Hot Fuss - The Killers

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. The Killers sound like a delicious puree of Blur, Pulp and the Cure, loading Hot Fuss with stylish synth-pop effects and big blazing choruses.
  2. What's apparent from playing this album is that almost everything they've got is a killer single.
  3. Hot Fuss is a multi-faceted, consistently interesting and enjoyable synth-rock album with strengths across the songwriting, singing, and playing fields.
  4. Wait a minute... you mean this isn't a Duran Duran album?
  5. 80
    They're not the first--or even the fifteenth--recent band to draw on that era [of the 1980s], but they're among the most assured. [#27, p.138]
  6. The band only falter on Fuss' slower, boring numbers, which consistently lack the zest and vibrancy of their uptempo counterparts. [Jul 2004, p.146]
  7. In less capable hands the results could be unsophisticated and cringeworthy - as it is, they team the neon luminosity of Duran Duran with the camp, boyish charm of Dexys Midnight Runners - and are as likeable as either of them.
  8. The Killers have made half of the album of the year. Lucky that now we've got Napster, you only need to buy half. [5 Jun 2004, p.55]
  9. This album’s appeal is so superficial that those who don’t cotton to guys trying to look pretty while the bombs drop should avoid this entirely.
  10. The Rapture are artier, and Franz Ferdinand are more, well, Scottish, but this Las Vegas band has actual pop songs -- in spades.
  11. Brandon Flowers has a horrible, honking seal bark of a voice.... Faced with this significant disadvantage, The Killers have cannily crafted a wall-of-sound songwriting style so bombastic it almost suits Flowers' sledgehammer vocals.
  12. Shimmery, metallic and fairly unspectacular city boy rock. [#7]
  13. It's hard to deny the sparkle and fade of Depeche Mode beats and the sensual allure of Duran Duran. After 25 years, those sounds still hold up; by 2004, however, it's an incredible task to pull this kind of thing off without selling yourself to the tastes of the masses.
  14. Things go awry in places... but somewhere in a parallel universe Molly Ringwald is running down a high school corridor to the sound of The Killers. [Jul 2004, p.116]
  15. Most of Hot Fuss slides by without creating much of a stir, but it's got too many memorable moments to be written off.
  16. So, it's plain that The Killers have made a record more concerned with artifice than artistry. If the intent is to place their album's principal teases on the next Now That's What I Call Music compilation, then bravo.
  17. Isn't it a little too early for a Strokes tribute band? [18 Jun 2004, p.86]
  18. What's most shocking about Hot Fuss, though, is how, after five sensational songs, the rest of the album completely implodes, as the other six tracks get weighed down by too much production, a lack of memorable hooks, and some inexplicable musical touches that may have sounded clever in the studio, but wind up sounding disastrous on the CD.
  19. Despite the frigid bore of the album's latter half, the initial grandiosity of the songwriting and vocals make it possible that the Killers can avoid the bleak fate shared by other new wave gimmick acts.
  20. 40
    Modish but strangely clinical. [Aug 2004, p.94]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 266 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 160
  1. Apr 1, 2014
    I am reviewing the standard version of the album even though Glamorous Indie Rock And Roll is one of my favorite songs by The Killers.

    Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine (9) This is probably my favorite Killers album because it is the first and it sounds great and sequels are never as good as the original. This is a great little tune and really allows me to say that The Killers are one of my favorite alternative bands.

    Mr. Brightside (9.25) One of my favorite songs to play on the Piano because it was the first one I taught myself from looking at the tutorials on YouTube visually and I really like playing by ear more than reading music. I think the synth'ish sounds are really great as well and I have been coming out of my cage over the past year and a half so I can really identify with the song.

    Smile Like You Mean It (9) This song has a great sound as well and the message is cool as well I think. You should always smile like you mean it when it has to do with business ventures. But not when it has nothing to do with profit because that is frontin' if you are not a happy person. The guitar solo is my favorite part of the song.

    Somebody Told Me (9.25) This is the single that really turned me onto The Killers. This track has a really unique and catchy sound and it the chorus really discusses the issue of gossip because that all hang out is when your an adult if your lame, talking about other people.

    All These Things That I've Done (9.25) I really like this song. And my favorite line is 'I got soul but I'm not a soldier.' I really like that line because I think alot of soldiers have no soul because they promote drug use online to minors. The whole sound of the song is really good and conservative but catchy. It has good rises even though they aren't to dramatic. The ending is catchy as well.

    Andy, You're A Star (8.5) The Killers slow the tempo in this piece but it still sounds good. The interesting guitar part in the b(l)ackground is the more interesting portion of the piece I think an really accentuates The Killers alternative sound.

    On Top (8.5) This song is another solid track on The Killers debut album. It has a good use of electronica sounds. The guitar solo is my favorite part like I state alot in my other reviews. They do say On Top alot in this track though, and I think it's funny lol...

    Change Your Mind (8.5) This track has more of an mainstream sound than the rest of the songs before this I think. The sound stays the same for the most part but it does still sound good. Nothing really stands out though but I am giving it a solid 8.5 because the album is consistent.

    Believe Me Natalie (9) This track is more harmonic than the last three I think and really picks the album back up and steers it back in the right direction. The rhythm guitar in the background is what stands out to me in the instrumentals. The song stays on an even keel for the most part, like the last one.

    Midnight Show (9) This song does a great job at keeping the tempo quick and really helps keep my mood lively, especially when it is cold out. They change the element of the guitar later in the song and I think that is a good touch to show off The Killers artistic ability. The ending is nice as well and I'm not saying that because to say I hate the song because I don't.

    Everything Will Be Alright (9) This is a really great track for people who are insecure for whatever reason. It has a really interesting sound, especially with the use of the filter on Brandon Flower's voice. The piece changes later in the track and really gives it a really great sound.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 15, 2013
    A classic indie rock album, ''Smile Like You Mean It'' and ''Jenny Was a Friend of Mine'' are the highlights of the album and we can't fail to highlight the gay passion by Brandon in ''Andy You're Star''. Full Review »
  3. Jun 4, 2013
    This is epic. It has the fan favorite "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine", the worldwide hits "Mr. Brightside" and "Somebody Told Me" and the classic "All These Things That I've Done". Also, one of my favorites "Smile Like You Mean It", the final single from Hot Fuss. "On Top" is a delicious synth-rock trip. "Change Your Mind", another one of my favorites, shows their capacity of creating great rock and roll ballads with epic synthesizers. Plus "Midnight Show" has its unique strength and dark ambience. This album is a must-have for people with good taste in music. Full Review »