Last August, I wrote a column giving my opinions on the Killers’ latest album, “Imploding the Mirage.” The band has announced a follow-up album that is supposedly due for August, according to drummer Ronnie Vannucci.
This short release schedule what I expect from the Killers, and I’m feeling a mixture of apprehension and excitement. I don’t what such a short time between releases can produce, considering the band has a history of taking years between records. This may not be a bad thing though, as each record has been consistently solid and produced unforgettable songs like “Run for Cover” or last year’s “My Own Soul’s Warning.”
Due to this news, I’ve decided to revisit my review of “Imploding the Mirage.” I was hesitant to be overly critical of one of my favorite bands, more specifically the band that got me into music, but the record does have its flaws. It also has things that are wonderfully unique about it, like lead singer Brandon Flowers’ embrace of his love of rootsy, Americana-like music.
I’m still not the biggest fan of one of the singles, “Fire in Bone,” but even that song has nice moments, like acoustic flourishes that are not common in the Killers’ music.
There are moments that seem like Flowers can’t decide whether he prefers his affection for 1950’s aesthetics with imagery of deserts and Miss Atomic Bombs, or the 80’s influence seen in last year’s “Lightning Fields,” with its drum machines and piano stabs. After listening to a song like “Dying Breed,” I almost find myself preferring the Americana side, which is surprising because I don’t often listen to that type of music. But the Killers put their own spin on it, with Flowers’ passionate voice and Vannucci’s bombastic, arena-filling drums. Overall, I think they’ve begun to lean towards the sound they first began exploring all the way back in 2006 with “Sam’s Town,” and hinted at with “A Dustland Fairytale” and fully embraced with “Battleborn.” Many people weren’t happy with the shift from the new-wave sounds of “Hot Fuss,” but a decade and a half later, this version of the Killers is still sounding pretty damn good. I don’t think any band could successfully sound like the Killers do now, as they are almost sounding like an amalgamation of all their previous albums. For this summer’s release, I’d love to hear a further embrace of the sound of “Dying Breed” or “Running Towards a Place.”
Apparently, guitarist Dave Keuning is reentering the lineup after a hiatus, and this has me very excited. In his time off from the Killers, Keuning released a solid solo album and has been releasing fantastic singles, particularly “The Fountain.” I think having the founding guitarist back for this record can only work wonders for the band, and I hope to hear some new iconic riffs that were somewhat lacking over the past two records, drowned out over synths and Flowers’ own voice. I would love to hear a solo in a Killers song like the one in “The Fountain.”
The Killers have always been heralded as somewhat of a singles band, and that ultimately shines through on “Imploding the Mirage.” I do think it’s a better record than 2017’s “Wonderful Wonderful,” and maybe even 2012’s “Battleborn.” I hope this trend continues into this year’s release, and even if it doesn’t, I’ll always be excited for new music from the Killers.
Ryan Meyer is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]