The Killers exploded onto the pop scene in 2004 with their debut album “Hot Fuss,” which blended electronic dance beats and synthesizers with an alternative rock sound. “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me” became anthems of the era, cementing their unique approach to rock in the pop lexicon.
Their new album, “Wonderful Wonderful,” starts out with its’ spacey and grandiose title track, with driving drum fills and distant guitars complementing Brandon Flowers’ dramatic vocals. This track is a bit of an outlier in the album, as the rest of it is very up front, but makes for a nice introduction to ease you into the rest of the project.
Later in the album, “The Man,” is a bombastic piece of neo-funk, equal parts Prince and Talking Heads. The instrumental is perfectly made for Flowers’ voice, whose ability to quickly raise pitch and still shine with confidence really increases the excitement of the track. This is the greatest highlight of the album, and certainly has the most pop-appeal.
“Rut,” and “Life To Come,” are quieter lulls in the album but are still great and enjoyable, though the instrumentals are a little generic compared to earlier songs in the tracklist. Both are emotionally charged and more focused on Flowers’ vocals rather than song structure.
The album begins to taper off slowly after the halfway point, however. “The Calling,” and “Have All The Songs Been Written?” aren’t very exciting or original in any way and finish the album off with a bland note.
The Killers in 2017 are best when they dip their toes into genres they aren’t used to. Neo-funk fits the band well, and helped them create some memorable singles. Unfortunately, however, the album as a whole leaves a lot to be desired.