The Killers – Day & Age

Band: The Killers
Album: Day & Age
Label: Island
Genre: Rock

1. Losing Touch
2. Human
3. Spaceman
4. Joy Ride
5. A Dustland Fairytale
6. This Is Your Life
7. I Can’t Stay
8. Neon Tiger
9. The World We Live In
10. Goodnight, Travel Well

With the release of Hot Fuss, The Killers became household names throughout the world. Their songs dominated charts and album sales were through the roof. Then the band, in typical rock fashion, released a more “mature” album entitled Sam’s Town, which garnered slightly less fanfare. Forget radio friendly tunes, this was an artistic album that found the band striving for a sound we haven’t heard since Freddie Mercury was alive and for those who got it, we fell in love. Then the band went silent and began working on what would become Day & Age. Where the previous album took them out of the pop world and into large scale rock, Day & Age takes them from large scale rock and finds the band exploring space. Think the tales of Vegas from Sam’s Town if Vegas were in the Milky Way. Is it for the better? I don’t know, but I am sure that only The Killer’s could do something like this.

The biggest plus for the band with this disc is the continued evolution of sound. Brandon Flower’s is a terrific vocalist who can spin a hook like no other and on tracks like, “Human,” “Space Man,” and, “This is You Life,” he proves these points again and again. Flower’s has found a balance between storytelling and just plain songwriting that captivates me like none other, but it falls flat a lot more often on this disc than before. In addition to this, the band adds a lot of atmospheric sounds that actually come across really well. It’s apparent that the band, much like the previous album, has a focused sound in mind when they hit the studio and I really enjoy that. I’m tired of band’s trying to spread their appeal over as many genres as possible when they should be trying to excel in one and The Killers do just that.

The bad news is, that with this focused sound and overall themes, some material just feels weak. “Neon Tiger,” for instance, has the makings of a great rock anthem, but then just falls flat and comes off as a “Bones pt. 2,” with more jazz bass. It’s these little issues of quality that really takes the album out. It’s not a disc you can just hit play and enjoy, but one where you’re bound to pick and choose the tracks you enjoy and loathe when the others come on.

I will add that the simply epic, “Goodnight, Travel Well,” closes the album with a glimmer of hope for the next release. The space elements are there, but in good use and the groove is intoxicating. In fact, this track, along with a few others, makes this album feel like a stepping stone for the band rather than a new look. I feel like I’m listening to a band trying to develop, but struggling and it comes out in the music big time.

For a band that took gigantic and successful strides with their previous release, Day & Age simply doesn’t live up to expectations. Maybe the bar was set too high, or maybe the band simply took a wrong turn, but something needs to change. When the songs hit, they hit hard, but too often I found myself staring at the remaining track times or skipping to the handful of songs I enjoyed. I still hold hope for The Killers, but this is one album I just can’t get behind.
*Written by: James Shotwell*
Grade: 5/10

James Shotwell
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One Response to “The Killers – Day & Age”

  1. John Chow says:

    Hello. Great job. I did not expect this on a Wednesday. This is a great story. Thanks!