Las Vegas rock band The Killers have been a staple in the playlist of avid alternative listeners for over a decade, and their newest release “Wonderful Wonderful” will keep them there for a while longer.
The Killers have always been best identified by their most memorable singles throughout the years. Songs like “When You Were Young” and “Mr. Brightside” have carried the band to prolonged mainstream relevance, though none of their previous albums have been able to consistently deliver the quality of these mega-hits.
“Wonderful Wonderful” is a bit of a change in that formula. It doesn’t produce that huge genre-defining single that will continue to get radio-play for years to come. Instead every track on the album has a glossy and grand feeling, delivering the consistent quality throughout that the band has been sorely lacking until this point.
The title track that kicks off the album includes what is probably the most provocative and interesting beat on the entire project with its deep pounding drums and smooth bass line. The song sets the tone for the rest of the album as a groovy and retro love letter to the rock bands of the 80’s.
Unfortunately, what follows is probably the biggest misstep of the entire album. In the second track “The Man,” lead singer Brandon Flowers gives a heavily disco-inspired performance, and it’s clear he’s having more fun here than he is anywhere else on the album. However, the song creeps into cheesy territory with Flower’s delivery of some of it’s sillier lyrics, specifically a line about being “USDA certified lean.”
Things pick up shortly after this with tracks like “Rut” and “Run for Cover” where the band doesn’t shy away from wearing their heavy Queen influence on their sleeve. This is far from a bad thing though, as the band delivers their own take on the style of their glam rock influencers complete with spacey ballads like “Some Kind of Love” and electronic grooves like “Out of My Mind.”
“Wonderful Wonderful” couldn’t have dropped at a more precarious time as rumors of a breakup have swirled about the music world. The editor’s notes on the album’s Apple Music release even acknowledges the band’s recent attempts to reconcile their differences with counseling sessions. If these differences in the band are what caused them to produce such a compelling and passionate project, perhaps the Killers should break up more often.