REVIEW: The Killers - Imploding The Mirage

HIGH AMBITIONS: Imploding The Mirage is The Killers' sixth album.

HIGH AMBITIONS: Imploding The Mirage is The Killers' sixth album.

YOU could joke The Killers imploded their own mirage as one of the 21st century's biggest rock bands when they released the disappointing albums Day & Age (2008) and Battle Born (2012).

The ridiculousness of the lyric, "are we human, or are we dancer" is hard to erase.

Three years ago the Las Vegas synth-rockers made a recovery of sorts with the album Wonderful Wonderful, helped along by the charismatic braggadocio of lead single The Man. Brandon Flowers has never been ashamed of being ambitious, unlike his 2000s contemporaries Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and Karen O of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. He isn't hiding his aspirations on album No.6 Imploding The Mirage either.

This is a very un-COVID album. Imploding The Mirage with its anthemic choruses and swirling synths is custom-made for stadiums. Some like Dying Breed and When The Dreams Run Dry are overly pompous, but when The Killers get the mix of bombastic and emotion right they can still deliver a soaring melody.

The opener My Own Soul's Warning could have easily sat on 2006 album Sam's Town with its Bruce Springsteen-heartland-rock-meets-Duran Duran-new-wave blend. The '80s groove of Fire In Bone is another highlight, and serves as the album's answer to The Man.

Canadian pop and country legend k.d lang makes a surprising appearance on the album's most circumspect moment, Lightning Fields. Lang provides a beautiful contribution to the track's middle eight, but unfortunately it's all too fleeting.

American folk artist Weyes Blood appears on My God and provides the track with an ethereal quality. War On Drugs' Adam Granduciel and his guitar deliver an Americana-twang to Blowback and Lindsey Buckingham lobs up, like he does, to perform an epic guitar solo to end Caution.

The world, and the music industry especially, might be in a period of darkness right now, but The Killers are still reaching for the grandiose.

Like a modern day Freddie Mercury, Brandon Flowers isn't concerned with subtly. Imploding The Mirage reaches for the clouds and wants to carry you along for the ride.

3 stars

This story The Killers keep up stadium mirage in these dark times first appeared on Newcastle Herald.