The Killers

Wonderful Wonderful

Written by: MIN on 10/02/2018 14:14:46

As a young teenager in the mid naughts, few bands meant as much to me as The Killers and their two first LPs, the massively successful ”Hot Fuss” and ”Sam’s Town”. Admittedly, most bands occupying Fox’s teenage show the O.C.’s soundtrack had somewhat of an impact on me in this very receptive period of my life, but especially The Killers stuck. Recalling our previous review of The Killers’ album ”Battle Born”, I, too, am a firm believer that the band unfortunately went in a different direction when they released “Day & Age”, focusing largely on hit-singles over the engaging storytelling found on “Sam’s Town”. As the years went by, I got over The Killers, and although I recall enjoying “Battle Born” to a larger extend, I never quite got into it like I would’ve several years prior. Today, however, I’m tasked with the job of reviewing the band’s latest record, “Wonderful Wonderful”, which, right off the bat, sounds huge; the production value is enormous, there are world music influences, children’s choirs and slick synths and grooves – and although most of this sounds like your typical Killers record, something inside feels broken.

Granted, the entire band contributed to this record, but it feels increasingly like Flowers calling the shots, reflected in the fact that half of the band won’t be touring on The Killers’ current tour. All too often, it feels like someone should’ve maybe told Flowers to stop his ideas and just let the natural order of the songs take their course and run out, but instead he always seems to add something extra and unnecessary to them; try as he might, Flowers will never be Freddie Mercury, no matter how excellent his singing is. The worst example of this is during the ballade “Rut”, which beautifully highlights Flowers’ voice and follows a linear path, but towards the end takes a detour of U2-like proportions, where a choir sings “I’ll climb and I’ll climb” repeatedly (a gamble otherwise perfected on “All These Things That I’ve Done” off the band’s debut record), ultimately ruining a decent song. “The Man”, too, could’ve turned out well if the chorus had been cut short, but alas it does not and instead you’re stuck with the infuriatingly cringe-worthy ”Who’s the man? Who’s the man? I’m the man” repetitiveness before the next verse starts.

Even the songs on the album’s latter half, where the band gets a helping hand from Australian musician Alex Cameron, lack real punch; “Out of My Mind” is boring in all of its 80s-inspired synth- and guitar work, and the blues riff-turned-electro of “The Calling” never manages to convey the early 90s-feeling of Depeche Mode. The only exceptions arrive during the single “Run for Cover”, which somehow manages to stay focused and ultimately comes off as a solid effort, and the epic “Tyson vs. Douglas”, which wonderfully combines the band’s gigantic framework with decent interior.

An overall symptom throughout the record (besides Flowers’ shenanigans) seems to be uninspired songwriting; everything sounds neat, every delivery is spot-on, yet “Wonderful Wonderful” is a boring album to sit through. Despite the claims I heard of a “return” for the band, not a single song manages to boast the prowess of the chorus in “Runaways”, the fun of “Human” and “Spaceman” or the gripping tales of “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” and “When You Were Young”. “Wonderful Wonderful” is a chapter in the book of Killers best left as a placeholder in your record collection, only occupying space to complete your collection of records by a once great band.


Download: Run for Cover, Tyson vs. Douglas
For The Fans Of: U2, Brian Fallon, Bruce Springsteen, Duran Duran
Listen: Facebook

Release date 22.09.2017
Island Records

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