The Killers – Wonderful Wonderful

Vegas Foursome Attempt to Blend Their Early, Native Sound With Glossy Synths and Clean Production.

In a recent interview with the Creative Independent, Killers front-man; Brandon Flowers went on record saying “I feel like we write a lot of solid 6’s and 7’s,” A statement that is impossible to disagree with given the Vegas native’s recent releases, both with The Killers and his solo material. 2012’s ‘Battleborn’ left a sour flavour in the mouths of many fans and critics, the group seemed more focused on trying to write Heartland/Americana anthems that they forgot the classic formula that went into every classic Killers song, the synth-lead melodies that fans fell in love with in albums like 2004’s ‘Hot Fuss’  and their 2006 follow-up ‘Sam’s Town’ were nowhere to be seen in an album which lacked the ambition to revive the ‘All-American’ genre of rock they were trying to revive.

‘Wonderful Wonderful’ is, quite simply, the most complete Killers album to date. There’s the grand, stadium sing-along openers in the title track and lead single ‘The Man’ which feature some of Brandon Flowers’ finest vocal performances to date, accompanied by drumming which finally shows Ronnie Vannucci performing at heights we’ve never really heard from him before. Like every Killers album to precede this release, the production is spotless, but the beginning of this record offers the musical substance worthy of receiving such in-depth revision in the post-production stage. 

As for the rest of the album however, there’s a lot less that really stands out, ‘Rut’ is a more slow-paced, confessional track which wouldn’t sound too out of place in ‘Sam’s Town’ but even if compared to tracks on that record, it doesn’t offer anything we haven’t already heard, which is pretty much my main issue with this release as a whole. ‘Tyson vs Douglas’ explores Brendan’s struggle as a young man trying to find himself, and justify his masculinity, a concept which, from the outside, should offer a hard-hitting or wholesomely reflective sound for their male audience, but it gets lost in a score of tracks on the album’s latter half that pretty much stick to a very similar pace and tone. 

It’s certainly not all negatives on ‘Wonderful Wonderful,’ ‘Run for Cover’ is a conceptual track following a woman in an abusive relationship, a story the band tell in a heartland-inspired 3 minutes, which sees the guitars take centre stage and remind the listener that, when he really wants to, Flowers can write some very frank, direct lyrics which can remain poetic and moving in their own right, all this whilst still remaining catchy enough to be one of the record’s chosen singles. 

The Vegas foursome’s latest record may not be perfect by any stretch, but it does show The Killers’ most mature and complete sound to date, which makes for an all-round satisfying listen, nothing ground-breaking by any stretch, but ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ is a listen that will definitely satisfy those who may have been disappointed by the groups’ previous releases. 

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