23 September 2012

Battle Born by The Killers

When I started this blog many years ago I did so for many reasons. In over 230 entries since then I have broached a number of different subjects and experimented with some different writing prompts and purposes. This appeals to me because I read an eclectic variety of literature. My weekly reading covers immense space, including The Washington Post, Us Weekly, The Economist, Newsweek, fictional books, online news articles of interest, tweets, and even personally selected, brief news stories sent directly to my phone. Then, within all those venues comes variety further still. I enjoy the sports page and the front page; international news and cheap entertainment news; quality, classic literature, and purely entertaining comics and fictional work; music reviews, movie reviews, and the Scriptures. Granted I don’t read all of that all the time, but I do do so on at least a weekly basis. Because I have my eyes dipped in so many different words, I enjoy allowing my fingers to also produce so many different words. Recently I bought a new highly anticipated CD- Battle Born by The Killers, and I’d like to review it for you here. This will be my first attempt at a written CD review.

A dramatic shift, directly proportional to the lifestyle changes of lead singer Brandon Flowers, has occurred in the past decade for The Killers. Their newest album, Battle Born, is a fine addition to their collection of lounge music inspired by their hometown of Las Vegas. Battle Born is a leisure album best enjoyed while sitting out on a Summer night on your wraparound deck. It’s an honest account of Summer life in Las Vegas. On their hit single 'Runaways,' Flowers croons “The blond hair blowing in the Summer wind, a blue eyed girl playing in the sand.” Later he sings “We got engaged on a Friday night… I could take care of the three of us but I get the tendency to slip when the nights get wild. It’s in my blood.” Ballads like this one reflect the pragmatic truth of life in Sin City- marriages, temptations, blond haired women, and, of course, sand.       This honesty is perhaps the chasm that separates The Killers from the rest of the competition. This types of lascivious acts are all over rap music, but The Killers have a way of portraying them in their true state; like a beer commercial with the disclaimer “The people in this commercial are not actually as happy as they look.”
Not even the bookers in Las Vegas could have predicted in 2004, when their debut album Hot Fuss was released (remember ‘Somebody Told Me’?) that they’d be releasing a chill album filled with heart breaking romantic love songs eight years later. But that is where we have found ourselves with Battle Born. Perhaps the transformation can be attributed to the lead vocalist and clear leader, Brandon Flowers. Flowers has undergone a spiritual and familial transformation in the past decade. He has turned in to a church attending family man with a (blonde) wife and two young children. This mellowed lifestyle is a far cry from Sam’s Town, where he sings about his Uncle Johnny’s crack addiction, or Hot Fuss where he speaks of the ‘Midnight Shows.’ His bandmates may not have fully agreed with his new style, prompting Flowers to break away and produce a solo album in 2010 (Flamingos). The success of this solo venture assuredly convinced his bandmates that soothing music was their new direction. Battle Born is not your hard rock, Muse-esque album like Hot Fuss and Sam’s Town, but it is undeniable The Killers. This entire band with four major album releases have really helped to classify a new type of Las Vegasian music.
The best love song on the album, 'Here With Me,' is a sweet song about a boyfriend struggling with a long distance relationship. It's a theme many can relate to, told through sympathetic and endearing eyes.
Recommended Tracks: 'Runaways'; 'Here Withe Me;' 'Deadlines and Commitments'

1 comment:

The Killers said...

The Killers have a way of portraying them in their true state; like a beer commercial with the disclaimer “The people in this commercial are not actually as happy as they look.” Great stuff!