Chris Schulz

Chris Schulz is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: Battle Born - The Killers

The Killers. Photo / Supplied
The Killers. Photo / Supplied

Since their 2004 debut Hot Fuss, The Killers have oozed ambition at every turn.

On Battle Born, the Las Vegas-based band's fourth album, Brandon Flowers and co have gone full Bono, with the aim of jetpacking from festival headliners to stadium-filling superstars.

So Battle Born is full of songs designed to be sung by the masses, chocka with reverberating guitar riffs, shimmering synths and overblown strings.

Flowers is in full saviour mode, delivering preachy Coldplay-style everyman-isms like, "I'll catch you darling, I'll be waiting, I am on your side", at every turn. The album's epicentre comes from two ballads, the brooding Here With Me and the woozy electro-croon of Be Still.

But too often Battle Born aims for Springsteen and hits Meatloaf, especially on the goofy Bat Out of Hell theatrics of A Matter of Time and the 80s gallop of The Rising Tide.

Runaways pushes every button marked epic it can find, but winds up being one of the blandest singles they've ever released. And the best thing you can say about the hand-claps and acoustics of From Here On Out, is that it's forgettable.

"If we go on, can it be the way it was?" sings Flowers on cloying ballad The Way It Was.

Go listen to scintillating Hot Fuss anthem Mr Brightside again - you'll be wishing exactly the same thing.

Stars: 2/5
Verdict: Las Vegas rockers get their Meatloaf on.
Click here to buy Battle Born by The Killers.


- NZ Herald

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