Under Review: The Killers – Day & Age

In a mere matter of years following their smash debut, The Killers have gone through a lot of changes for such a young band. Hot Fuss was the sound of the door to the fraternity of indie rock’s elite being kicked down, and Sam’s Town was an unexpectedly mature follow-up that only widened their appeal. With Day & Age, the boys take the sonics of Sam’s Town and focus them into a neat and ambitious package. Brandon Flowers‘ songwriting is the most developed of the band’s changes, with lyrics exploring alienation (“Losing Touch”) and the synthetic backdrop of their native Las Vegas (“Neon Tiger”). Not all of the set is humorless (this is, after all, the band that brought us “Where The White Boys Dance”), as the guys spin tales of alien abduction in “Spaceman,” and provide a grammar-confounding hook in lead single “Human.” Where The Killers began their careers as synth-pounding, hi-hat-smashing Anglophiles, Day & Age finds Flowers and company branching out with odder instrumentation, like the afrobeat chants of “This Is Your Life” and the exotic steel drums on “I Can’t Stay.” While one of the best songs only appears as a bonus track on some editions (“Human” B-Side, “A Crippling Blow”), Day & Age is an intriguing set from a band that isn’t afraid to be over-the-top. They may not take themselves too seriously (I mean, have you seen their press photos lately?), but The Killers are clearly more comfortable making the musical equivalent to a white sequined jumpsuit and cape than something more formal. Grown-up as they may be, I suspect that The Killers would much rather be dancer than human.

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~ by E. on November 24, 2008.

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