Music Review: THE KILLERS – Battle Born
Published: September 17, 2012 - 10:19am
The Killers have yet to make an album of the same caliber of 'Sam's Town' since that record was released in 2006. Their last effort, 2008's 'Day and Age' was a letdown for me, so I've had high hopes the band would return to glorious form after a long hiatus. 'Battle Born' is a return to form, but it's not as glorious as it could be.
Lead singer Brandon Flowers reminds me of a younger Elton John. The Killers have always approached their music in this re-invigorated classic way that hearkens back to the oldschool days of when musicians sounded like they took lot's of acid while recording their albums. Keyboards, pianos and surreal epic songs have a hard time existing in the rock scene because the tracks are difficult to grasp after an initial listen. Where I think 'Battle Born' is both genius and tortured is its layered approach which is ripe for replayability but difficult to hook onto during that first and all important play listen.
'Flesh and Bone', 'Runaways' and 'Miss Atomic Bomb' are all terrific songs that took me back to that pseudo western vibe that I adored on my favorite Killers' album 'Sam's Town'. The title track is intriguing too because it shows how the band has grown over the years. 'Battle Born' is not as memorable for me personally as the band's first two releases, but it's a return to form after the lackluster 'Day and Age'. For that, I am happy the boys are back.
I was left confused at the record's vibe because it felt a little sporadic with songs like 'From Here on Out' creeping in and sounding like something from the early 90's pop country music scene. I'm not sure if five producers getting involved during 'Battle Born's recording process was a good thing or not, but it doesn't sound like a solid way to make an album. The Killers have shaken off the dust and I'm happy they're back to make us think, but they should have stuck with one producer to avoid losing focus.
Not every song has to smash your face with a pop hook so be prepared to simmer on 'Battle Born' for a while. The Killers may not have blown me away with their first album in four years, but they've returned to true form and for that I'm satisfied.
1. "Flesh and Bone"
3. "The Way It Was
4. "Here with Me"
5. "A Matter of Time"
6. "Deadlines and Commitments
7. "Miss Atomic Bomb"
8. "The Rising Tide"
9. "Heart of a Girl"
10. "From Here on Out"
11. "Be Still"
12. "Battle Born"