FFWDing to the Best Part: “All These Things That I’ve Done,” The Killers (2005)

Basically, this song is essentially four-plus minutes of perfect new-wave-revival-meets-power-pop from start to finish — and NME agrees with me (kind of).

In the right bar, on the right night, this is a great karaoke choice, especially if one can hold the final note of the “I’m not a sol-dieeeeeeer” bridge sufficiently (psssst — I can — though down a couple of keys).  Swap “wrong” in for those two “rights,” and it can be a mild disaster during which four minutes feels like 26.  Just as a random example, if one is in a crowd full of 60-something chain-smoking Busch Light drinkers, and singing to a low-rent MIDI backing track posing as karaoke.

Best part? 0:39. The most well-known version of the song kicks off with a slow and quiet tinkling of the ivories and a lone vocal that is later called back to in the second verse.  Almost 40 seconds in, the drums pick up tempo, the main guitar riff emerges, all is right with the world.  I dare you to be listening to this in the car and not roll the windows down and crank the volume to 45 — or whatever the high point is for today’s modern vehicles.

RUNNER UP: 3:51 – 4:07.  The vocals swell to a climax and then?  We are finally treated to the payoff of the song’s title. This was hardly a “runner up” for me, because it MOVES me, but doesn’t quite make me rip the knob off like the intro.

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2 thoughts on “FFWDing to the Best Part: “All These Things That I’ve Done,” The Killers (2005)

  1. The quiet intro leading into a trebly guitar ostinato reminds me of the beginning of U2’s ‘Where the Streets Have No Name,’ and between that, and Brandon Flower’s quavery vocals, and the gospel choir in the second half of the song, the U2 influence comes through clearly. Another good example of a song that knows how to start one place and go a couple of other places before wrapping up.

    If you know the title of the song beforehand, you’re conditioned to expect to hear it, probably often, probably as the first line of the chorus. Instead, by saving it for the very end of the song, as the punchline of the story, lyrical tension is built and then released, which is smart, and ought to be tried more often than it is.

  2. Pingback: FFWDing to the Best Part: “The Promise,” When in Rome (1988) | Neurotic City

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