After a three-years hiatus, The Killers released their sixth album, “Imploding the Mirage,” on Aug. 21, employing electronic rock production, vulnerable lyrics and passionate vocals.
The Killers, a four-member alternative rock band best known for their 2004 and 2006 hit singles, “Mr. Brightside” and “When You Were Young,” have explored a new genre of rock on “Imploding the Mirage.” As the band incorporated new elements with synthesizers and keyboards, they still maintained their signature sound.
“My Own Soul’s Warning,” the album’s opening track, leads with cinematic synths, later incorporating harmonious vocals and heavy-hitting drums. Quiet at first, the track pairs a catchy guitar riff with melodious piano progressions to build the song’s production.
Initially jarring, “Blowback,” the album’s second track, caught my attention with the heavy techno keyboard used in its introduction. Combining a fast-paced beat with the storytelling lyrics, “Born into poor white trash and always typecast / But she’s gonna break out, boy, you’d better know that,” this track got me excited for the rest of the album.
Whimsical “Dying Breed” opens with airy vocals and a minimal yet consistent drumline. Building to a crescendo of hard-hitting cymbals and boomy lead-guitar, this track takes its time in reaching the chorus, creating an aura of suspense that I enjoyed.
The album’s debut single and fourth track, “Caution,” incorporates straightforward lyrics, “If I don’t get out / Out of this town / I just might be the one who finally burns it down,” to illustrate the emotions one can feel when faced with leaving their hometown. Although lyrically focused, the track incorporates a twangy guitar riff that mimics the melody of the vocals, two elements I thought paired well together.
“Lightning Fields,” the album’s fifth track, takes a slower and more dramatic approach than the tracks before it, delving into the death of the band’s lead singer's mother. Featuring Canadian singer-songwriter, K.D. Lang, the track smoothly oscillates between Lang and Brandon Flowers, The Killers’ lead singer. Bringing their voices together for the track’s bridge, “Late at night I lie in bed and think about things left unsaid,” the two singers mesh perfectly.
My personal favorite, “Fire In Bone” seems the most experimental of the album, incorporating playful guitar slides and groovy bass lines, reminiscent of the Talking Heads’ signature funky style. Incorporating auto-tuned vocals over simple lyrics, the track lets its electronic-rock production take center-stage.
“Running Towards A Place,” the album’s seventh track, takes a more traditional approach to pacing than “Fire In Bone” utilizing a mysterious and moody tone. While I enjoyed the track’s guitar and drums, the combination of simple production and non-varying vocals left it feeling lackluster.
The album’s eighth track, “My God,” features soft rock singer Weyes Blood and a catchy violin melody. The anthem-like track utilizes pillowy synths and stand out vocals by Blood.
Melancholic “When The Dreams Run Dry,” the album’s ninth track, makes the latter portion of the album seem slightly repetitive. Although true to the band’s iconic style, the wailing of every chorus leaves this track feeling monotonous. However, I enjoyed the homage to the 1985 classic, “Highwayman” by The Highwaymen, with the lyrics, “And again, and again, and again.”
“Imploding the Mirage,” the album’s closing track, combines an upbeat drum pattern with harmonious and catchy vocals that I loved. The lyrics, “I let go / While you were out there weighing odds / I was imploding the mirage,” narrates the feeling of bouncing back up from a difficult experience.
Overall, I found this album to have the perfect mix between The Killers’ existing sound and new experimentation. Although I hoped for another standout track similar to “Mr. Brightside,” The Killers’ are growing and changing with age, as is their music.
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