The Killers
Battle Born


2.0
poor

Review

by Daniel Davis USER (35 Reviews)
September 13th, 2012 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A sluggish, boring album with little in the way of memorable songs and a lot in the echo department.

Internet, I have a confession to make. I adore The Killers. They were one of the bands that got me into listening to music; their brand of emotive vocals, catchy melodies, and general over-the-top style is right up my alley. I loved the raw energy of Hot Fuss, the rock anthems of Sam's Town, and even the ridiculousness of Day and Age. They've always been fun, energetic, and uplifting, and the songwriting has been top notch. It's been four long years since their last release, and with a title like "Battle Born", one would expect nothing less than a bombastic return. So why does it feel like I'm asleep on the battlefield?

I'm just going to get this out there right off the bat - this album is boring. And not in that "oh, the songs wander off and spend too much time doing x before going back to y" kind of way - whole sections of this album are akin to watching C-SPAN with all of the politicians replaced with Ben Stein. It doesn't always suffocate you with its boringness: there's a semi-hook here, a nifty synth line there, but they feel like the occasional cactus in the Nevada desert the band seems to love so much.

Brandon Flowers hasn't always been a consistent lyricist, but his efforts have always been befitting of the song and well-written enough to sing along to without feeling like a complete tool. Here, they sometimes border on laughable ("don't want your picture/on my cellphone/I want you here with me"), and at best have cadences that hardly fit the music. It often seems like Flowers has too much to say and not enough song to say it in, and what's more, none of what he has to say is very interesting. Flowers' vocals also take a slight hit; while his delivery is still solid enough, and his trademark sound is still there (just about the only thing that keeps this sounding like a Killers album), he rarely sounds like he's putting any emotion into what he's singing, keeping his voice subdued to match the quiet, mid-tempo feel of the entire album. The rest of the band fails to pick up the slack, and we're left with a uninterested vocalist singing over what amounts to nothing.

Some songs don't completely sound like audible NyQuil. "Runaways", the album's lead single, sounds like a Sam's Town B-side, and is legitimately catchy; and the namesake closer is somewhat enjoyable as well, being that it doesn't trudge along like a crippled mound of molasses. But neither is anywhere near the quality of their previous output. This album sounds like The Killers vacuumed the fun out of their sound completely. Energy was what kept The Killers alive and interesting; without the fun aspect of their music, they have become just another generic overly-echofied "indie" rock group. And nobody on the face of the Earth wants to suffer through an album full of that. I'll admit that I only gave this a couple spins before writing, but if you're like me (and chances are that if you're here at Sputnik, you are), there are about ten other albums out there calling your name, promising a far better time than your favorite band of old can offer you now. Sorry, The Killers, but it's over. And I don't want to be friends.

Bottom Line: Listen to "Runaways", burn the rest.



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user ratings (323)
Chart.
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
paradox1216
September 13th 2012


504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Tried to make this review as interesting and non-bitter as possible.

Digging: Yellowcard - Lift a Sail

Ninjask
September 13th 2012


178 Comments


POS

klap
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2012


10513 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

nicely done

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2012


3473 Comments


Good review, but parts sound a bit too casual (like "Some songs don't completely sound like audible Nyquil"). Have a pos, and it does stink that this album isn't up to even Killers standards.

newjunkaesthetic93
September 13th 2012


1871 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

After listening to this album once I think your bottom line sums this up perfectly "listen to Runaways; burn the rest"

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2012


16598 Comments


I liked the audible NyQuil part. This site needs more creative reviews.

Digging: Taylor Swift - 1989

WhiteNoise
September 14th 2012


3225 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Their first album was so fun and they sounded like an English new wave band...when are they going to realise that they are NOT Springsteen and that they should leave his influence to Gaslight anthem?

TheSupernatural
September 14th 2012


1252 Comments


Well done, enjoyable to read

Digging: Closure in Moscow - Pink Lemonade

Capablanca
September 14th 2012


208 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Painfully average.

toxin.
September 14th 2012


12683 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Wait, Runaways is the lead single, and you're saying it's the best song off the album?

That song was such a snoozer that I refuse to believe that was the best song on this album.

paradox1216
September 14th 2012


504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks for the good feedback guys.

@xtoxin Yeah, my thoughts when I first heard it back when it came out were 1) this album is Sam's Town 2, and 2)it would hopefully be the worst song on the album. Neither were true

SingForTheDead
September 14th 2012


94 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nicely written! I just listened to this and...wasted 60 minutes of my life. Absolutely nothing is coming back to me about his album except Runaways. I miss Hot Fuss-era Killers...

Sleaper
September 15th 2012


3408 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

im getting a huge sams town vibe from this, and that is one of my all time fav albums.
i dunno i think people are just hating on this for the fact its a band thats played on the radio. I
think a 3.3 suits best

Digging: Panda Bear - Mr Noah

Sleaper
September 15th 2012


3408 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ahhh nvm.
I had only listened to the first half when i made that statement.
this thing fucking sucks.

IfYouRun
September 15th 2012


294 Comments


I miss Hot Fuss...

WhiteNoise
September 15th 2012


3225 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"i think people are just hating on this for the fact its a band thats played on the radio"

That's ridiculous...I just wish they would go back to the Hot Fuss sound.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2012


50703 Comments


"I liked the audible NyQuil part. This site needs more creative reviews."

Damn read mine then

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me in the River

FourthReich
September 15th 2012


17969 Comments


what happened to this band smh?

Digging: Lil Ugly Mane - THE WEEPING WORM

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2012


50703 Comments


They continued sucking?

FourthReich
September 15th 2012


17969 Comments


no no, they were at least ok but this is really bad



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