By AVA LIVERSIDGE
The Killers have made a comeback in a paradoxical allegiance to devotion, introspection, and of course, the desert.
Impressively consistent with their music releases since 2004’s debut album Hot Fuss, their newest body of work, Imploding the Mirage, comes to us only two years after the 2017 release of a widely successful Wonderful Wonderful . In addition to a steady stream of albums and singles, the group annually releases at least one new music video- proof of dedication towards a devout fanbase.
Imploding the Mirage was not delayed though the band finally relented as the pandemic will prevent their worldwide arena tour scheduled for the upcoming year.
The Las Vegas-born group has amassed a few household names over the years including tracks like “Mr. Brightside”, “Humans”, “When You Were Young,” etc., but these pop-rock hits should not eclipse their lesser-known, somewhat balladic, Americana tracks. Frontman Brandon Flowers shares his reflections on the album with Forbes, recounting the dueling sides of his inner-self, bombastic front-man v. brooding soul-searcher, and how that juxtaposition is reflected in the new album, and all their albums; a dichotomy furthered by the energetic rock and hard-hitting folk-pop and the lyrics of loss v. devotion and self-assurance.
Imploding the Mirage brilliantly displays the wide variety of all The Killers can offer (there’s bravery in not churning out a different Mr. Brightside year after year).
In classic Killers fashion, the themes of the new album stick to the well-loved ideas of romance, faithfulness, loss of identity, and the search to reclaim the self (or not) in their desert roots.
The introductory single “My Own Souls” acts as a perfect example of the signature Killers melange they’re known best for: a pop dance beat mixed with thought-provoking, questioning lyrics that invokes heavy reflection from the audience long after the performance is over, linking Flowers’ previously discussed internal strife. This highly effective intro sets the tone for what’s to come: self-assurance and heart-wrenching romantic devotion- a stark contrast to their last album, Wonderful Wonderful, riddled with tales of romantic turmoil and despair.
Another single worth mentioning is “Caution,” a track where battles of clashing desires come to fruition through the sound and lyricism. Caution’s heavenly, Stones-esque intro leads into a more intense rock sound as a story of hometown love unravels. The beauty and the beast are highlighted in this song as the singer grapples with his yearning to venture out past the familiar, the desert, in conflict with all that will be left behind, a beautiful Utah and a beautiful girl.
The Killers don’t necessarily venture into the unknown with Imploding the Mirage, but their incorporation of timeless tactics like unlikely musical combinations all tied nicely together with consistent themes of internal struggle, conflicting interests, and the vast love that emerges from these battles is surely what their steadfast fanbase wants to hear. Imploding the Mirage is a Killers record through and through.