The Killers – Day & Age
Posted November 24, 2008on:
The Killers’ return with their third (fourth if you include Sawdust) album: “Day & Age” and I tell you, it’s very good…
Although in my mind, nothing will ever reach the dizzying hights of Hot Fuss, the band have made a mammoth effort at turning things around with this album. Let’s start by putting things in perspective; Hot Fuss was a brilliant entry into the UK Indie Scene, with massive hits all over the place on it – it’s something that only The Killers can do properly, and something that they haven’t even been able to recreate since then. Yet, Day & Age comes closer than anything else they have done to actually hitting the oh-so-high threshold the guys set themselves with ‘Mr Brightside.’
Although nothing was technically ‘wrong’ with Sam’s Town, it just didn’t follow the direction that many Killers fans wanted it to – they opened up more to the rock and USA influence rather than continuing down the road of the massive synth-inspired hits they were churning out. But this isn’t something to chastise, especially when the band visibly re-invent themselves every time they release something new. So, whilst we don’t have a new Hot Fuss, we have something that is alltogether very solid, and just as uplifting and fresh as the band has been for the last 5 or 6 years.
On to the actual album content, and the first three tracks seriously let you know that The Killers have arrived back over to the UK with a bang. The “USA’s best British band” start off with standard Killers fayre: ‘Losing Touch’ a song which draws you in at the start and then sends you through a variety of twists and turns before shunting you head on into the path of the brilliant ‘Human’ - a song that, like so many others that the quartet have written. contains lyrics that make absolutley no sense but clearly try to tackle some juge question. The line “Are we human? Or are we dancers?” may be nonsense, but it just fits brilliantly.
‘Spaceman’ is probably the closest thing on the album to a Mr B kind of epic track, but despite not quite being as good, it is “a turning point” – like Flowers manages to say during the song. Whilst we’re running with the theme of a trip – ‘Joy Ride’ seems to take us over to South America for a bit of Samba fun, and then follows with ‘A Dustland Fairytale.’ Listen to the first 30 seconds of this alone and you may be put off, but persist all the way through and it becomes a real hidden gem – something that will probably be overlooked despite it’s constant build and brilliant pacing (let alone more nonsense: “I saw Cinderella in a party dress / She was looking for her night gown).
More crazy producing follows as ‘This Is Your Life’ appears to have random African chanting all the way through – and you know what, mixed with the synthy beats of the band, it works bloody well. ‘I Can’t Stay’ is a bit more of a jazzy croon, but still is easy-listening and proceeds the band’s homage to Bowie: ‘Neon Tiger.’ ‘The World We Live In’ again starts slow but picks up by the end but then makes way for the boring album ender, slow and synthy ‘Goodnight, Travel Well’ - something that is no match for Sam’s Town’s fairwell: ‘exitlude.’ Fortunatley, the uplifting and jumpy ‘Bonus Track’ ‘A Crippling Blow’ ends the album in good stead.
So, although Day & Age isn’t the answer to Hot Fuss like many Killers fans would have hoped – it does manage to create a solid reinvention of the band that sets off to (and fulfills) satisfy all those who buy the album.