The Killers was one of the first bands I remember getting into. Their first album ‘Hot Fuss’ was just an instant favourite of mine, and I remember eagerly awaiting their second album ‘Sam’s Town’, which became another favourite again. I always admired the shift in pace, from slow songs with gorgeous vocals, to fast songs that are great for singing out at the top of your lungs.
‘Battle Born’ is the fourth studio album in The Killer’s selection (excluding ‘Sawdust’, which is just a compilation of b-sides and unreleased tracks). This fourth album is the band’s first album release following their hiatus whilst Brandon Flowers engaged in a solo project. To be honest, I never gave the album as much anticipation as other releases coming out. The Killer’s third album ‘Day & Age’ was a disappointing piece of work if I am truly honest, despite having some great songs. The main problem I had was just a lack of interest in the songs, and an inability to engage in the music.
‘Battle Born’ is interesting though, as it seems to just fall right in-between their greatest work, and their worst. Perhaps the word to describe it is just distinctively average. The songs are wonderful in places, don’t get me wrong. But I can’t help but think that we’ve heard this all before. We know Flowers’ can hit some tremendous notes, and it actually doesn’t get old. It’s great to hear him trail his voice in and around the lyrics. I just feel that it’s too typical of the band, and that perhaps it’s time for something new before they get old.
The thing with the album is that it is a vast improvement on their previous album ‘Day & Age’. All together, it is a much better album, which is easily more listen-able than their last. However, whilst ‘Day & Age’ was a poor album in my opinion, it did also contain some of their best songs (Human comes to mind here). That song in particular remains one of their best songs that they’ve ever come out with. A song that everyone would be happy to sing along to, as well as even hear. Now, whilst ‘Battle Born’ is a much better album, I just get the impression that none of the songs will reach that calibre. One the one hand, you have a poor album with a really great song, and on the other you have an really good album with a lot of good songs.
Overall, the album is a good album, despite being distinctively average and typical in places. It won’t go down as a highly remembered album, but it should please hardcore fans at the very least I assume. The album is worth it for Brandon’s vocals, which are at the best they’ve ever been.
- ★★★☆☆ 3/5
- Here With Me
- Be Still
- Battle Born