Review by James Everett
I finally had time to check out The Killers new album Wonderful Wonderful. So, per usual I lit up a joint, kicked back on my couch with a nice pair of headphones, and let the music take me away. I’ll start off by saying that I’ve never really been a huge fan of the killers, I’ve always liked them, but never really loved them. It has just always seemed to me that their albums have been mediocre at best; laced with a few great songs here and there. In the case of their latest LP; if I had never heard The Killers before this album, I would not think this is the case. So, if you’re looking for a wonderful new album that will make you think or to just kick back and relax to, I got news for you baby you’re reading about the band.
Wonderful Wonderful is an inspired album. It’s inspired by a band that was circling the drain not too long ago and it’s inspired by hope; hope that we can we can beat the darkness in ourselves and the darkness in the world. Flowers is open in an interview with NME where he talks about his wife Tana’s mental health issues:
“My wife has PTSD. She has a version called Complex PTSD. It’s when a person has had multiple traumatic experiences. Her whole life, she’s been covering it, pretending it isn’t there. For whatever reason, in her 30s, it’s decided to really manifest itself and that’s what I’m going through with my family. Usually I feel protective of her, but I decided to take it head on. So ‘Rut’ is about her submitting to it. She got severely depressed and it wasn’t until she sought counseling and got a name for what was going on that it helped.”
He sings, “Don’t give up on me, cause I’m just in a rut, I’m climbing but the walls keep stacking up.” He is trying to say that sometimes you have to submit to the darkness, to acknowledge it, and that’s the first step to beating it. He even states this in that same interview:
“Now she submits to it – that doesn’t mean that she’s gonna let it beat her, but rather that she’s gonna finally acknowledge that it’s there and promise to break this cycle. It bonded me and Tana in a way that I never foresaw. It helped me to understand her better and be more compassionate.”
I don’t want you to get the wrong idea though, this album isn’t all soft music from the heart of Brandon Flowers, it starts out with a horn, as if The Killers are announcing ‘We are Back!’ This is in “Wonderful Wonderful,” the song which the album was named for, and it’s easily my favorite song of the album, they announce they’re back and the ominous bassline and killer lyrics that follow let me know I was listening to an instant classic.
It’s followed by “The Man” which is the most fun song of the album. The disco-rock with its synth liftoff, backup choir, and its exceptionally funky bass, easily made it to the top of my workout mix. Sure, it’s a little corny as far as the lyrics go, but they know that, and it’s kind of the point; it’s song that’s fun to awkwardly rock out to in the car and a nice break from the darker themes of the album. The Jacques Lu Cont and the Duke Dumont remixes are also a lot of fun in my opinion and are a must have for any DJ wanting to get a crowd moving.
I believe all the songs in this album are great, I really do, but I will say that, to me, it seems that the album was paced a little slow to the point where I wouldn’t exactly call it a good road trip album. Like I stated above, it starts out fast with “Wonderful Wonderful” and “The Man” then it slows down for a couple songs until “Run for Cover” and “Tyson vs. Douglas." After that the album is pretty slow, not bad, just slow, until “The Man” remixes at the end of the thirteen-song album.
Now, they didn’t just get their mojo back overnight, Flowers and the rest of the band had to seek counseling to finally put out another great album. “A lot of eggshells had to be walked on” Flowers discloses in a different interview with NME. “We had to seek counseling.” The Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. adds “It was basically a communication session. We’re four dudes that don’t want to communicate, don’t know how to communicate, how to lay it out. We needed some lesson. I think it’s healthy.” I’d agree, and I for one am glad they decided to go against their wants, and towards their needs. It might just be the key to that Killers success we’ve all been hoping for.
I don’t know if I would personally call this album a comeback for them, but it’s definitely a good start. I’ll say that this is the first album of theirs in a while where I’ve actually been able to enjoy every song. So, if they keep it up... maybe? I personally hope they keep it up, and use their newly learned communication skills in a more fun album. But definitely give it a listen to, you might agree with me, you might not, that’s what’s great about the arts it’s open to interpretation. Until next time, I’m out.