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Killers, The - 2008 Day And Age




ARTIST: Killers, The
ALBUM: Day And Age
LABEL: Island
SERIAL: B0012197-02
YEAR: 2008
CD REISSUE: Reissue List

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Brandon Flowers - vocals, keyboards * Dave Keuning - guitars, vocals * Mark Stoermer - bass, vocals * Ronnie Vannucci - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Losing Touch * 02 Human * 03 Spaceman * 04 Joy Ride * 05 A Dustland Fairytale * 06 This Is Your Life * 07 I Can't Stay * 08 Neon Tiger * 09 The World We Live In * 10 Goodnight, Travel Well

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.thekillersmusic.com


Background
Here's a question for you, should Glory Daze include a review from an already highly accomplished band, one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, surely they don't need any further coverage or I am just stretching the elastic of melodic rock, even AOR a little too far. Especially as over the last 12 months the question was set to even include reviews from the Frontiers stable. Well so whats my reasoning, I have the tendency too ignore more mainstream acts, I would rather play more obscure releases then spend my evenings playing something which may not be that challenging or interesting. I have lost count of the times I have heard a couple of singles on the radio from the latest fad band only to buy the album and be disappointed by the overall lack of depth to a bands material. But with The Killers I find them being one of the few popular bands not to fall into this pit of despair. This being the 3rd album or 4th if you include a selection of b-sides and rarities which formed 'Sawdust' and let us not forget that at the early stage of their fledgling career they were even darlings of more hard rock TV channels, appearing regularly on the Kerrang channel with a couple of exceptional singles, especially with 'Somebody Told Me' and 'Mr Brightside'. But with the recent mention of The Script, The Hoosiers, One Republic and the The Feeling on the site, I feel this album grants some time to review and even discuss. By the way, am I the only one who feels they have major similarities with New England?


The Songs
'Losing Touch' comes across very much with a Peter Gabriel influence with the use of saxophone and a 'sledgehammer riff in the introduction, which also reacquaints us many times during the track. But it is typical The Killers, with its highs and lows, fast and slow to result in a safe opening track which provides a solid foundation for what is all and tense and purposes sees the group venturing into new directions. With 'Human' being the lead off single they try something different. I'm sure like me this song has been rattleling around your brain for weeks, whether you like it or not. The tune is overdosed in synths, even to the point of Erasure and Pet Shop Boys; whether that is a good thing its still open to debate. Nevertheless unlike these previous comparisons, Brandon can hold a tune. I prefer the follow up being 'Spaceman', it has a more satisfying chorus and Brandon starts stretching his vocal performance. Influences reign down in a mish mash of old and new, in the shape of classic Cure and The Hoosiers. During my summary I mention Queen's 'Hot Space', and the next track, 'Joy Ride' provides good evidence of my later thoughts with a funky beat. Overall it's a clever arrangement and is crying out to be another selection on radios playlist. It has a touch of 10cc, in the 'Dreadlock Holiday' phase and Talking Heads in its more strange moments. Much thought has gone into 'A Dustland Fairytale' with its complex construction and lyrical content. Slow introduction with the piano which builds up in orchestral proportions, the song has an ELO glint in its eyes if you look closely. It becomes one of the major tracks of the CD, quality dripping from its temple and what is remarkable that it becomes a mini symphony in just less than 4 minutes. In contrast to 'This Is Your Life', a strange combination of the awful 'Lion Sleeps Tonight' by Tight Fit mixed with U2 riffs. The African styling chanting continues for most of the duration.

The Killers continue to add another slant to their repertoire; ultimately it is another consistent tune, although nothing special. Nearly in all of the tunes, the band tries to incorporate many different styles plus various instruments and 'I Cant Stay' is another good representation of further evidence if you ever needed it. Cello, saxophones, horns, kitchen sink, everything gets a look in, something previous albums lacked in variety. But on the other side I do feel that previous albums have individual better tunes but the lesser tunes contained in previous albums brought down their aggregate score. 'Neon Tiger' is a pretty strong tune, with a simple chorus that is familiar and particularly works in a Mott The Hoople style, while the verses remind me of Squeeze. I do find they have gone further away from indie rock roots. 'The World We Live In' has a great keyboard sound and gives it a bit more bite. Brandon vocals here are deeper in tone, less poppy. Another persistently pleasing tune. At number 9 it may get lost, it could easily been used as the opening track, other less talented bands would give their back teeth to have such a strong tune in their back locker that's for sure. 'Goodnight Travel Well' at nearly 7 minutes is easily the longest track. Surprisingly the opening sounds like a doom metal song and this feeling does remain throughout the composition, although it gets buried deeper as the song continues but it is always there lurking in the shadows. With this opening Brandon soft vocals does mean that they haven't donned the black overcoats and followed in the footsteps of My Dying Bride and Candlemass just yet. It does provide a great intellectual current that pulses through the song to result in an epic pop tune, a tremendous album track. So look out Coldplay, your authority and reign is being threatened by this excellent quartet.


In Summary
Again we see The Killers providing everything and anything of what can be good about music. They are quickly becoming the quintessential rock group; Brandon's voice has always had an air of fragility to it, which was previously exampled best by 'When You Were Young' from 'Sams Town', this time it's 'A Dustland Fairytale'. It's a positive quality - one that personifies feeling, depth and sincerity. The songs just advance effortlessly and gracefully during the period of time it is playing. Yes, and this album may have had its fair share of dissenters and although maybe it's a tad too early to say 'Day And Age', is their 'Hot Space' of their career, the album definitely has less guitar and less New England style keyboards and harmonies as before. But overall it is a more consistent album and I find it easier to sit through and listen to in its entirety. But just as the Gherkin (the Swiss Re Building) is the most recent interesting change to the London skyline, I find that The Killers are the most interesting group to burst forth in the last 10 years of 'popular' music.


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Comments

#1 | Eric on April 12 2009 21:17:11
I do think The Killers belong here since they owe so much to art rock of the '70s as you pointed out. Brandon Flowers duds on the 'Spaceman' video are pure Brian Eno which is appropriate since the Roxy sound is prevalent here as well.
#2 | reyno-roxx on April 13 2009 10:18:17
I like the diversity of this site. There is no reason why the Killers shouldn't be featured here any more than, say, Leo Sayer or Barry Manilow. Having said that, I don't think this is the Killers best album to date. That honour must go to the second album.

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