After deciding to enter Bruce Springsteen-ish arena rock territory on Sam’s Town, the band decided to more or less go further down that road on their third album Day & Age, but took out the guitars, implemented a lot more synthesizers and gave every song a ‘boom bap’ beat to which someone somewhere would be able to dance to. “Human” was released as the album’s first single and proceeded to become one of the band’s most popular tracks.
Brandon Flowers wants to know if we are human or dancer. Six and a bit years later, the lyric still confuses many. Though really it is a question simply asking whether we hold more significance to what meets the eye. Brandon wants the answers, so much so that he is on his knees, but knows that it will be a long time before he gets a result. As mentioned earlier, the song mainly uses synthesizers and keyboards to create a soaring sonic landscape on top of a clicky, palm-muted guitar lick that continuously fades in and out of the mix as time goes on. My personal favourite section of the track is the “Pay my respects to grace and virtue” verse, in which a lone synthesizer plays to the right along the driving bass and drums by Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci. Something about that specific part is just perfect to me.