Thursday, February 26, 2009
The Killers - Day & Age Review
Day & Age
I wanted to like this album. I really, really did. After all, just like any other self-respecting teenager in 2004 I had The Killers's Hot Fuss on steady repeat. It had everything you could want from The Killers - catchy lyrics, danceable singles, a relatively innovative sound for 2004. Best of all, the 2004 Killers were The Killers. As opposed to what they have now undeniably become - Brandon Flowers and His Diva-licious Synth Band.
The greatest hope for this album was that they would remove some of the elements that made Sam's Town a disappointment - opaque concept-album lyrics, failed experiments in genre-crossing. However, Flowers' ambition to become the Next Big Thing in glam rock has done away with any credibility the band might have retained. Instead of making a return to the success of Hot Fuss, Day & Age has effectively removed the features of Sam's Town that were still functional and replaced them with indulgence.
The first time I heard first single "Human" was in the 2008 Victoria's Secret fashion show, and I'm convinced that couldn't be more appropriate. Oddly reminiscent of Cher's 1999 comeback "Believe," Flowers truly embraces his inner diva. The big controversy of this song has been its grammatically-garbled chorus, ("are we human / or are we dancer?") which Flowers claims he lifted from a Hunter S. Thompson quote, "We're raising a generation of dancers." Flowers seemed surprised by his fans' adverse reaction to the lyric, telling MTV News "I took it and ran. I guess it bothers people that it's not grammatically correct, but I think I'm allowed to do whatever I want." (Montgomery, "Killers' Brandon Flowers Stands Behind 'Human' Chorus, Feathery Jacket," mtv.com 31 Oct 2008)
Flowers certainly does 'do whatever [he] want[s],' as evidenced by train crashes "Joy Ride," which sounds like it could be the soundtrack to "Starsky and Hutch Go Calypso," and "This is Your Life," which is rife with baffling (spiritual?) chanting as a background track behind lyrics which lament the disillusionment of characters Jackie, her steps dogged by police, and Candy, who notices that "no one cares about her hair."
As seven-minute "Goodnight, Travel Well" closed this album with an obese exclamation point, all one is left wondering is, 'whatever happened to "All These Things That I've Done"?' Perhaps Killers fans will see a return to the happier days of Hot Fuss once Brandon runs out of mascara, and birds to strip for his feathered jackets. We can only hope.