Review Summary: Have All The Songs Been Written? After this album, I sure hope not.
The Killers are an alternative rock band that formed in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2001. The band found success early on with albums like Hot Fuss and singles like “Somebody Told Me” and “Mr. Brightside”. Wonderful Wonderful is the band’s fifth studio album, and the first since 2012’s Battle Born.
The band has always had an epic, huge sound and that doesn’t change here on Wonderful Wonderful. This particular album borrows a lot from bands like The Cars and U2, with their own modern touch to it. Synthesizers blend seamlessly with guitar, piano and driving bass and percussion that creates a wall of sound that the band uses to elevate these choruses to new heights. Songs like “Life To Come,” “Rut” and “Wonderful Wonderful” have huge anthemic choruses that just soar so well. Then you have tracks like “The Man,” “Tyson vs Douglas” and “Run For Cover,” which go for a more uptempo, dance-able sound. “Run For Cover” is absolutely relentless, kicking away straight from the start, and it doesn’t stop. It feels very reminiscent of Sam’s Town which makes sense, as the band has said it’s been partially written since Day & Age. The bass and drums laydown a foundation that the guitars and synths cut right over, really filling out the space in the instrumental, it’s a really fun song. The bass on this entire album really shines for me. It fits in with the sound really well, so it doesn’t stick out. However, if you listen to what it’s doing, it’s pretty crazy at points, like in “Life To Come” or “Run For Cover”.
Lyrically, there is some great stuff here as well. “Tyson vs Douglas” is an interesting idea for a song. It’s about the fight between Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas, in which Mike Tyson was handed his first professional loss. The character in the song looked up to Tyson, almost being his hero. The character talks about how it felt to watch his indestructible hero fall and likens that feeling to how he is now afraid to fail in front of people, be that his kids and wife or his audience. Lead singer, Brandon Flowers has said that “The Man” is almost a parody of what he was like when they first started the band. This is why the song has such a swagger about it, because it gives you that feeling of being invincible and thinking that nothing can go wrong, like he did when he was young. My favorite track on the album is “Some Kind Of Love”. This is an immensely personal track, dealing with Brandon’s wife, Tana and her history with depression. This track is a calling out to her, and Brandon telling her that everything is okay, and he let’s her know everything he cherishes and loves about her. At the end of the track, Brandon and his kids sing “Can’t Do This Alone, We Need You At Home. There’s So Much To See, We Know That You’re Strong. Can’t Do This Alone.” and holy *** this is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. You can feel the passion and how much this meant to Brandon to be able to make this song for her. ***ing superb track.
The track, “The Calling” didn’t quite work for me, however. The instrumental is pretty cool at first, but it doesn’t evolve enough over the course of the track. The bass and drums stay pretty consistent and the guitar line just essentially repeats. It’s also one of my least favorite choruses on the album. I’m also not a religious person and this track deals with a lot of religious themes. It’s not a bad track, but it’s not for me.
Overall, I enjoyed this album a lot, even more than I initially anticipated. The album ends on the track “Have All The Songs Been Written"” and it’s an interesting point to end on. They basically ask, have they done everything they set out to do in their careers. After this album, I sure hope it isn't the last album they make because I would love to hear more. Is this the band calling it quits" I’m not sure, but if this is where they end on, I think it’s a really solid album to do so on.