Sound — 10
The Killers' music is very retro, and is a direct result of both being heavily influenced by 80s synth and living in Las Vegas. "Hot Fuss" does a good job of using synth enough to make the music interesting and different but not so much that it turns into some crappy 80s synth-pop band. The guitar work is also excellent, providing both crunching, aggressive riffs on tracks like "Andy, You're A Star", and catchy melodies on "Mr. Brightside" and others. The overall sound, unlike the lyrics, is never dark or depressing, usually upbeat and feel-good, and nothing that will make you want to kill yourself. Almost every song on the disc worth listening to over and over again - almost. The last third of the CD leaves much to be desired; tracks like "Believe Me Natalie" and the disc's closer "Everything Will Be Alright" are listenable at best, and it's unfortunate that these would be so much better if they weren't so drawn-out (both are over five minutes long, and I realize that that alone doesn't mean they're bad, but their quality isn't worth it).
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics of "Hot Fuss" are all over the place in a lot of ways, but they do manage to stay consistently good or at least, not so bad that one would notice it. The lyrics range from dark to feel-good. There are at least two songs on the CD that deal with murdering one's girlfriend "Jenny Was A Friend of Mine" ("She couldn't scream as I held her close/ I swore I'd never let her go") and "Midnight Show" ("Oh crashing time can't hide a guilty girl / ... / I took my baby's breath beneath the chandelier"). Then there's the brighter songs, like the upbeat "On Top" and the quasi-inspirational "All These Things That I've Done". Somewhere in the middle is the CD's best track lyrically, and, by the way, musically, "Mr. Brightside", a brilliant song about jealousy (and, unlike a few others on the album, doesn't involve murder) that everyone will get something different out of. Other than that, the lyrics are pretty solid and singer Brandon Flowers does a good job of crooning them out, but not much to think about and certainly nothing life-changing.
Overall Impression — 10
There's not much else like this album out there today, so in that sense it is very refreshing and definitely something different in a good way. I'm confident that anyone who buys this CD will be very satisfied, and it is well worth the price. Excellent songs like "Mr. Brightside" (one of the best of the year) and "Andy You're A Star" more than make up for the two or three that seem like nothing more than filler. The Killers are a unique, talented band, and "Hot Fuss" showcases that.