From the minute “Mr. Brightside” was released as a single, The Killers were an “it”band.The Las Vegas group debuted with a roar in 2003 and achieved some serious arena rock glory. While The Killers never really went away, their run of hits waned after their two initial records. Their subsequent albums lacked the same burst of energy that made The Killers so great. Just one track into their new LP, Wonderful Wonderful, it appears that The Killers may have recaptured the magic that made them one of the world’s preeminent bands.
When The Killers first arrived, their music was something that a wide range of people could dance to. Big choruses and catchy riffs made “When You Were Young,” “Mr. Brightside,” and “Somebody Told Me” instant hits. Their first records Hot Fuss (2004) and Sam’s Town (2006) were popular for proms, FM radio, and Rock Band. The band racked up awards and platinum records and received a major nod from Robbie Williams at Live 8. The Killers seemed like a group that could do no wrong.
In their follow-up albums Day & Age (2008) and Battle Born (2012), the rockers crafted two solid records. Both LPs seemed to be more focused around ballads and lead singer Brandon Flowers. While the idea of changing your sound is never a bad concept for a band, the FM hits were not quite there anymore. It was hard to enjoy The Killers without the same bouncy guitar-synth blend that backed the emboldened vocals of front man Brandon Flowers.
The first glimpse of their new record Wonderful Wonderful indicates that The Killers may have recaptured the excitement that made them one of the most celebrated bands in the world. The single “The Man” instantly grabs the listener’s attention with a burst of noise that is highlighted by some pretty funky guitar. With lyrics like “I know the score like the back of my hand/Them other boys, I don’t give a damn/They kiss the ring, I carry the crown,” the song gives the band a swagger that exceeds their most recent work. If enough of Wonderful Wonderful mirrors “The Man,” The Killers will be able to reclaim their “it” factor and sit alongside contemporary pop’s hitmakers again.
The initial credits of Wonderful Wonderful indicate that The Killers have made some smart choices for their guests. By recruiting Brian Eno and Mark Knopfler, The Killers brought some heavyweight influences that also make sense as a complement to their sound. The album is set to be released on September 20. Along with The Killers, other rock bands like Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age are also releasing albums as a part of a top-heavy third-quarter in 2017.
Over the weekend, I caught up on Best Picture Nominee Bohemian Rhapsody (more on that later). Given that I was six when Freddie Mercury died, I never had the chance to catch the arena rock band live. The movie did allow me the chance to revisit one of my favorite live albums: the Queen + […]