By Caleb Spencer / Campus Editor
Ever since the release of “Hot Fuss” in 2004, the Las Vegas-based band The Killers have stayed a household name across the world. However, they never quite saw the same critical or commercial success that came with “Hot Fuss”.
However, with the Aug. 21 release of “Imploding The Mirage,” The Killers attempted to capture the synth-rock catchiness that their early singles used to hook into the world’s ears.
Right from the start, “Imploding The Mirage” catches your ear with “My Own Soul’s Warning” with echoing vocals that feel custom-made for large-stadium shows, along with shiny synth blasts that compliment the lighter acoustic guitar greatly. Acoustic guitar makes a larger impact on the second track, “Blowback”, trading places with the synths and leading for what almost sounds like if The Killers wanted to make a modern country song.
“Dying Breed” starts quiet, with only a fast drum beat and single-note guitar to suggest the buildup that occurs as the track continues. Ethereal backing vocals and sweet-talking lyrics make for a song that belongs in the climax for an 80s romance movie. Heading into the lead single for the album, Caution, featuring a fiery guitar solo to close out the song, this track rivals some of the classic songs in The Killers’ discography.
The first feature of the album comes from k.d. lang on “Lightning Fields”, which brings with it a three-song span that drags the rest of the album down with it. Outside of a change of vocal delivery with the addition of k.d. lang, there’s nothing too notable about this track – more synth, more echoing vocals, more of the same for The Killers. However, the next track does bring change.
“Fire In Bone” enters with a groovy baseline and jangly drum beat, all sounding like ’80s pop. Despite the change in pace, this is still the weakest track. The baseline enters strong but disappears halfway through the song, the lyrics are boring and repetitive, and nothing interesting happens after the 30-second mark.
Filling out the lull in the middle of the album, “Running Towards A Place” does nothing to make someone want to listen to it or pay attention to what the song has to say.
After falling into a rough patch, the last feature of the album comes from Weyes Blood on “My God”. The shared chorus between Brandon Flowers and Weyes Blood, along with some catchy percussion, carry the album out of the hole left by the three prior tracks. The solo verse by Weyes Blood also breathes fresh air into the song, making this one of my favorites on the entire album.
Considering the number of highs and lows on this album, it’s only fitting that the last two songs are forgettable. They’re both OK, but they are immediately forgotten in my mind. I don’t expect them to hold any place in my memory in the future.
Overall, “Imploding The Mirage” shows that The Killers can still pump out radio-ready tunes, even if they aren’t as consistent as they were back in the 2000s. While most of the tracklist hits, a little less than half of the songs are at best forgettable and at worst bad. If you want golden-hour driving music with your friends, “Imploding The Mirage” is a solid option.