The Killers released their fifth studio album Wonderful Wonderful on Sept. 22. This album demonstrates a transformation of The Killers’ sound, which is becoming more unique, yet still appeals to the modern alternative genre.
The Killers produced a primarily classic-rock sound on their debut 2004 album Hot Fuss, a compilation of iconic rock and roll hits like “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me.” They amped up their rock and roll style in 2006 when releasing their next album Sam’s Town, which featured songs like “When You Were Young,”—clearly made for rocking with the windows rolled down in the car.
The classic sound of The Killers began morphing into something softer, yet equally as powerful with the release of Day & Age in 2008. The album included the psychedelic hit “Human,” which became the No. 1 track on the release. Day & Age, although not as popular as their previous records, was the necessary first step in The Killers’ progression toward their new sound.
The Killers released their penultimate album Battle Born, featuring a blend of hard rock songs that not only blow the speakers, but also strike the soul, in 2012. It took five years before releasing Wonderful Wonderful to completely master the sound they were longing to achieve, and the band has certainly succeeded in their endeavor.
The songs on Wonderful Wonderful, while taking a step back from rock, take a step toward lyrical writing. Lead singer and songwriter Brandon Flowers has written more heartfelt, poetic lyrics, which will likely attract listeners with lines on self-awareness and love.
The album demonstrates evidential traits of the The Killers: passionate lead vocals, slow and ambient buildups into powerful choruses and their signature retro twist.
The hit song “The Man,” along with several other songs on the record, features an abundance of added synthesizer lending to the band’s retro vibe. The lyrics and messages of the new songs have greatly evolved.
Flowers has always done an impeccable job developing stories within his songs. For example, “The Man” describes the story of a money-driven man consumed by arrogance, reflecting how Flowers regretfully acted when he first started the band.
Furthermore, the song “Tyson vs. Douglas” creates a beautiful metaphor comparing the end of Mike Tyson’s career to Flowers’ fear of failing his children and his need to be the best.
At large, many of the songs on the album are reflections on the start of Flowers’ career and his life as a whole. For example, in “The Calling,” Flowers expresses a fear that he’s been living a life in sin, so he carries Bible verses from the Gospel of Mattthew to soothe his worries.
This album seems to go back to the drawing board and reflect on old beginnings, but at the same time, The Killers have created a new beginning with Wonderful Wonderful. In the song “Money on Straight,” Flowers reminds listeners, “don’t forget where you come from, who your friends are.”u