The Killers - Day And Age (Universal)

13 Jan 2009

"what is it people want from pop? they'll be questioning itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikinis next..."; release - '09
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It must be great being a Killers fan. This is their 4th album (if you include odds and sods Sawdust) in 4 years. The Killers have, in a short space of time, morphed from the explosive, welcome entrance, to becoming part of the establishment, already working with varied luminaries such as Lou Reed, Pet Shop Boys and, well, Elton John.

The biggest drawback with such prolific 'releasing' is that every Killers album so far has only been half a great album, but encouragingly, this might be the closest they've come to addressing that. Perhaps paring back on the obligatory second album hyperbole, (if you still think Sam's Town is the best album of the last 20 years, Flowers, then take a cold shower. Presumably you meant since Iron Maiden's Somewhere in Time?), Day and Age takes the early remix/collaboration work of Stuart Price to its logical conclusion, and he produces throughout. Anthems abound, alongside the second best song called 'Human' ever recorded. The debate about 'human/denser/dancer' continues to rage across student unions and blogs. It's difficult to know why - what is it people want from pop? They'll be questioning itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikinis next.

While this may be the first Killers record not to garner new fans, it should keep current ones happy. There is a playful approach here that was lacking from the 1000-yard stares and sepia-Springsteen road kill of Sam's Town. Following a horn-bastic opening, 'Losing Touch' is pure Hot Fuss. Disco is all over 'Joyride', while even steel drums appear on the skipping 'I Can't Stay' and the maligned saxophone on 'Spaceman', regardless to scenester mumbling. 'Neon Tiger' doesn't live up to its title, but then what would. 'The World We Live In' is a cracking, mid-paced song that somehow overcomes similarities with Genesis' 'Land of Confusion'. Elsewhere there remains a smattering of Sam's Town call of the road.

This is a tightrope album, which for some might be too much of a reaction against the previous Joshua Tree moodiness. What they now lack in surprise, demands to be compensated by song writing, and this they do. And if they spend twice as long on the next album they might have achieved what Flowers had hoped for Sam's Town.

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