by: Charley (@ruperto2106)
It’s hard to categorize The Killers. They aren’t exactly rock, not exactly alternative, not exactly electronic, and not exactly glam rock. There’s a mix of all those genres on this album, and it doesn’t work well.
Brandon Flowers vocal range is something we have gone to expect and does shine on each track. Dave Keuning (lead guitar), Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (drums and percussion) and Mark Stermer (bass) do a great job providing the music of what sort of feels more like a follow up to Flowers’ solo release Flamingo.
Let’s run down some tracks. Opening track “Flesh and Bone”, “Battle Born” and lead single “Runaways” open the album with a bang. These three tracks are what we expect when we think of The Killers, with the power vocals and the synthesizers, that sound primed to be heard in arenas worldwide. I honestly can’t stop listening to these three tracks. “Miss Atomic Bomb” grows on you a bit. The lyrics make you feel like it’s more of a prequel to their hit “Mr. Brightside” off of Hot Fuss. In true Killers fashion, it tells a sad, yet beautiful story.
“The Way It Was” just does an awesome job of hitting the slow motion button and boring me to tears. This is nothing more than a ballad and really doesn’t offer anything special. There are just some ballads that shouldn’t be done and this is a perfect example.
“Here With Me” is another ballad but the lyrics, and vocals work. The keyboard opening is nothing short of perfect. There’s more of a heartfelt feeling, and you can sympathize with Flowers as he sings the opening lines “I remember when you were mine, now just to reach you, baby, I’d stand in line. But There’s another world you’re living in tonight, and there’s another heart that’s fading in the light. Don’t want youre picture on my cell phone, I want you here with me.” This song just screams of heartbreak and the agony of trying to get someone back. This is the second of two really good tracks (the other being “Runaways” I am sure we will be hearing it on a soundtrack of some romantic drama.
As “Here With me” is the best track on this CD, “Be Still” is by far the worse. The unoriginal, been done hundreds of times before, bad synthetic drum track on this song just ruins the experience of what starts off as a nice enough song. I was actually enjoying it, but once the slow percussion track came on, the song took a nosedive that not even God herself could have fixed. The whiny lyric “Is this real or just a dream?” only deserves one answer. This was a freaking nightmare!
The extreme inconsistencies on Battle Born are why I give this album 3/5.