Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

The Killers – Shot at the Night



Alfred Soto: Quite a few of us have long thought a comp would indeed be a killer — the best way to put flash, synths, arena pomp, gay panic, and mustaches in the most flattering context. Of course this newly recorded defibrillator aims to synthesize all the things that they’ve done. The M83 sequencer and multiflowered Flowers succeed only if you believe in this eternal fool’s mission to have every girl and nancy boy in the audience squealing with glee. “Throw me a lifeline cuz, honey, I got nuthin’ to lose,” he sings, and you better believe it, bub.

Iain Mew: One might think that M83’s ’80s nostalgia and The Killers’ ’80s nostalgia would be a good match, but on “Shot at the Night” they’re a catastrophically bad one. The M83 soft-focus sincerity makes The Killers’ shout-at-the-night bombast sound clumsy and ridiculous, and in turn all of the synths end up sounding feeble and sickly.

Patrick St. Michel: Nifty plink-plonking electronics, but it takes more than some cute synth setting to turn cheesy, end-credits-appropriate schlock like this into something good.

Anthony Easton: I really love The Killers, mostly for the completely unapologetic way that Flowers sells his melodramatic cliches with an intense seriousness that the material doesn’t deserve. That the music sounds cold and amoral, that it could have come from Martinez’s soundtrack to Refn’s slick amorality compounds this limited but exquisite talent.

Katherine St Asaph: “Give me a moment, some kind of experience,” strains Flowers, as the thirdhand Italo synths hold out their cups.

Scott Mildenhall: Possibly the most exciting thing about the upcoming Killers greatest hits comp is the spectacularly obvious and obviously spectacular Calvin Harris mix of “When You Were Young”The original is one of their best — typical given how their best usually comes when they channel some kind of Big Moment, often through the medium of apocryphal nonsense and with the purpose of suggesting some kind of hysteria. Which, as well as being one of the lyrics in “Shot at the Night”, sums up ten years of its ilk pretty nicely. This time it’s the night as something to be striven for (rather than owned, or err… taken back). Basically, if he doesn’t get it right right now, as his weary limbs verge on collapse, finally succumbing to all the long days, then that will be it. Brandon Flowers will be a spent force. In reality, that clearly isn’t the case.

Brad Shoup: There’s no way a top-shelf producer from 1984 would’ve let this free without a better countermelody. Chairlift wouldn’t have either. If this gains power, it will be via old-fashioned means: endless mall exposure. The Killers’ continuing project of music-as-act-of-possession continues apace!

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