for Sam’s Town began I actually liked what I was reading about it, as it sounded like the group was not only ambitious, but had actually grown. And while I never picked it up, I did enjoy what I heard from the album.
Around the same time, drummer Ronnie Vannucci started frequenting the place I was working and I was totally impressed with the complete lack of douche-ness about him. I mean, he’s really a cool dude, and very down to earth. I gave the band a dozen cool points (and Ronnie himself got a 50 cool points) and I decided to completely chuck my impression of the band and start from zero.
Flash-forward to hype building about Day & Age. I’ve been reading rather glowing reviews about the lead single “Human” for months now, and I’ve got a coworker who swears that the album is something that everyone needs to hear before they die. I was dismayed when I read things like “returned to their original sound” and “back to their roots.” Basically, I was preparing myself for disappointment.
And sure enough, when I got my first impression of “Human”, I was blown. First off, I don’t think it’s that great a song. Secondly, it’s clearly an attempt to recapture the fans that made them platinum stars. But for me the most egregious thing about the song is that it completely doesn’t resolve the question about being human or dancer.
I mean, am I wrong for demanding resolution from a song? Joe Budden had a 15-minute song last year that discussed various scenarios relating to who killed hip-hop before finally answering the question. Would it really be that difficult for The Killers to give me some resolution about whether we’re human or dancer? It makes the song that much more frustrating.
And that’s how The Killers have ended up out of my favor yet again, although I’m sure that Ronnie Vannucci is still a totally awesome person.
Tags: Joe Budden, Kanye West