Battle bored: The Killers latest release falls flat

By BRADEN LAMMERS

Since The Killers burst onto the scene in 2004 with their debut album “Hot Fuss” their popularity and critical acclaim has dropped progressively.

In 2004, radio audiences couldn’t get away from songs like “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me.” The band’s debut album went triple-platinum in the United States and was followed up by another platinum release “Sam’s Town.” The group’s third album “Day & Age” was released in 2008 and again attained platinum record status in the United Kingdom.

After the band’s most recent tour ended in 2010 the group took a year-and-a-half break before it went back to work to produce its fourth full-length album “Battle Born.” The album was released in mid-September.

The Killers should have quit while they were ahead.

Record rating: 3.4 of 10

What sounded original in 2004, now sounds like a desperate attempt to grasp for a hit – in 1989.

Brandon Flowers, lead singer and keyboardist, Dave Keuning, guitarist, Mark Stoermer, bassist and Ronnie Vannucci, drummer, remain the steady lineup of the band and severely miss the mark on their latest effort.

Pop-driven, with a just a tinge of rock-and-roll that remains, the album will remind listeners of bad wannabe hair ballads without the nostalgia. But at least the lyrics were updated to reflect this era instead of the late-1980s.

“I don’t want your picture on my cell phone/ I want you here with me/ I don’t want your memory in my head, no/ I want you here with me,” Flowers wails in “Here with Me.”

He may want it with him, but I don’t want this song anywhere near me.

Eventually, the album drifts out of the dreadful ballad territory and touches the edges of terrible synth-techno pop and country-influenced, pop-rock.

The Killers were so desperate for a hit they tried to touch every genre of music with the hopes that one song might register with the respective niche for that audience.

“Battle Born” kindly, is schizophrenic.

Plainly, it’s trite. It insults the audience that expected anything beyond a recycling of the band’s previous hits, refined to cater to a larger pop crowd.

Just to drive it home the group added a bonus track of dreadful proportions, “Carry Me Home.” It included lines like “the morning dove sings, with two broken wings/carry me home, I’m not afraid/ the stars in my eyes, with shimmering lies/carry me home, don’t let me fade.”

The only thing I’m afraid of now is that The Killers will continue to put out albums like this.

Record rating: 3.4 of 10

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About hoosierhits
The music blog of the News and Tribune, Jeffersonville & New Albany, Ind.

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