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Friday, September 30, 2011

"Mr. Brightside"

The Killers - Mr. Brightside (2003)

A Vegas band that had to go to an English indie label to get a record deal.

The first notes are a guitar that has some filter on it, but it really rings out nicely. While the drums start off making you think it's going to be a repetitive dance hall kind of sound, they really change through the whole song. There is a lot of reliance on the high hat though. Most of the bass lines during the verses are short simple and heading down. The keyboards were totally unexpected to me. A fairly straightforward rock song about misplaced love, while a little overly dramatic and then BAM! 80's style synth right there in the breakdown. The vocals make use of a megaphone sound at the beginning and a few times during the song but they are mostly high and plaintive.

That is the overwhelmingly powerful piece of the song. While I like the rest of it, it is the vocals of Brandon flowers that are so heartfelt. When you find out that the story and some of the lyrics are based on an actual girlfriend of Flowers, it all makes sense. Instrument wise my favorite part of the song is at 2:55 when the second breakdown kicks off. Four measures that are clearly meant to remind us of Beethoven's Ode to Joy in his 9th Symphony, followed by the same four measures again, this time with a increasingly loud snare drum marching us into the final bit of the song. My favorite part of the song overall though is the subverted rhyme Flowers delivers at 1:58:
Now they're going to bed,
And my stomach is sick,
And it's all in my head,
But she's touching his chest

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