Day & Age

The Killers

Island, 2008

REVIEW BY: Mike Cirelli


Though frontman Brandon Flowers shaved off the ridiculous Freddie Mercury-style ‘stache, he kept everything else that made The Killers the height of too muchery. This means Day & Age is awash in theatrical guitars, overreaching glam influences, torpedoing synthesizers, and a lyrical content kitschy enough to screenwrite the entire next season of Knight Ridermy_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 . He’s still penning Springsteenian tales of “headlights on the highway,” “rattlesnakes and romance,” and, in “Dustland Fairytale,” Cinderella’s love affair with a “slick chrome American prince.”

Despite the unsurprisingly droll songwriting, Flowers has finally settled back in a gilded throne of discreet confidence. He sounds less eager to prove the band’s merit this time around, singing “Losing Touch” with an aptly aloof and passive-aggressive tremor as thrilling pseudo-horns detonate behind him. Here the Killers’ shtick becomes less of a novelty and more of a calculated atmospheric trick: gorgeous dance-rock synths turn into lush violin-replicating swooshes in “Human,” instead of the insane bravado of their Guitar Hero-favored hit, “When You Were Young,” while drummer Ronnie Vannucci stampedes across the Nevada desert.

In “Spaceman,” Flowers proves that his inordinate storytelling can be a slick melodic treat. Over a jaunty acoustic guitar rhythm, he narrates a tale of alien abduction. When he sings about “zipping white laser beams,” he rivals the appealing grandiosity of Mercury singing about laser beams in “Killer Queen.”

Where Sam’s Town took us out into the scorching Las Vegas sand dunes, full of twisters, desolate highways, and theosophical allusions, Day & Age takes us to the same place during nightfall, where a cool wind gently blows and swaddles each song in opulent, flowing synth-strings. And while Flowers maintains his garish dancer’s side, he also lets out his human side. Which was exactly what he needed to do to find the perfect middle ground between Hot Fuss’ pop rock and Sam’s Town’s highway slush.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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