The Killers: Battle Born

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Posted October 22, 2012 by in
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Rating

Overall
 
 
 
 
 

4/ 5

Details

 
 
 
 
 
 
Genre: Rock
 
Producer: Stuart Price, Steve Lillywhite, Damian Taylor, Brendan O'Brien, Daniel Lanois, The Killers
 
Label: Island
 
Format: CD, digital, vinyl
 
Time: 51:18
 
Release Date: 2012 September 17
 
Spin This: Runaway, The Way It Was, Here With Me
 

Pros:

Smart assortment of effective arena-rock and '80's pop-rock glitz
 

Cons:

One out-of-place track, but nothing to seriously pout about
 

Coldplay with edge: Flowers and the Killers return with familiarity and more

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Coldplay with edge: Flowers and the Killers return with familiarity and more

With an overwhelming four-year hiatus and a self-indulgent solo record from frontman Brandon Flowers (Flamingo) now behind them, the Killers have returned back to their work ethic – with Flowers, of course. Well worth the wait, since the band fires up a glowing mix of magical arena-rock dipped in grandiose Springsteen rawness, Coldplay sing-a-long choruses and ‘80’s rock sensibilities. The album opener, “Flesh and Bone,” sonically familiarizes the listener to “When You Were Young” until it walks into a trippy bridge highlighting a Ray Manzarek-like organ and tempo shift. It’s a pleasant opener full of innovation and pride, but the album’s bundle of gems quickly overtakes everything heard on the album’s first three minutes. “Runaways,” the album’s first single of choice, soars as its tale tries to makes sense of a young couple’s reckless rash of judgment: “We got engaged on a Friday night/I swore on the head of our unborn child/That I could take care of the three of us/But I’ve got the tendency to slip when the nights get wild.”  And there’s more: “The Way It Was” shimmers like a Journey ‘80’s anthem; the H&O-spiced “Here With Me” pours on the romance; “Deadlines and Commitments” transforms into a synth heaven; “Miss Atomic Bomb” dances like U2 opera. Much of the second half is regulated to cool alt-rock jams and dreamy New Wave experiments, leaving Flowers ample room to soar vocally where there’s empty spaces. Some of those tracks aren’t entirely flattering (“The Rising Tide” copies the magic, but comes across as a mimicked Rod Stewart “Young Turks.”), but the Phil Collins dreamy balladry of “Be Still” and the bonus track of “Carry Me Home” certainly make up for lost moments. Much of the album’s likability surrounds its smart choice of rock producers – Steve Lillywhite, Brendan O’Brien and Daniel Lanois – who help give the Killers a boost of pop-rock without sacrificing their own identity.

 


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine.


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