Waking to a new Day & Age

March 4, 2009 at 1:43 am (1)

A couple of years ago, a Vegas based band took the world by surprise with their release of “Hot Fuss”.  This group, led by Brandon Flowers gave the world somethign to talk about. Their mix of dance rythms and tunes with cathchy melodies, emotional voice by Flowers, and a dash of punk-style-alternative-rock made the band a HUGE success overseas. Needless to say, I’m talking about The Killers.

A couple of months ago they released their 3rd studio album, Day & Age, taking greats risk at exploring new styles, instruments and rythms. Did it work? Sure did for me. Here is a detailed explanation why.

The Killers mantained their originality and carefully structured songs  for this album(you can clearly separate the build-up, the climax and the resolution of each song). Most people were nervous at how their release single was basically electronic music with great lyrics and rythm, straying far from their 90s influence style. It’s strange to hear “Human” for the first time if you are a fan of the band. But slowly, the song sinks in and you can see the elements that make it up. “Clouds of sound” provided by the synthethizer move you from phrase to phrase, with the base cycle always present, and Flowers talking about present society kind of carry you away while making you think of what the song is saying. In the end, “Human” gives a great feeling.

With “Spaceman”, we hear a very rythmic, very back-and-forth tune that’s very fun to hear, specially backed up by the story of being abducted by aliens that Flowers describes in the lyrics. The energetic and fast paced song builds up to a final chorus with a sudden explosion of sound raising the bar and rythm as you hear “the spaceman says ‘everybody look down, it’s all in your mind’ ” , fueling you to keep singing and maybe even jumping around dancing.

“Joy Ride” presents an easy going song about risks and how taking them stirrs many emotions. Here, very ad hoc,the band TOOK the risk and added a short, but sassy saxophone solo that completes the style of the song and the feeling it tries to communicate. It works perfectly, and the lyrics go hand in hand with the instrumental part of the saxophone, being playful but daring at the same time.

Next we come to what is, very possibly, their best song to date. “Dustland Fairytale” is a piece that starts like a ballad but keeps building up and up as the lyrics and Flowers voice become more intense reaching a potent climax. The genius lyrics communicate all sorts of feelings, from the illusions of love, to sterotypes and many more things . “Some cinderella in her party dress, but she was looking for her night gown”…or…”out hear the bells don’t ring, out hear the good girls die”  “now cinderella don’t you go to sleep, it’s such a bitter form or refuge” are just examples of the brilliant ways in which the Killers describe their fairytale and their kingdom.

In a different style, they present “I can’t stay” an easy going song that shows a complete twist from their previous ones. The initial harp, the saxophone, the percussions, and base rythm and every element give you the sense of “tropical” song, so to say. More than anything, “I can’t stay” sound great, layering many tunes during the chorus that mix and blend perfectly, backed up by Flowers’ singing, giving the song a unique and special feeling that separates it clearly from the rest.

We could go on and on talking about each song. But  much is to be said about the record in general. First of all, it works great as an album, each song connects very well into the next, moving you from style to stlye while mantaining the ambiance. I could describe it as many perspectives on things and how they connect to each other, that’s the feeling you get from Day & Age. As a bonus, the record is presented in a very colorful and original design for the cover art (see below) that uses the litography style used to spell “The killers”.

In the end it’s a great record. Well structured songs, original rythms, and their unique style will bring you back to listen it many, many times. “The killers” keeps evolving, growing, and it shows on their new material. They span through many genres, making most of each and leaving you with a great feeling, long after their songs are finished. Give it a listen, you won’t regret it.

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