The Killers have emerged with a confident fifth release by combining their trademark synth-pop with a new swagger.
It’s been 5 years since The Killers dropped an album, but Brandon Flowers isn’t fazed by the competition. He declares his title for top dog in the lead single “The Man.” His presumption isn’t too far off considering Wonderful Wonderful, the band’s fifth album is their first #1 on the Billboard 200.
The group’s arrival is announced in the LP’s first song and title track “Wonderful Wonderful.” The tune provides a preview of the new release. It’s a rather pensive introduction, keeping us on the edge.
We are introduced to a cockier frontman in the “The Man.” The first single has its own identity; an inflated ego. “I got gas in the tank, I got money in the bank, I got news for you baby, you’re looking at the man, I got skin in the game, I got a household name, I got news for you baby, you’re looking at the man.”
The type “A” personality takes a back seat, exposing the vulnerability in “Rut.” The tune touches upon Flowers’ wife’s battle with mental illness. We sense the anticipation of encouragement and inspiration in “Life to Come.” “This is not a shakedown, let go of the blame, have a little faith in me girl, Just dropkick the shame, uncover your face girl, Let go of the blame, have a little faith in me, just drop kick the shame.”
“Run For Cover,” the second single is a dead ringer for “When You Were Young”. Meanwhile, “Tyson vs Douglas” packs a synth-pop punch. Keeping us on our toes, the tune has us dancing around the ring. “When I saw him go down, felt like somebody lied, I had to hold my breath ’til the coast was clear, when I saw him go down, felt like somebody lied, I had to close my eyes just to stop the tears.”
Exploring new territory, “Some Kind Of Love” and “Out Of My Mind” show a softer side, something that we haven’t seen from the band before. The Las Vegas natives dabble with blues and funk in “The Calling.” Catching us off guard, Actor Woody Harrelson opens the gritty tune with a Bible verse voiceover.
Combining their new wave/indie rock trademark sound matched with emotionally charged lyrics, makes for a wonderful wonderful compilation; arguably their first since Hot Fuss and Sam’s Town.
4 out of 5 stars