We’ve all heard their hit songs. Heck, we even sang along to them. From “Mr.Brightside” to “Somebody Told Me,” The Killers changed the sound of alternative rock early into its era of booming popularity during the mid-2000s. It’s been five years since they dropped some killer music—pun intended—but thankfully this hiatus has come to an end.
Their new album, Wonderful Wonderful, takes a different approach to the genre we familiarize the band with. Taking the post-rock and roll sound a step further; The Killers experiment with more synthetic, electropop elements in this album while somehow maintaining a classic and timeless sound.
The album’s eponymous opening song sets the tone for the hour-long auditory journey to come. Beginning with the singular sound of a trumpet — or perhaps that of a conch shell horn — the song smoothly introduces a powerful guitar riff. Eventually, with a build-up of the drums, lead-man Brandon Flowers reveals his bluesy vocals.
He is quick to highlight the theme of the album with imagery of a barren Las Vegas desert, a sudden thirst for water, and the lack of a destination: “Keep your ear to the shell […] Stay on the path that leads to the well.” It is in this song that the object of Flowers’ affection—a lost and confused girl—makes her first appearance.
Though, he demonstrates a great deal of confidence in the second song of the album, “The Man,” Flowers also reveals that he, too, has had personal obstacles to overcome. “The Man” is a fun song that evokes a sense of power and control, which is evident in the lyrics: “I’m the man [..] Nothing can break me down.” And as if balancing two versions of himself, he then struggles to maintain this same confidence in the song “Rut,” where he pleads, “Don’t give up on me.”
The sixth track on the album, “Tyson vs. Douglas” further explores his insecurities. Though the sound is upbeat in nature (like most of the songs in the album), the song’s lyrics are quite vulnerable: “I’m feeling the slip again, I don’t wanna fall.”
The tempo takes a slow turn with “Some Kind of Love.” Flowers has revealed in interviews that his wife suffers from PTSD as a result of childhood trauma, and this song is a tribute to her: “You got the grace of the storm in the desert.” He instills a sense of comfort and hope that, in spite of whatever one’s shortcomings may be, life can still be beautiful in its infinite ways.
“Have a little faith in me, girl,” says Flowers in “Life to Come,” which seems to complete a story of him attempting to be a pillar of strength for the woman he loves most while continuing to struggle to maintain his balance.
Ultimately, this album is packed with not only a wide range of songs that vary in tempo and feeling, but also an overwhelming sense of liberation from oneself. Whether it is the sick guitar riffs, the conch shell horn, or all the hidden metaphors, this album is—for lack of a better word—wonderful.
By Edysmar Diaz-Cruz