By Francis Cabal
2008‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨saw the release of The Killers‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨ ‚ÄúDay and Age‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨The following world tour‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨was well-received and lasted until early‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨2010,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨when the band decided to take a break from touring.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨The members focused‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨on other projects,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨and the future of the band was left uncertain.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨The hiatus didn‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨t last long,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨however,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨and in‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨2011‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨they got back together to play a series of shows.
The Killers started work on their fourth album‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚ÄúBattle Born‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨enlisting the help of critically acclaimed producers Steve Lillywhite,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Daniel Lanois,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Brendan O‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨ Brien,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Stuart Price,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨and Damian Taylor.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨It‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s not exactly a return to form for the band,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨instead,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨it‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s a further exploration of the band‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s affinity for‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨80‚Ä≠‚Äė‚Ä¨s music,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨albeit‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨80‚Ä≠‚Äė‚Ä¨s radio pop music rather than the classic‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚ÄúNew Wave‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨ influence they wore proudly on their sleeves.‚Ä≠
The production is top-notch,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨especially on the tracks that Steve Lillywhite worked on.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Lillywhite‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨worked with countless of bands in the‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨70‚Ä≠‚Äė‚Ä¨s and‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨80‚Ä≠‚Äė‚Ä¨s,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨including The Psychedelic Furs,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨U2,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Simple Minds,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨XTC and Talking Heads.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨His grasp of producing classic pop songs give‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨tracks like‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚ÄúFlesh And Bone‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚ÄúHeart Of The Girl‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨and the single‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚ÄúRunaways‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨a sort of timeless appeal.‚Ä≠
‚ÄúRunaways‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨the first single from‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚ÄúBattle Born‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨ is also the finest track‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨in the album.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨It is also the perfect example of what the band was going for with their sound‚Ä≠; ‚Ä¨catchy songs with soaring choruses and beautiful melodies accentuated by Brandon Flowers‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨ assured vocals.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨On the downside,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨the band seems to be coloring by numbers and it shows.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨It‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s like the band‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨is following a template and the quality production can‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨t‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨save the songs from sounding too similar.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Being consistent is one thing,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨but overall,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨this album just lacks depth.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Add to that The Killers‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨ weak spot for lyrics‚Ä≠ (‚Ä¨does‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨‚ÄúSomebody told me/that you have a boyfriend/who looks like a girlfriend‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨ ring a bell‚Ä≠?)‚Ä¨,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨and you‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨re guaranteed for a fun but ultimately mediocre record.‚Ä≠
‚ÄúBattle Born‚Ä≠‚ÄĚ‚Ä¨ is not a bad album by any means.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨But it‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s not a work of art either,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨which is an anomaly because,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨vocally and musically,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨the band is at the top of their game.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨Considering the producers attached to the project,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨this record could‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨ve been something more.‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨I had high hopes for this album,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨and all the negatives aside,‚Ä≠ ‚Ä¨it‚Ä≠‚Äô‚Ä¨s just a simple case of the work not being up to par with all the talent on display.‚Ä≠