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The Killers - 'Human'
The first outing from the Las Vegas glam-rockers' third studio album, Day & Age, is a stonker.
Beginning with a train-on-the-tracks bassline, intertwining with euphoric trance-synths, the four piece manage to evoke the solitary, wandering Americana of Bruce Springsteen (something they famously tried to express, with varying degrees of success, on 2006's Sam's Town) in an almost perfect electro-pop tune.
Sounding like a world-weary Pet Shop Boys fronted by Norman Rockwell, 'Human' gently lifts the best bits of '80s new wave without relying upon novelty to sell it. Stuart Price's production heritage (Madonna, Missy Elliott) ensures that vocals and synths are high in the mix, with the rolling military drums merely keeping pace.
Grammatically incorrect it may be, but the Hunter S. Thompson-referencing chorus, "Are we human, or are we dancer", is one of the strongest of 2008. At once a cynical commentary on Western popular culture, the lyrics' sentiment also plays off its love-hate juxtaposition with the reverie-inducing rave-up it rides along.
Glam electro-pop with a brain and a heart. Welcome back, The Killers.
Picture: PA Photos