The Killers - Day and Age
Record Label: Island Records
Release Date: November 24, 2008
The Killers are about to acquire a whole new group of fans; people like my dad, who grew up in the eighties. "Is this the Talking Heads?" he asked me, when I showed him the song, "Joy Ride". It's not, athough it could be, and that shouldn't surprise anyone.The Killers have always channeled the spirit of the eighties and other retro sounds, and Day and Age isn't any different. As a matter of fact, Day and Age doesn't really cover much new ground for The Killers. It's not so much a new direction as a fusion of their past two LP's; Hot Fuss and Sam's Town.. Somehow they've managed to make British new-wave very American, and sound more like the 80's than 80's music. It's an unusual marriage of sounds, but it works well.
The album opens with "Losing Touch", and although it's one of the strongest tracks on the album, I think Day and Age would have sounded better if the fast and fun second single "Spaceman" had kicked it off. Regardless, these songs make a one-two punch that should suck in even the most cynical listener (interrupted as they are by the slightly less exciting first single "Human"). "Losing Touch" is a roadtrip rocker, perfect for long freeway drives in the middle of the night. It reminds me slightly of "When You Were Young" from Sam's Town, in the role it fills in the track order. "Spaceman", conversely, is a radio-ready pop gem, catchy and fun (complete with some of the strangest lyrics on Day and Age...is this song really about alien abduction?).
Day and Age stays strong with "Joy Ride". Funky rhythms, a saxophone solo, and a sprawling chorus (Flowers almost sounds like Bono singing the echo) make this song one of my personal favorites, second only to the one that follows it, "A Dustland Fairytale". Consider this song the next "All These Things That I've Done", and although no line is nearly as epic as "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier", the storytelling and lyricism in this song is unparalleled by anything The Killers have written in their careers, and it's easily the best thing since "Mr. Brightside".
Naturally, it would be hard to top a first half that good, and sure enough, nothing in the second half lives up to the first five songs. Not to say they're that bad, "This Is Your Life" and "Neon Tiger" are both standouts. The former features tribal chanting, a musical element that, like many in Day and Age, should never work but does. "I Can't Stay" reminds me of The Beach Boys, and it is here that I have to say to Brandon Flowers, "Alright, Springsteen wasn't too bad, but this is where I draw the line." If you want to avoid any song on Day and Age, this would be the one. Either that or the over-long, over-dramatic "Goodnight, Travel Well", The Killers' attempt at an epic closer which falls flat on its face.
Day and Age, for all its flaws, manages to be experimental without being over the top, and fun without coming off as too whimsical. It's an album that doesn't take itself too seriously, but is still catchier than the common cold and most of the songs are, in my humble opinion, some of the strongest of their career. The Killers continue to improve, and if they consistently put out strong music like this, they will be around for a very, very long time.
Good review but this album fucking sucks. Prior to this shifest I loved EVERYTHING the Kiillers had released including all their \b-sides and remixes. I was so stoked for Day and Age and though they could do no wrong. This album was such a let down and most of the songs are mid tempo snoozefests. I do like Joyride, Spacmean, and Dustland Fairytale but that is it. Blakes review was spot on. All he needed was one sentence to summarize this atrocity.
#1: Blake's review didn't actually review the album, he just stated that he thought it sucked. I thought a more comprehensive review would be helpful to people.
#2: I disagree with Blake, I don't think it sucks, and I'm sorry if you don't agree with me. They really didn't do a whole lot different on this album, I consider it a natural progression of their sound. To me it follows that if you've ever liked The Killers, you'll probably like Day and Age. Sure, it's front-loaded with the best songs and they tried some unusual stuff, but overall it's pretty solid.