The Killers – Imploding The Mirage (Island)
Spotify currently has them listed as the 214th most popular act in the world. So, if you’ve never heard them, I doubt that anything you’ve read on this website is of any use to you. Even the rock you’ve been living under has “Mr. Brightside” on its iPod Nano.
Full disclosure: I’ve never really been a fan of The Killers. Sure, the hits have merit. The songs are fun, full of emotion, technically and artistically beautiful, and the lyrics are wonderfully poetic…but that voice. There’s just something about it that is a complete turnoff for me. It’s like he’s trying really hard to sound like he’s not trying hard.
Until Imploding The Mirage.
This feels like an extreme melodic shift for the band. Instead of bellowing borderline-atonal anthems in Springsteen fashion, the new method is to keep the vocals chill and let the music set the tone and energy in the style of The Pretenders, Tom Petty, or…well, Bruce Springsteen. That is most notable on the perfectly crafted, “Dying Breed”, and the surprising range shown off in “Caution”. Their Talking Heads influence comes out strong in “Fire and Bone”, making it one of the most instantly likeable tracks on the record. The two guest spots on the album, Weyes Blood and k.d. Lang (really?), are highlighted with the most dramatic moments, “My God” and “Lightning Fields”.
Musically, there’s little more to say about the band. They add New Wave keyboards and heavily-triggered drums to classic rock-and-roll sensibilities. It’s what they have been doing since Hot Fuss came out in 2004 and it’s what they will continue to do until somebody stops them. For the first time, I am willing to say that I want them to continue. They’re maturing, and the songs are maturing with them. So, while I’m not ready to say that I like them (I mean, it took them 6 albums for me to say positive things instead of a noncommittal shrug), I am willing to look forward to the next thing.
“My Own Soul’s Warning”, “When The Dreams Run Dry”, and “Imploding The Mirage” are the tracks that sound the most like something that would fall on previous Killers releases, making them my least favorite tracks on the record. Do what you will with that information.
FFO: Franz Ferdinand, Snow Patrol, Talking Heads
-JRRead More »