On November 11, the Killers released Direct Hits, a greatest hits album. It also features two new songs, “Shot At The Night” and “Just Another Girl.”
Overall, the album is good. It clearly shows what made the Killers popular in the early 2000’s, how the band has changed over the years, and perhaps, with two new tracks, where they are going. With Direct Hits, the Killers are telling their story of success and showing how they have grown and progressed as musicians in the last decade. I recommend the album to anyone, from loyal fans to newcomers who are unfamiliar with the band.
The compilation includes thirteen songs from their four studio albums, in addition to two new songs. The album has four songs from the band’s most popular album, Hot Fuss, and three songs each from Sam’s Town, Day and Age, and Battle Born.
A deluxe version of Direct Hits includes three additional songs: “Be Still” from Battle Born, an alternate version of “Mr. Brightside,” and a remixed edition of “When You Were Young.” The deluxe album also features a documentary summarizing the success of the Las Vegas-based band.
The included songs are, for the most part, good representations of the Killers’ best work. “Losing Touch” or “The World We Live In” from Day and Age would have been better selections than “Dustland Fairytale.” However, all three that were selected do a good job of showcasing the light, fun instrumentals and good lyrics that are characteristic of that album.
The selections from Hot Fuss were right on point. The four songs, “Mr. Brightside,” “Somebody Told Me,” “Smile Like You Mean It,” and “All These Things That I’ve Done,” are all excellent, and represent some of the Killers’ best work. Considering how good Hot Fuss is as a whole, it would have been hard to go astray picking songs from it.
The same goes for the songs from Sam’s Town, “When You Were Young,” “Read My Mind,” and “For Reasons Unknown.” It is a fantastic album, with hardly any sub-par songs.
The four featured songs from Battle Born (including “Be Still” off the Deluxe version) are slightly questionable selections. “Runaways” is certainly deserving, but “Miss Atomic Bomb,” “The Way It Was,” and “Be Still” are mediocre songs at best. They are too slow, without the descriptive lyrics and exciting guitar that defined the Killers’ early years. The selected songs are easily outdone by “Flesh and Bone,” “Prize Fighter,” and “Battle Born” from the Battle Born album.
Both the new songs from Direct Hits, “Shot at the Night” and “Just Another Girl,” are quite good. They are however, closer to the sound of Day and Age and Battle Born, not the band’s best work that came with Sam’s Town and Hot Fuss. The two songs are heavy, somewhat high-pitched vocals, with a light, happy melody. “Just Another Girl” is a story of lost love accompanied by acoustic guitar; it sounds more like pop music than rock. “Shot at the Night” is similar musically, but with more electric vibes and less guitar.