73 of 87 people found the following review helpful
Glitter, Pop, Grits, Guts, and Rock,
This review is from: Battle Born / [Deluxe Edition] (Audio CD)
Disclaimer: This is my favorite band of all time so please, take everything I say with a grain of salt. That said, I admit that though eventually I was able to find enjoyment from DAY & AGE I can understand why it got such criticism as it did. I love HOT FUSS but I consider SAM'S TOWN to be the essential album of The Killers. I have good news. Though BATTLE BORN may not be as good as SAM'S TOWN, it is definitely a worthy sequel. It's great to have the band back.
BATTLE BORN is a "dustland fairytale" to the core. This is a complete and total "blue jean serenade" of layered, polished, and refined music. The production value is excellent but it is important to remember that The Killers can actually perform this live. This isn't just studio magic. This band is a premium act.
BATTLE BORN is much more SAM'S TOWN than it is DAY & AGE but there is still some of that disco-glam-dance influence to be found. BATTLE BORN is primarily heartland rock, infused with a dose of country (a la Brandon's solo album FLAMINGO). It's an interesting blend and it's not for everyone. I know there are those who lament the band's departure from HOT FUSS but I personally appreciate the dynamic range of The Killers. I'm not going to discuss every song for once, just my absolute favorites. But enough introduction, on to the music!
"Flesh and Bone" - At the moment this is my favorite track on BATTLE BORN. This is a rousing battle hymn if I've ever heard one. Brandon on synth and Dave on guitar are the driving force of the song but it is the lyrics that really give this song punch. I'd bet money that this is the next single released from the album.
"Runaways" - This will always hold a special place in my heart as the first new song of the reunited Killers. From Ronnie's galloping percussion to the soaring vocals and reverberating guitar this track screams arena rock. This is a BIG song that is barely contained by the limitations of digital recording.
"Matter of Time" - The way this track starts reminds me of HOT FUSS, with the heavier pace and the background vocals ("whoooa-ooo-oooo"). It's has a distinct "Somebody Told Me" flavor to it, with a hint of SAM'S TOWN. As another great arena rock song this will be fun to sing along to live.
"Deadlines and Commitments" - I wasn't really digging this song at first. Like, at all. After listening to it a couple times it has really grown on me. At various times of the day I found myself singing, "If you should fall upon hard times..." An unexpected hit this one.
"Miss Atomic Bomb" - I liked this one. And then I really listened to it. And then I fell in love. This is decent...until you realize that it is the prequel to "Mr. Brightside" and it totally blows your mind. This probably has some of the best lyrics of the entire album and in true Killers fashion it tells a beautiful, sad story. It sort of reminds me of "Dustland Fairytale" one of my all time favorites.
`The Rising Tide" - There is some awkward lyrical delivery on this track, the first line for instance, "the streets of persuasion, are plated with gold, your heart's in the right place but you traveled down the wrong road..." But once you get past some of the unwieldly lines (think "Swallow It" from FLAMINGO) it really is a good song. Plus there is a wicked sweet guitar riff courtesy of Dave near the end.
"From Here On Out" - This isn't heartland rock so much as it is country but you know what? I can dig it. This is also reminiscent of Brandon's solo album, kinda makes you want to throw on some cowboy boots and square dance.
"Battle Born" - Here it is, the theme song of the album. It opens with ascending keyboard and guitar. This track is certainly an inspirational anthem. I love the guitar and drums but best of all is the vocals as Brandon reminds us all, we are battle born.
Overall BATTLE BORN is a great album, just the return I have been waiting four years for. The Killers are back and in fine form. There are tracks that don't carry the same youthful enthusiasm and impressive scope that I so admire ("The Way it Was" and "Here With Me") and I can't stand "Heart of a Girl" but all in all this is a Grade A album. I highly recommend obtaining the two bonus tracks, "Carry Me Home" and especially "Prize Fighter." If you are among The Victims rest easy, the band is back together and making music just as memorable as ever.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 20, 2012 10:00:06 PM PDT
I appreciate how you mentioned that you are a huge Killers fan. It was just OK in my humble opinion. What I missed about the Killers new sound is little to no glam sound. Maybe I don't like their new changes.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2012 6:33:51 AM PDT
I think being a huge Killers fan is a big part of my rating and I felt it important to warn everyone else. I'd say for non-Killers fans, if I'm trying to be unbiased the score would probably be a 6.5 to 7 out of 10. For regular Killers fans I'd say Battle Born is probably an 8. And then for me it's like a 14/10. A lot of that has to do with how many times I've listened to it. I know some people are bored with the album, don't think it has enough Hot Fuss or enough Day & Age (which surprises me because I remember a lot of complaints about Day & Age). But this really isn't a album you listen to once or twice and full appreciate. I was disappointed after my first listen. It wasn't until a week later (I got it when it leaked) that I really started realizing how much I love Battle Born. So I suspect that Battle Born will grow on a lot of people (Deadlines and Commitments really grew on me, Rising Tide as well). But thank you for your feedback and I hope maybe with a few more listens you'll find more to like as well :)
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2012 11:56:30 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 21, 2012 11:57:14 AM PDT
Barron Crist says:
Nice review with an excellent breakdown of the songs. I just picked up the Target Special Edition with five bonus tracks. Any Killer's fan will want this edition.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2012 3:18:02 PM PDT
Thank you! It looks like we don't share the common view though. I wish I could say I was surprised at all the negativity but I think the problem is that Battle Born can't really be fully appreciated at first glance.
Posted on Sep 25, 2012 9:27:19 AM PDT
your review was the reason i bought this album and i love it! i must disagree with you about "here with me," however. i love a good power ballad and this song takes me back :-) it's my kids favorite track on the album! it also took me 3 or 4 listens to "deadlines and commitments" to like it, but now i really do!! thank you!!
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2012 10:18:01 AM PDT
I'm really glad I could help :) My "Here with Me" is my buddy's favorite track on the album so I'm going to keep listening to it until I come around. Thanks for your feedback and enjoy the album!
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