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September 25, 2011 | by  | in Features |
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‘Human’ by The Killers is a terrible, terrible song

As someone who listened to radio once, I know that roughly 99 per cent of music is terrible.

Seriously, there’s so much shit music out there that whenever I happen to be in a situation where music is playing, I feel like a newly hatched coprophiliac maggot who is ashamed of what he has just done. In fact, as a certain Dim Post columnist once described my writing, finding good music is like “sifting through so much shit to get tiny flecks of gold”. And of all of the terrible music that I have heard, the song ‘Human’ by The Killers takes the fucking cake.

I first started to seriously dislike this song because of that line in the chorus – you know the one: “Are we human or are we dancers?” What the fuck does that mean? I thought. That makes no sense whatsoever. Humans and dancers aren’t mutually exclusive. You can be a human and you can be a dancer—being one doesn’t exclude you from being the other. I know people who are both human and dancers. You can be a human and not a dancer, and there are non-humans out there who can dance. Bees dance, did you know that, The Killers? And did you ever see that YouTube video of the parrot dancing to fucking drum and bass music?? Yes, dear readers, The Killers are misleading you through song.

It gets worse. Upon doing some actual research for this opinion, I looked up the lyrics, which actually read “Are we human or are we dancer?” …I’m sorry, what? Are we dancer? You mean, like, are we all one dancer? Singular? Really? Fucking really?? Not only does that logically not make sense, it also grammatically doesn’t make sense. I just… no. Just take a few breaths, count to ten. Okay.

Listen, I can appreciate art, and I understand that artists must sometimes push the limits of their medium for artistic reasons. So if we are to label this particular arrangement of words and musical notes as art, we must first find the reason why lead singer Brandon Flowers seems to be illiterate. I looked up the inspiration for the line and found it came not from a YouTube comment, but from a quote by Hunter S. Thompson, which is grammatically correct because he was literate, so it’s not that.

Perhaps he needed to omit the ‘s’ so it would rhyme? Well, throughout the whole song it only rhymes with the line “And I’m on my knees looking for the answer”. Well, so am I, but if he had put an ‘s’ on dancer and answer then it would have made sense and made the song slightly less shit, and it’s not like adding an ‘s’ would screw up the rhyme scheme. So that rules that out. He’s just illiterate. Brandon Flowers sucks at grammar so hard that ‘Karma Police’ by Radiohead was originally called ‘Grammar Police’ and was about him (Grammar police / Arrest this man…).

Let’s move on to the actual musical content of the song. There’s a beat in there somewhere. The singing makes you want to rip your inner ear out with a corkscrew. As the lyrics suggest (?), it is supposed to be a song you can dance to. But there just seems to be something a little off about it, something not quite right. Sure, there’s a sort of techno-dance sound to it, but you wouldn’t actually dance to it, would you? It somehow manages to be a very depressing song. A depressing dance song. How is that even possible?

Brandon Flowers is not only illiterate, he’s also musically illiterate. And the song is shit. But keep musicalising, The Killers. Maybe one day you’ll make your fleck of gold. Maybe.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Josh says:

    Moar lyk are we DENSER.

    Seriously though, Hot Fuss was fucking awesome and if you can’t dig that then your sense of sprezzatura is too-far overriding your natural human predilection for fun.

  2. AM says:

    I think Brandon Flowers is a great songwriter. And i think that you weren´t able to see the meaning of the song. Brandon Flowers is talking about 2 species: the “human” (real people with real feelings, that go by their own hearts and minds) and “dancer” (marionettes controlled by others or by society, devoid of real feelings, that only follow the steps others taught them). That’s why he uses “dancer” and not “dancers”. It’s a great metaphor: the “dancer species” as the opposite of the “human species”.
    He said he was inspired by Hunter S Thompson who said that America was raising a generation of dancers, a generation that can’t think. It seems he was right.

    “Brandon Flowers is not only illiterate, he’s also musically illiterate”
    Who´s iliterate?…

  3. Adam says:

    I got ham but I’m not a hamster

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