The Killers deliver the expected but not the exceptional on Wonderful Wonderful

3/5 stars

The Killers’ new album, promisingly yet ironically entitled Wonderful Wonderful, is their first record after a break of five years. It echoes with U2, Bruce Springsteen and Queen inspirations and is a mixture of personal confessions, political manifestos, and constantly repeated slogans like “Nothing can break me down,” or “Here comes the calling,” all wrapped into an anthemic, solemn, but catchy package, typical for Brandon Flowers’ band.

Energetic rockish songs, full of both mesmerising bass lines and electronic inserts that are quite innovative for the group, interchanged with elevated, bombastic ballads and the monumental choruses which characterise the Las Vegas group.

A variety of allusions, ranging from mentions of artists such as Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen (‘Out of My Mind’) or Bob Marley (‘Run for Cover’); direct quotations from the bible, namely Matthew’s gospel, read by the frontman at the beginning of ‘The Calling’; or quite obvious political reference to Trump in ‘Run for Cover’ – “He held a conference and his wife was standing by his side” – suggest that the album aspires to be lyrically sophisticated and challenging. Apparently, however, Flowers has more questions than answers to raise, trying to find out who is the man or if the truth has been told, which sounds so philosophical that it almost makes him naive.

Apart from the pompous electronic inserts, The Killers’ record would probably not baffle or surprise listeners with anything particularly new. It is everything that the hearer could expect from Flowers’ group, which might be both a weakness and a virtue.

Indeed, a recognisable style is a powerful weapon in the hands of The Killers and their music cannot be mistaken with anything else, even if sometimes it is reminiscent of U2’s Boy or Achtung Baby. The most striking thing, worth the attention and proving the band’s maturity, is an ironic link between the initial and final songs. ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ sounds almost like a bold promise of what a hearer might expect, however at the end, Brandon Flowers seems to question his foregoing work, wondering ‘Have All The Songs Been Written?’ Well, have they? Perhaps we will find out in another five years’ time.

IMAGE: Starfile

 

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