By Jessica Spottek
RIYL: Franz Ferdinand, Kings of Leon, Snow Patrol
With being one of the biggest modern-day rock legends, The Killers have had hit after hit during their mid-2000s run. Many music junkies like myself are in love with “their old stuff”, which is heavily emphasized in this decade with The Killers. After their 2017 album, “Wonderful Wonderful”, the band’s decreasing slope became steeper with this latest release.
The Vegas-bonded glam rock band formed in 2001 with lead vocalist, Brandon Flowers (one of my many musician crushes). 2004 was the biggest year for the band with their debut release of “Hot Fuss”…I would argue one of the best albums of all time. Honestly! Top to bottom, one of my absolute favorites! If you are not impressed with the lyricism and musicality on “Hot Fuss”, I’d say that you’re the hot fuss. Anyways, the band blew up and the Killers fan following became very large across the world with their two biggest hits (still today), “Mr.Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me”. The band’s 2007 album, “Sam’s Town”, also became popular with the hit track, “When You Were Young” (one of my favorites!).
Since the 2000s, I haven’t been SUPER impressed with new releases The Killers have brought to their audience. “Battle Born” (2012) was a bit of a flop. Yes, you can argue that there were hit tracks on this album, but overall, they pretty much stay as B-sides of the band’s discography. I never loved “Battle Born” as much as the earlier albums (like I stated, “their earlier stuff was better” mindset). I remember moving to college the summer of 2017 and “Wonderful Wonderful” was released a month later. I think the band had some sort of chat and was like hey, if we wanna keep doing this, we gotta step up our game. And so they did! The 2017 album was actually wonderful wonderful! One of my favorite tracks off this album is “Tyson vs Douglas”, which is about the historical boxing match between Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas in 1990.
So I’ve been vibing with this album for a few years, right? I see The Killers in concert in summer 2019, right? And I’m thinking you know, I feel like they’re getting older and their new stuff isn’t as great as “Hot Fuss”. So I find out that they have this new album, “Imploding the Mirage” coming out in 2020…I’m hype! But I realize that the closer the album release came, the more that I wasn’t really too excited.
“Caution” was their advance track for the album, and you’ve probably heard it on every pop station (now that I think of it, “My Own Soul’s Warning” was also an advance track). It’s a great song, don’t get me wrong! It makes a statement on every pop station because it’s different from everything else you hear on it (It’s usually played between “Blinding Lights” by the Weeknd and some sort of Dua Lipa song). However, if you took the alternative-glam-rock-ish version of a dua lipa album, you’d get “Imploding the Mirage”. I’ve probably used this analogy more than once, but there’s a reason why the Black Keys don’t change their sound and it’s because they’ve tried a few times and failed so they keep making the same music. What I’m trying to get at here is that The Killers haven’t had anything as blown-out-of-the-water good since at least 2007, flopped a few times, and just made the same old same old. It’s not that it’s a bad thing, but it can become a bad habit for bands.
My favorite tracks off of “Imploding the Mirage” have to be “Fire in Bone” and “Running Towards a Place”. I think these are the two tracks that don’t sound the exact same as the others. Of course you’ll know it’s a Killers song, but every other track sounds just like “Caution”. It’s so original that it’s too much of the same! I didn’t find any uniqueness to this album besides the fact that they feature Weyes Blood on a B-Side (girl power!). The production of the album is great, I’ll give them that! Maybe it’s great because Brandon Flowers and the band is getting too old and needs a little umph in their producing. Overall, I would give this album a 5/10 due the lack of uniqueness and variety.