The Killers, “Read My Mind”
From the album Sam’s Town (2006)
Written by: Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer, Ronnie Vannucci, Jr.
Sam’s Town was commercially successful but widely, critically panned. Recently, it has been reconsidered as one of The Killers’ best recordings. Here, they opted to lean more towards a guitar-driven sound that transitioned them into a major rock band – a move that has traditionally not been seen well by the music press (just ask Led Zeppelin…).
However, “Read My Mind” is heavily influenced by their earlier new wave style. Flowers calls it the best song he has written and I would agree. He is routinely criticized for his lyrics being either too earnest or nonsensical. In some cases that’s true; but not here.
“Read My Mind” is coated in surrealism. Each line is like a random list of very vivid images, feelings and emotions – a subtle kiss that no one sees, wanting to breathe that fire again, a loaded gun etc. – that are like parts of a montage that is purely cinematic. But it’s not an Eisenstein montage — it’s surreal; it doesn’t necessarily have a fixed or predetermined meaning and each listener will more likely have a different interpretation of it.
P.S. To me it’s about gambling. (Whether it’s about gambling with life or with love depends on my mood.)
“The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun
When you read my mind.”