I had Sept. 22 circled on my calendar for some time now. The date meant nothing to me before The Killers announced that their new album, “Wonderful Wonderful,” would be released on that day. The Killers were really the first band I could remember really liking growing up. “Mr. Brightside” was one of my favorite songs off “Hot Fuss,” and to this day, I love that song and album just as much as I did when I was seven or eight. We haven’t heard anything new from The Killers in about five years, so we were due for something amazing. This album delivers it.
The title track and one of the four singles off the album, “Wonderful Wonderful,” is probably one of the odder Killers tracks I’ve heard. With foreign horns starting off the track and a pretty thick bassline, I initially thought this song wasn’t going to be one that I would like. The lyrics are, too, odd; using words and terms that one might find in older literature. I was surprised to really like how the whole song worked and must say it won me over after a couple of listens. I would really like to see a music video for this because it can really support the imagery the song depicts.
“The Man,” is the album’s second track and was the band’s first single for the album. A groovier song than The Killers are known for, this song pumped me up. Honestly, I’ll listen to this song if I’m doing a presentation or if I have a big day ahead of me and I just need something to get me going. It makes you feel like no one is better than you, because you’re the man. I really liked some of the electronic influence in the song too. The robotic “you’re looking at the man,” towards the end of the chorus stands out to me. Also “USDA certified lean,” will be in my Twitter bio, that’s how much I love that line.
“Rut,” follows these two great songs. To be honest, this song sounds like it belongs on Battleborn, but if Battleborn were made today. The first half of the song I was liking it, not as much as the first two tracks, but I still appreciated it. But the second half really declined. The message of the song I liked; how no matter what gets in my way, I’ll still fight through it until I reach the top. The song pretty much lost me when they kept chanting, “I’ll climb and I’ll climb,” but that further into the second half of the song. I wasn’t feeling this song the more it went on.
The start of the fourth song, “Life to Come,” really captured me. It felt like this was the track that was going to stand out from rest; that this was the one song that I’m going to like more than any of the others. But that feeling faded the more and more I listened to “Life to Come.” The chorus isn’t particularly great, but I could see people being on the fence with this song, too. What the song tries to do with the lyrics is great, but the vocals don’t really keep up with the instrumentals. I like the song, but it could have been that much better.
The third of the singles off the new album and the fifth track is “Run for Cover.” This song is fantastic. It’s fast paced, it’s loud, it makes me want to run. The music video is great, too, and fits the song amazingly. The “fake news,” is really the only part that I’m not a fan of, simply because it feels out of place, but this is a terrific track to finish the first half of the album with. It’s definitely one of my favorites.
Starting the second half of the album is “Tyson vs Douglas.” The song’s title and samples come from the 1990 fight between boxers Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas, a match that ended with Tyson losing for the first time ever and losing his Heavyweight Championship belt. The track is great, especially the idea of the song. Seeing someone get knocked out that you once thought was invulnerable, having to keep up that hero status for those who look up to you after that, and utter disbelief are all in this song and it’s fantastic.
Taking it a lot slower is “Some Kind of Love,” the last single off Wonderful Wonderful. The seventh track is a pretty good night driving kind of song. It’s spacey, takes it’s time, until a smooth bassline kicks in. There’s not much in this four-and-a-half-minute long song, but it works to its advantage. This is going to be that song where everyone at the concert puts on their lights on their phone and waves them slowly side to side. The song paints a pretty image and that’s why I like it so much.
“Out of My Mind,” is the eighth track and it’s another great song. The song seemingly is about the relationship between Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of The Killers, and his wife. It’s quite a cute song once you read the lyrics. He boasts about who he sang with and what he’s done solo and with The Killers, but his wife never seems impressed. I think the one thing about this song I like the most is that it just shows you how far the band and Flowers have gone. Hot Fuss came out 13 years ago and the band and Flowers never stopped making great music. It makes me appreciate the band more.
“Why is Woody Harrelson reading me Bible quotes?” is something I thought I would never say to myself, but it does in “The Calling,” the album’s ninth song. The song is odd, way odder than Wonderful Wonderful, but it’s still pretty good. I’m sure the song won’t be for everyone but it’s another on-the-fence song that’ll take a couple of listens to get in to. The biblical references will have most looking online for an explanation, and they’ll be happy to know that in context with the song, it works very well.
The final track is “Have All the Songs Been Written?” I think anyone who likes a musician’s or band’s music and reads this song title would be rightfully scared that this might be the end of the road. Digging for information, this doesn’t seem to be the case for The Killers. The song is actually about not having any more ideas and calling for help. This, interestingly enough, was the case for Flowers, who emailed U2’s Bono for guidance. The subject line was “Have All the Songs Been Written?” which Bono simply replied with “Why don’t you start there? That’s a great title.” Overall, the closing track is good not great. It could have been more, much like “Life to Come,” but it’s better than that.
This album isn’t Hot Fuss, but it’s still great. The singles “The Man” and “Run for Cover” highlight the album with “Some Kind of Love” being the hidden gem. With only one miss and a couple of songs that could have been better, the album, I think, lived up to my expectations. The Killers have one again impressed me, even after a five-year break.