The Killers “When You Were Young” (stream)

Whoa. Two posts in a row from Royce. Felt like I was on vacation for two days. And he’s got another lined up that is gonna be sweet. Hint: It involves the band Phoenix + remix. Look out!

By now, you might have heard a snippet or stream of The Killers’ new track When You Were Young. I created an mp3 from the stream, but because I enjoy my freedom and am really not interested in taking part in some Oz-like life courtesy of the RIAA, I’ll keep it to the stream here.

I’m hardly convinced this is a precursor to “one of the best albums in the past 20 years” (via Stereogum). In fact, the hook sounds more like a rip-off than anything – of another fairly mediocre song, no less. Listen to the guitar (or is that a synth?) line of When You Were Young, then listen to the snippet of the intro to Coldplay’s Talk. Eerily similar, I’d say.

[stream] The Killers | When You Were Young
Real Player or Windows Media

Coldplay | Talk (snippet)

34 thoughts on “The Killers “When You Were Young” (stream)”

  1. the whole time i’ve been listening to the new killers song it has been driving me crazy trying to figure out why it sounds so familiar! thanks!!!

  2. They are similar notes but they’re also not particularly unusual, so I think it’s hard to tie a tight string between the two. I think it’s a valid point to raise but I also don’t think it reflects how people really write music. Anyone who sits down and goes “well, let’s see, let’s take a bunch of coldplay licks and switch a few notes around,” is going to end up with a big pile of nothing. And while people may not vibe on “when you were young,” I don’t think it’s a big pile of nothing. I think it’s a good song that makes the forgivable mistake of being produced like it’s the best song ever.

  3. what’s with the emo comment. im excited the killers didnt do what 90% of bands like them have done in the past…sell out and lose a decent sound. they allowed influences like bruce springsteen and the E-street band as well as duran duran sway them instead of studio execs. Maybe the killers sound like a “snippet” of coldplay is because both of them are into the “era” of music. ever think of that?

  4. Wow. People are testy about their Killers. Hey, just because Brandon Flowers says they’ve been influenced by Springsteen doesn’t mean it actually comes out in their sound.

    As for them sounding like Coldplay … I’m not sure I follow the comment about them being “into the ‘era’ of music.” I just found it to be a rather striking similarity. Probably not intended … just an isolated clip that I found amusing.

    I’m curious about who the 90 percent of bands are that sold out and lost a decent sound?

  5. this doesn’t suprise me — that the killers (of all bands) would be derivative. shocker. anybody ever listen to blur? go back and listen to “somebody told me” and then listen to blur’s splendid parklife, track 1: Girls & Boys. they nicked that bit from blur. no suprise, they nicked a bit from coldplay. At bottom, the killers are duran duran on steroids who are now rockstars. good for them, i guess.

  6. If The Killers are ripping off Coldplay then who is Coldplay ripping off in the single that’s playing everywhere right now? The answer is Kraftwerk. The repeating guitar hook was Kraftwerk’s original synth hook (does anyone know the name of the song I’m thinking about?).

  7. Bullshit! It’s a great guitar riff combined with synthesizer effects! … and it has absolutely nothing to do with Coldplays version of “Talk”! You guys really need improvements of your ears.

  8. Well the cadence of the verses is definitely Bruce. But I haven’t heard this one, just thought of it, it takes much of the dynamics from Smashing Pumpkins, Tonight Tonight mostly, and a couple of other Corgan tricks are in there also.

  9. If the Killers sound like Coldplay, The White Stripes sound like Rush. It’s not even close. Any of you who didn’t shit your pants the first or second or third time you heard “all these things” then we don’t have a lot in common. I did hear a somewhat obscure Big Country lick borrow for the motive, but they’ve never sounded like Coldplay. If anything, when I heard Slow Hands from Interpol, I felt they were stepping up to the Killers, and even Speed of Sound was a definite response to Hot Fuss, because after Hot Fuss, if Coldplay didn’t pull their heads out of their asses, nobody was going to care about them. That’s why they threw the whole album away the first go through, because Martin probably knew it had to at least beat Hot Fuss, which it didn’t. That’s why X&Y sounds like the first two albums, with a shot of the Joshua Tree. If you can’t beat rookies, at least try to pass yourself off as the next U2 while stealing half their shit.

  10. i like the new sound, i think the killers are going into a new direction with their music and they’re staying true to the direction they’re going in. Listen to “All the Pretty Faces”
    The killers are alright with me.

  11. if the killers did steal from coldplay, remember that coldplay stole alot of different things from radiohead, alot of big bands use ideas from one another, just like the garage bands try to make their music sound like the music of the bands that inspired them. i really don’t see what the problem is, almost every band can be traced backed to the beatles anyway.

  12. I have to admit the whole Coldplay thing just passed over my head, I really thought this was a Springsteen song when I first heard it. Of course it would a Bruce Springsteen going back to his roots kind of song…..

  13. Apparently everyone that posts a comment on this blog isn’t over the fucking age of twenty.

    When You Were Young = Queen & MeatLoaf.

    There are a hundred fucking songs out there that people compare to Coldplay, so just knock off that unoriginal thought.

    Remember The Killers toured with U2 for almost a year and anyone who knows anything about music (again, apparently no one on this board) will hear 1. Queen, 2. Meatloaf and 3. U2.

    The Killers don’t fucking whine as half as much as Chris Martin and Coldplay’s psuedo weak disguise of Adult contemporary music trying to be alternative.

    And one last thing folks, please, please please stop calling every sophmore album from a band who had ONE good outing “THE BEST ALBUM IN TWENTY YEARS”…Please god knock that shit off..They said that about X/Y..It was total shit…They’re saying that about this album, remains to be seen and they are also saying it about Kasabian’s new disc coming out.

    The Killers had the choice to reject MTV, so don’t blame MTV which pretty much became irrelevant 5 years ago. There are 500 bands out there with more credibility than The Killers because they refuse to be apart of MTV..I guess “street cred” apparently isn’t just a “black” thing.

    Its one fucking song, quit acting like it’s the fucking Da Vinci Code.

    Anonymous Music Critic for a Major Publication.

  14. i dont care what anyone says, the Killers are the greatest thing to ever happen to music; so if you like them, WONDERFUL, if not, shut the hell up, cause you obviously don t have a clue what you’re talking about

  15. I agree with most of you. Although the killers is a really good bad, the first time I heard the begining of the track, I did think it was coldplay. I still do if it comes on without any identification – of course until they actually start singing.

  16. Well, considering my all time favorite bands are My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Pixies, Yes, and a bunch of others, I really like this song. It is just a really well done song in my opinion.

  17. Look at all the controversy surrounding this song! Even if some people don’t love it, it sure is getting people talking.

    Why do Coldplay and the Killers have to be mutually exclusive? They are both great bands.

    “Its one fucking song, quit acting like it’s the fucking Da Vinci Code.” – (Anonymous Music Critic for a Major Publication. 12:41 AM)

    Hey professional music critic, how does a song act like it is anything? The song is only what we make it and if some people think it is amazing why do you have to get so upset?

  18. i don’t really see any coldplay similarities ?? but there’s a difference between “being influenced” and ripping off. This track purely rips off bruce springsteen. it practically lifts a part of born to run, and flowers is trying to imitate bruce’s singing style for a large part of the record! it’s actually quite pathetic, and teh fact that these nonces are being hailed as messiah’s by some is frankly nauseating.
    guitar music is dead anyway lets not forget. the sooner ppl let go of it, the absolute better

  19. You can’t really accuse a band of steailng stuff based on one riff that is similiar. if you think about it, most of the bands that are popular today, even some of the classics switch off with a few main riffs…

    I personally think this song sounds a lot like U2. but, either way, coldplay, the killers, U2 they’re all good bands. They all have a similiar genre and style. What’s the problem?

    I do think that Coldplay and the Killers are a bit shallower, but they’re appealing to a different time and audience.

    Another thing, I think it is such bullshit that people determine the quality of the band based on its lack of interest in popularity. The music is often popular because its good. Makes sense, doesn’t it? It’s like the unpopular kid in high school making fun of the jock…there’s a reason the guy’s a jock. the bands don’t always become sell outs and make bad music. What about U2?

  20. Ok, can we please be fair here…it is not unusual for newer bands to be influenced by previous bands. In fact, having been good friends with musicians my whole life, all of them have influences from other bands; other styles of music running the gamut from early punk to classic. Let’s please stop this crap about ripping off Springsteen or whatever. It really is silly. All things considered, this Killers song I thought was really well done. Some of us didn’t like REM, some did. Some of us did like Joy Division, some of us didn’t. Enough. Creativity is what makes the music.

  21. The Killers arent going emo.. theyre just trying out a new style. their first album was about the glitz and glam of vegas, and the new one is about the quiet, humble side.

  22. I think the lyrics sound like Springsteen but even moreso it sounds like Adam Sandler trying to sound like Springsteen.

    “They say the devil’s water it ain’t so sweet. You don’t have to drink right now.” part is 100% Springsteen.

    It’s a great song. I totally back the Killers.

  23. once again…influence = fine, Ripping off = also fine really, but creatively bankrupt, and should not be excused or applauded, as seems to be happening here.

    haha i’m sorry but the killers are abject sh*te
    and everyone defending them should think hard about what they are saying. and their musical taste.
    there i’ve said it! bring it on….

  24. I don’t get why people are making such a big deal about it all. So what if The Killers are ripping off from other bands or not. So what if they’re getting infuenced from other bands. If you guys don’t like them and want to sit around at midnight writing on a blog about how much you hate them then you’ve just got no life. If you hate them so much then don’t listen to them! If you like them then do listen to them, I mean after all, wouldn’t you want to listen to something and think it’s good instead of listening to something and complaining about it. As for me I think its an alright song, got a nice sound, I don’t care if its been ripped off, I might listen to it becuase it SOUNDS GOOD. So if you think it doesn’t sound good then don’t listen to it. It’s as easy as that.

  25. Okay well, as a musician and person with ears, the song is reminiscent of coldplay’s talk but isn’t the same. The chords aren’t, and neither is the lead. Just because it hits some intervals that make you think of Colplay doesn’t mean its a rip. HOWEVER i am getting suspicious of the killers. I like them but there’s a lot of controversy with their songs. One thing i noticed is that “Jenny was a friend of mine” is THE SAME music as an 80s dance song called Let me Be the One by Expose. Listen to it, you won’t have to argue, it’s true.

  26. To the person that said “is it just me or are the killers starting 2 sound emo” well i got a question 4 u!…. whats wrong with emos?? i dont think they are any different 2 normal people they just like different music! i mean come on give them a break!!

  27. thank you for this blog.
    the riff in “when you were young” was dring me nuts.
    i knew it reminded me of a coldplay song but i’m not too familiar with thier current work.

    anyhow. yes, the song have similar riffs. no, this does not mean the killers sound like coldplay.

    but damn if feels good to know where i heard the riff recently.

  28. I’m OLD…so take this for what it is…the new bands are usually derivative of bands that went before them…that’s natural.
    The Killers sound so much like Queen it’s almost astonishing to me…you have to listen to the whole CD, not just the songs that get airplay…and listen to some of Queen’s more obscure work, too…you’ll see.

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