Review: The Killers sixth studio album ‘implodes’ on itself

By Yzzy Arias | @YzzyBear8

The Killers are the type of band whose music should be blasted on a road trip by virtue of their perfect sing-along tracks. But as for “Imploding the Mirage,” the band’s sixth studio album, it deserves to be chucked out of the car window and on to the 10 freeway.

The album starts with “My Own Soul’s Warning,” an upbeat track, but takes a deep dive into a snooze-fest by the fourth song. Taking an unexpected turn from rock to electric pop, the songs suddenly feel repetitive with its heavy mashup of synthesizers and keyboards.

Unfortunately, this album was a disappointment — leaving listeners wondering if the Las Vegas-based band is past its prime and now on the verge of following the footsteps of U2 as the latest band remembered for its earlier albums and singles. Now that The Killers have been in the music industry for nearly two decades, the songs they release henceforth are also likely to receive recognition out of respect and seniority — not so much for their quality.

The Killers’ last two albums “Battle Born” and “Wonderful Wonderful” displayed the perfect mix of new wave and Americana, but the combination of synthesizers and ominous tones are not executed as well on “Imploding the Mirage.”

The only good track on the record is “Caution,” released on March 12 as the lead single from the album; it mirrors the band’s previous tracks from “Sam’s Town” and “Battle Born.” Unlike the rest of the songs in the album, “Caution” makes listeners want to jump up, dance, sing out loud and rock out to a song about escaping their hometown to make something of themselves.

After “Caution,” the tracks that follow are slow and would be better suited as background music at a casino or an elevator. The remaining tracks simply do not come close to the lead single because they try to pull off an anthemic style, which unfortunately is a flop.

“Imploding the Mirage” is the band’s first album without its former lead guitarist, Dave Keuning, who has not toured or recorded with the band since their last album released in 2017. Although Keuning chose not to contribute to the album, Lindsey Buckingham, lead guitarist and vocalist from Fleetwood Mac, provides a guitar solo in “Caution.” Aside from Buckingham, other featured artists are k.d. lang and Weyes Blood.

Nonetheless, the one thing that the band pulled off was the album cover. Legendary artist Thomas Blackshear, who has previously designed postage stamps for the U.S. Postal Service, painted the cover and a few of their singles. The pop of colors and Blackshear’s artistic vision blended in nicely with the overall tone of the album.

Although it may not be time for The Killers to throw in the towel, their take on classic rock in “Imploding the Mirage” seems almost predictable and just misses the mark.

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