A mature new sound from The Killers falls short of their indie spark
After a couple of postponements, 00s icons of indie synth-rock The Killers have finally released their sixth studio album, Imploding The Mirage, available now via Island Records. Having rocketed to fame in 2004 for with the monumental concept album Hot Fuss, their newest record shows the more mature sound that they’ve been developing in the years since, albeit with an absence of the power that fuelled Hot Fuss.
‘My Own Soul’s Warning’ opens the album on a chilled note, slowly building up its drumbeat until it becomes stronger as the strong goes on. As a single, ‘My Own Soul’s Warning’ didn’t seem very impressive, but it’s becoming clear that Imploding The Mirage is an album that works best when it’s listened to as a whole. ‘Blowback’ is one of the standouts of the album, the kind of character-driven storytelling lyrics that have always dominated The Killers greatest hits. Indie, with just a touch of country guitars, it’s a new take on the band’s sound that intrigues the listener. Imploding The Mirage may not carry the same emotional spark as some of the band’s previous work, but the attention to detail in its sound and production must be applauded.
It’s an albeit softer version of their typical stadium rock the takes its time to build up the passionate battle cries that play so well live – even if the songs are slow to start, there’s no doubt that there are live treasures to be found on this album. ‘Caution’, with guitar contributions from ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, is one of the more high-energy singles from the album, and one that will get the crowd moving (once we have crowds again).
Throughout the album are a series of highs and lows. ‘Lightning Fields’ – The Killers’ collaboration with k.d lang, yields some interesting vocals but is at its heart too on-the -nose as a love song. ‘My God’ and the titular ‘Imploding The Mirage’ come towards the end of the album and draw the concept of the album together once and for all. They are musically and conceptually well-developed but lack a certain spark which has made their previous hits so engaging.
Although the satisfying synthesisers carry the album a certain distance, Imploding The Mirage falls short, eventually dissolving into standard indie rock before it can really take off. The Killers have made great strides in their musical experimentation since their formation in the early noughties, but Imploding The Mirage struggles to stand out in the contemporary scene.
Featured image courtesy of Island Records.