The Killers
Battle Born


2.5
average

Review

by Colin Rinehart USER (6 Reviews)
September 14th, 2012 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A mostly redundant album with occasional flashes of brilliance.

The Killers are an interesting band. Where their peers in the post-punk revival scene of the early 2000's like Interpol or Franz Ferdinand have ventured further down the different sounds and styles of post-punk the Killers were more interested in bringing back arena rock and a bit of Americana in their own day-glo, synth-driven way. Since their debut album they've traveled further and further down the road of arena rock until we arrive at their latest album, Battle Born, which for all intents and purposes is Brandon Flowers and company's least consistent and often times most frustrating album. On the record they attempt to sound like a bastard amalgamation of U2, Bruce Springsteen, and New Order but wind up mostly sounding subdued, uninspired, and flat-out boring.

Now, there is some good here. It isn't all saccharine and formulaic. Opener "Flesh and Bone" brings tension back to the Killers music and it's a much-missed aspect of their songwriting they seem to neglect on the rest of the album. In typical Killers fashion the lead single off the album, "Runaways", is also a winner, a soaring synth-driven epic romance song very much in the vein of "When We Were Young" if not quite as immediately endearing. Here's where things start to go downhill however. "The Way it Was" is almost indistinguishable from the rest of the album and while the following two tracks do provide a shot in the arm a bit with more bubblegum synths, by the time you hit the third quarter of the album you're wondering where all of the emotion in Flowers vocals and lyrical delivery has gone and why every guitar part seems to mimic The Edge while Flowers wails away sounding less and less interested as time goes on. Even worse is when the band attempts to deliver a ballad, as they do in weepy and embarrassing fashion on "Heart of a Girl" and "Be Still", which may very will be the worst songs of the band's career.

Things get a bit better with "From Here on Out" which although a bit overproduced is one of the only truly unique songs on the album where the band seems to just cut loose and have fun, throwing in bits of country and pop. The title track is another attempt at a trademark fist-pumping call to arms like "All These Things That I've Done", and though again it stumbles at points it shows the promise and talent that this band has always possessed in bits and pieces. Unfortunately most of the album sounds like the band resting on the laurels of their established synthpop-meets-Springsteen formula and coming up with some of their least inspired work yet. There are enough moments here to make it interesting and worthwhile to hardcore fans of the group, but as a whole this is undoubtedly the group's weakest effort yet.



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user ratings (315)
Chart.
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
xfearbefore
September 14th 2012


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Tried to keep this one rather succinct and to the point, any constructive criticism always welcome. First review I've written in almost a year. Plan on doing one for the new Bob Dylan album later too.

ZackSh33
September 14th 2012


301 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agree with you--some of the songs just end up being really dull in the end. Surprisingly, the bonus tracks actually are really good. Check out "Prize Fighter."

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2012


4435 Comments


Excellent review, man. I've never been a fan of The Killers because its not my kind of music, but I did think this was pretty well descriptive. POS'd.

tommygun
September 14th 2012


24954 Comments


Sweet review, boring band. Have a pos

blastOFFitsPARTYtime
September 14th 2012


1477 Comments


Nice review dude. Summary does its job, unfortunately. Pos.

Uranium
September 14th 2012


7169 Comments


wont listen to this cause it prob sucks but album title is my state motto and for that it deserves a 5

klap
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2012


10460 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

oh my god this album i am going to need to be rip-roaringly drunk to review

Digging: Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE

paradox1216
September 15th 2012


494 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good review. I'm surprised you can even recall this much about the album though.

And as Zack mentioned, the bonus tracks are actually FAR better than the actual album. Like, worlds better.

Digging: Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

lukeglassford
September 15th 2012


1 Comments


Im getting a bit of stick from Killers fans for my similar, albeit slightly harsher, review of Battle Born (gave it 0.5 stars). It probably doesn't deserve such a bad review, but it's very frustrating to hear a band of The Killers' stature producing something so unimaginative!

Here's my review of the album, let me know what you think: http://all-noise.co.uk/2012/09/12/the-killers-battle-born-album-review/

xfearbefore
September 15th 2012


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Thanks for the kind words guys, had no idea this was even coming out until I saw it pop up on a new releases list. This band needs a serious shake-up to change this boring status quo they've become comfortable with.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2012


7343 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I presumed this'd just be the usual case of sputnik hating on a popular band, but this is actually pretty bad.

camaraderie
September 15th 2012


988 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah this is just really uneventful

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2012


50458 Comments


Greymane all the way

Digging: Viper the Rapper - You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2012


7343 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I mean it has the same huge anthemic choruses they've pulled off in the past, but all of these just seem completely empty.



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