I was introduced to The Killers music back in 2004, when they’ve just released Hot Fuss and Somebody Told Me single. I remember we were struggling hard with friends to understand – was boyfriend a girlfriend, or what? Then they released Mr. Brightside, probably their most well-known song in Armenia. 8 years have passed since those times, but little have changed in band’s music. I can’t really tell whether it’s a good thing for fans or not, but I like it this way, although The Killers have never been in the list of my favourite bands, despite all those sweet memories their music awakes.
But The Killers have always been one of those bands whose musical stability never worried me (as opposed to Coldplay). Let me explain myself better: The Killers are among those bands who are categorized as rock stars (with category’s both good and bad characteristics) and yet have kept being adequate in all their musical and professional ways. And having listened to band members’ solo projects (frontman Brandon Flowers’s Flamingo album, drummer Ronnie Vannucci’s side project Big Talk, bassist Mark Stoermer’s Another Life album), I can freely express how happy I am to lay my hands on new The Killers album. It’s interesting to see and hear how side projects are reflected in band’s new recordings.
Battle Born is band’s “difficult fourth” studio album and first one to be released in the last four years. Its title hints about the struggle it was accompanied by: “In a sense, all Americans are battle-born. Our ancestors came here for something better,”- said Flowers, and Vannucci added: “It’s living up to its title. This is our difficult fourth record.”
Flesh and Bone is the opening track with its very first notes played by ear-piercing synths – only to distract listener’s attention. The song itself has typical The Killers sound and is a perfect opening for the rest of the album, repeating album title in its lyrics. Runaways continues its job and tunes up the listener for good: now you’re ready for The Killers keynote for sure. The whole album is a line of hit tracks, with The Way It Was, From Here On Our and, of course, title song Battle Born specifically standing out. But when I say a big hit, I mean powerful, emotional songs like All These Things That I’ve Done, you know, the ones that can make you stand up and sing along in loud voice. And I, being a non-fan of The Killers, would easily do that while listening to All These Things. Battle Born features such an energetic song, too: Miss Atomic Bomb might as well be band’s next big hit.
Ballads are also quite beautiful: Here With Me, Heart Of A Girl and finally, Be Still.
Brandon Flowers’s clean voice and the musical harmony created by band’s other members’ – these are things that characterize The Killers the best for me, and Battle Born showcases them perfectly.