By Kerlern Rae Tuitt
The Killers’ new album, “Battle Born,” is anything but original.
It’s difficult to appreciate a new song when you’re picking your brain to figure out what other song it reminds you of. This could be said about almost all of the songs on “Battle Born.” Even the logo seems reminiscent of a certain live-action kids’ show from the 90s.
This album felt really dated–like it should have been released three decades ago. Yet somehow it found its way to the present.
“Battle Born” enters the scene dressed as a bull-riding cowboy. The songs just scream manifest destiny, and the atmosphere is distinctly that of the American old west.
The Killers, known for their Las Vegas flair, hail from the state of Nevada which is also referred to as the “Battle Born State.” So the cowboy feel and album title are no coincidence.
Most of the songs follow the same pattern – they open quietly, and build up to a big, boisterous epic. But you should expect nothing less from The Killers, as this has become one of their trademarks.
There’s something about the quirky twang of Brandon Flowers’ voice that makes you want to keep some of The Killers’ previous songs on repeat. The song “Spaceman” from their third album, “Day and Age” is a perfect example of Flowers’ varying vocals.
Unfortunately, Flowers’ unique style isn’t able to rescue “Battle Born.”
“A Matter of Time” is the fifth song on the album, and it sounds just like something you’d hear during a training montage in an 80s action film.
The best song on the album is easily the first. “Flesh and Bone” opens like the melody of an 8-bit video game. It’s tentative and uncertain at first, but once it gets past the buildup, it’s a pleasant explosion of sound.
The only other song worth replaying is the second track, “Runaways.” It moves past the beeping game melody of “Flesh and Bone” and starts softly with a piano. This is the song on the album that really lets you envision a cowboy on his horse, as it has this galloping feeling.
Everything else was stadium music.
It was a real struggle to get through the second half of the album. There were songs on past albums that didn’t transcend into the zone of obsession, but it was never painful to listen to them.
“Deadlines and Commitments,” “Miss Atomic Bomb,” “The Rising Tide”… All of these songs would have been skipped if not for this review.
The actual “Battle Born” song isn’t anything exceptional either. It’s something of a motivational anthem, encouraging a never surrender attitude. It could easily be interchanged with any other song on the album.
The Killers must have been happy to dedicate their album to the statehood of Nevada. Sadly, “Battle Born” fell short of the expected fireworks.