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The Killers’ New Album “Wonderful Wonderful”

pitchfork.com

The synth-rock sensation is back and better than ever. Wonderful Wonderful was released by the Killers on September 22 to unprecedented success. Their first LP to peak at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Wonderful Wonderful was also a comeback for the Killers, who hadn’t released an album since 2012’s Battle Born. Led by singles The Man and Run for Cover, the album doesn’t deviate from the Killers’ trademark pop-rock sound. However, lyrically, it draws on some personal themes; The album is mostly about frontman Brendon Flowers’s wife, Tana, her troubled childhood, and her struggle with depression.

The title track sends positive messages to her, such as “Don’t you listen to the never,” and “Keep your ear to the shell / stay on the path that leads to the well.” This encouraging lyric also appears to be the inspiration for the album art.

Of the lead single The Man, Flowers said “Sonically, it’s…funkier than we’ve ever done before. It was the last song written for the record so it doesn’t share a lot of commonality with the other songs on the album…It feels very much like The Killers but you can also hear our influences- David Bowie, Talking Heads that haven’t been as prominent in our last couple of records.” Lyrically a departure from the thread of the album, it’s the satirical story of a hotshot rockstar determined to enter the Hall of Fame, not so different from Flowers’ persona circa 2003.

Rut was written from Tana’s perspective and details her fall into deep depression. In Life to Come, Flowers assures his wife that he is there to support her through it all, whenever she needs him. The album’s second single, Run for Cover, was actually written back in 2008 for the Killers’ third record, but Flowers felt he couldn’t match the first verse until now. With political references, (“What have you gathered to report to your progenitors? / Are your excuses any better than your senator’s?”) clever rhymes (“What are you waiting for, a kiss or an apology? / You’d think by now you’d have an A in toxicology”), and pop appeal, there’s something on this track for everyone. It’s a little scatterbrained, but it’s still my favorite song on the album.

In Tyson vs. Douglas, Flowers remembers how he felt when Mike Tyson was defeated, “my whole view on the world changed. It wasn’t supposed to happen.” He compares his own childhood admiration to that of his sons- “I have a son now…And to him and his two little brothers, I am as perfect as Mike Tyson – and I don’t want to go down.”

Some Kind of Love is an intensely personal track, also about Tana’s struggles. The line “Can’t do this alone / We need you at home” is sung by a children’s choir to convey to Tana that her family needs her and believes in her. In Out of My Mind, Flowers tries and fails to impress his wife with his success.

Inspired by the Book of Matthew and a Caravaggio painting, The Calling is a peculiar song loaded with Mormon references and Christian imagery. It tells the story of a man who returns to straighten out his father.

The final track of the album, Have All the Songs Been Written, is a hidden gem that showcases the Killers’ softer, more atmospheric side. The title refers to the subject of na email Flowers sent to U2 frontman Bono when he was suffering from writer’s block. Bono told him it would make a great title. Its lyrics directly contrast The Man, as the narrator has lost his confidence and productivity. He expresses self-doubt (“Have all these years been worth it / Or am I the great regret?”) and hopes for a second chance to redeem himself (I can’t take back what I’ve done wrong / I just need one more…”).

Be sure to catch the Killers on the Wonderful Wonderful tour- http://www.thekillerstickets.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzsyDgMeW1wIVXJ7ACh2ZYgawEAAYASAAEgLsVfD_BwE

 

Check out the album-

Spotify-

https://open.spotify.com/album/5TMnKX3SaYXgYsmFuH8mxB

Apple Music-

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wonderful-wonderful-deluxe/id1263608918