Smile Like You Mean It

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"Smile Like You Mean It"
Single by The Killers
from the album Hot Fuss
  • "Get Trashed"
  • "Change Your Mind"
Released 2 May 2005
Format CD single
Recorded March–April 2003 at Cornerstone Studios, (Berkeley, California)
Length 3:54
Writer(s) Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer, Ronnie Vannucci, Jr.
Producer(s) The Killers
The Killers singles chronology
"All These Things That I've Done"
"Smile Like You Mean It"
"When You Were Young"

"Smile Like You Mean It" is a song by American rock band The Killers. The song is featured on their debut studio album Hot Fuss (2004), and is the fourth single from it in the United Kingdom and the third single in United States. It was written by lead vocalist Brandon Flowers and bassist Mark Stoermer. The song is written in the key of F-sharp major. The song originally featured on the "Mr. Brightside" EP, released in September 2003.

It reached number 11 on the UK Singles Chart and number 15 on the Billboard U.S. Modern Rock Tracks chart. It also received substantial radio airplay in Australia, where it was ranked number 39 on Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2004.

Critical reception[edit]

Billboard said the song "seems to deal with coming to terms with growing up and getting older."[1] Chuck Arnold with People magazine called the song "a sardonic moper worthy of the Smiths."[2] Billboard said the single is "more restrained and downtempo compared with the band's previous hits" but otherwise "pretty upbeat and is awash with soaring new wave synthesizers and 'killer' guitars."[1] In the UK, the song was voted at 91 on Absolute Radio's 100 Best Songs of the Decade.[3]

Covers and other information[edit]

The Killers claim that the song was written in just 8 minutes. According to Brandon Flowers, the lyric "Looking back at sunsets on the East side" refers to the East side of Las Vegas, Nevada.[4]

David Gray performed an acoustic version of "Smile Like You Mean It" on BBC's Radio 1 in the Live Lounge.[5] Tally Hall covered the song for the sixth The O.C. soundtrack: Music from the OC: Mix 6.

The song was released as a downloadable track for the music video game series Rock Band on November 25, 2008.

"Smile Like You Mean It" was remixed by French music producer Madeon and is available as a free download.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song shows ghostly figures of the band wandering around a house that the characters of the song presumably used to live in. While Flowers sings to the camera, flashbacks of the old house are shown behind him, including a children's party, a Christmas morning, a high school party, and a funeral. While these extras are oblivious to being watched, at the end they turn to the camera to look at the viewer while the band fades away.

Track listing[edit]


Chart (2005) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[6] 47
Ireland (IRMA) 20
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[7] 11
US Modern Rock Tracks (Billboard)[8] 15


  1. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith; Paoletta, Michael (March 26, 2005), "Smile Like You Mean It". Billboard. 117 (13):29
  2. ^ Arnold, Chuck 12/6/2004, "Hot Fuss (Music)". People. 62 (23):48
  3. ^ "Smile Like You Mean It by The Killers". Song of the Decade. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "David Gray - Smile Like You Mean It (Acoustic)". YouTube. 2008-08-30. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Killers". Official Charts Company. 
  8. ^ "The Killers". Billboard. 

External links[edit]