Sunday, March 25, 2007

Song of the Week: "Read My Mind"

Another new feature starting this week. Each Saturday (or so) I'll be picking a song that I'm fascinated with or simply listening to a lot and try to get to the heart of why I like it. The songs will likely be new ones but don't be surprised if an older song pops up. This week it's the Killers' "Read My Mind".

I've resisted listening to the Killers' most recent album, Sam's Town, regardless of the fact that I enjoyed their debut, Hot Fuss, and found myself singing along whenever "When You Were Young" came on the radio. I also liked "Bones" but it wasn't until "Read My Mind" that I just broke down and listened to the whole album. It's not a great album but it has its virtues.

The lyrics to the song are a bit on the vague side but the song exemplifies the chief skills of the Killers. Brandon Flowers and his crew have a way with a hook and "Read My Mind's" strongest hook is the keyboard part pops up throughout the song. It's a simple conceit but it adds dimension to the song, just as the mandolin did for R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion." To me it sounds like a mind thinking or remembering.

However, there's also something effective and powerful with the song's central question: "can you read my mind?" Flowers sings the line in varying ways. At one point it sounds wistful, as if wishing that his lover could read his mind, then it shifts to defiance and anger, but then he relents and it almost sounds like he's pleading for it to be so.

Then there's also the charming video set in Tokyo where Flowers actually drops the attitude for a bit and lets slip a smile.

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