The Killers rise from the dead with “BattleBorn”
After four long years, the Killers overwhelmed fans with their fourth studio album, “BattleBorn,” released Tuesday, Sept. 18. The band spared no expense hiring five major producers, creating an epic American anthem with boisterous songs that bounce off the Richter scale like an earthquake.
Featuring militaristic drumbeats juxtaposed with triumphant power chords, the band finally settles into their American heritage with this album. Its sound is influenced by a surplus of rock artists more similar to Meat Loaf and Springsteen, even hinting at U2. Of course, their signature meditation-like synths glide their way into the minor key tunes reminiscent of the 1980s.
Above all, this album is about a struggle. A one band verses the world assault, fighting through to find a voice. And find it Brandon Flowers, the lead vocalist, did. It isn’t the flat monotone mutters of the past, but a pitch-changing roar of the future, perhaps as an answer to the past album’s criticism of lacking a continuous sound. “BattleBorn” answers the critics with an overall sound that risks repetition. Although, the individual tracks keep the listener guessing, there is no structured cadence to be spoken of, but rather a measure by measure commingles of style and speed. Unlike most vocal driven bands, the instrumentation isn’t pushed aside for a voice leaving the listener with a sense of unity. Overall, the composition has certainly matured.
However, the lyric writing hasn’t. The listener is still thrust into all the sexual frustration and uncertainty of a teenage romance, delivering to an almost obviously specific audience. Replacing the past lyrical ambiguity with a more concrete form of storytelling, this album differs from the horn riddled experimental sound of “Day and Age” and pulls back to memories of their second, “Sam’s Town.”
The indie-influenced new wave, post-punk styles the band was famous for, have been left in the dust for something more seasoned, resonant, and energetic. This album was written to be played live, and played live it shall. Following the release on Tuesday with a sold out concert at the Paradise Theater in the Bronx, N.Y., fans heard the album the way it was intended. “BattleBorn” will sweep the fans away, top the charts, and be talked about for months to come.
The Setonian gives this album 5 out of 5 stars.
Benjamin Rader can be reached at Benjamin.firstname.lastname@example.org. edu.