Album Review: The Killers – Wonderful Wonderful

By Maria Lubanovic, Staff Writer
[Island; 2017]
Rating: 6.5/10

Key Tracks: “The Man”, “Tyson vs Douglas”, “Some Kind Of Love”

Wonderful Wonderful is the fifth studio album from the iconic indie band, The Killers. You know who they are if you’ve ever heard “Mr. Brightside” or “Somebody Told Me”. After a long five years, they’ve finally returned with an album that oozes frontman Brandon Flowers’ style without holding back.

The album’s title track is not a great start for this album. It’s a pretentious, electronic-based mess whose chorus is a knockoff from Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”. It’s a sound that’s so unlike The Killers, it’s shocking. But that’s okay because when your chips are down and your highs are low, there’s nowhere to go but up.

The album really kicks into gear with “The Man”, an upbeat, disco-tech track that seems straight out of Flower’s earlier days. His signature soprano, sense of humor, and faux arrogance only comes from being so young when hitting it big. It calls back to a time when Flowers was “a household name” and “headed for the hall of fame,” a look he wears well. “Rut” calls out for people to not “give up on me” and to keep holding on to the memories of his younger years. It evokes that The Killers are not done trying to create new music or have given up on trying to move forward, especially because of their struggle to stay together and make new music. “Life to Come” seems like a combo of “Dustland Fairytale” and “Bones” through the instrumentals. It’s honestly exactly what to expect from a Killers album.

In the typical Killers style, Flowers pulls from his childhood for “Tyson vs Douglas” after watching one of his biggest heroes fall. It plays with the themes of growing up and becoming a man, which has become a theme within this album. It’s punctuated by the recording of Tyson’s loss and heavy synth. “Some Kind Of Love” is a ballad written for Flower’s wife (a heavy inspiration for this record), who struggles with PTSD. It’s beautiful, with his featured soprano and soft lyrics and instrumentals that sound absolutely breathtaking and loving. Flowers has said in interviews that his wife cried the first time she heard it; you may not cry, but you might at least get goosebumps. The instrumentals are spot on, and the song ends with a choral voice part sung by Flowers’ three young children.

“The Calling” is completely biblical, with the opening read by Woody Harrelson. It’s a bizarre combination of funky gospel and heavy synth. The album closes with “Have All The Songs Been Written?”, a heartfelt track seeking an answer to Flowers’ writer’s block. It’s an appropriate end for this album.

Overall, this is just another Killers album. It’s no Hot Fuss, but then again, nothing is. We just have to appreciate that The Killers are still together (somewhat) and that they are sticking to their guns. Maybe someday they will have another “All These Things That I’ve Done” or “Somebody Told Me”.

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