The Killers - Wonderful Wonderful Album Review
Although many may only be familiar with the Killers’ Hot Fuss and its two iconic singles “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me,” the band still continues to make music and though they might not have as much of a mainstream following compared to then, their fifth studio album, Wonderful Wonderful, is a return to that style and is simply what the album title entails: wonderful.
The Killers most notable hits share a distorted alternative sound, but Wonderful Wonderful spices things up with a variety of genres. The Killers’ original sound is updated for a modern audience with a little bit of a lighter feel, but still maintains the emotion and heart that made the band popular to begin with. An album with a variety of genres on it lives or dies by its execution and The Killers definitely did their homework.
The album lacks an overarching theme, but makes up for it with a return to form and sound to what made The Killers so good to begin with. The vocals by Brandon Flowers sound exactly like they would if the album’s songs were on Hot Fuss and he delivers his signature emotional style to perfection.
Besides Flowers, the rest of the band also channels Hot Fuss to rekindle and reinvent The Killers’ trademark style. The newer style is similar to what the band Neon Trees sound like, but the lighter sound is a necessary evolution since the direction the alternative genre is headed in is also lighter than the previous norm.
The first song, the album’s titular track “Wonderful Wonderful,” serves as a transition back to the band’s older sound, with the song starting with the trumpeting use of a conch shell, which also serves as the album cover. The darker, distorted feel of this song is different than the rest of the album, but the song has a reason for its style since it is a transition.
The album’s first single “The Man” is best described as old Killers meets Bee Gees. The disco influence, especially on the groovy guitar and the higher pitched hook, shows the band is not afraid to experiment with their sound, yet at the same time give fans what they want. Flowers exudes confidence on this song, which is all about him being “the man.” The other single, “Run For Cover,” sounds like it was made by the Neon Trees, who The Killers were an influence on. The rhythmic strumming of the clean rhythm guitar is beautifully intertwined with the distorted and deeper riffs of the lead guitar, both over Flowers instructing someone to “run for cover” after a scorned love.
The main strength of the album, at times, can also be its biggest weakness. “Out of My Mind,” “The Calling” and “Tyson vs Douglas” all are fine songs, but sound very similar to “Run For Cover.” Each has its own little flair, but the main sound is the same or very close to the same. This is not as big of an issue as the songs sound radically distinct from the others, especially “Some Kind of Love.” The slower tempo takes away from the return to form on the rest of the album, as the other songs all feature a faster rhythm, one of the strengths of the album. The last track, “Have All The Songs Been Written?,” shares the same issues as “Some Kind of Love,” but its style works better as the last song of the album. It is more of a triumphant goodbye and leaves fans eager for the next album.
The album may suffer a tad from too much of a good thing, but a return to form for The Killers probably means that fans will not mind too much. This is one of - if not the best - alternative albums of the year, which is not too shabby in a year where many alt rock acts are releasing albums.
Fans should be optimistic about the next album, as this album was The Killers honing their old sound for a more modern audience. There is room for improvement for the next album, yet Wonderful Wonderful is the band’s best album since Hot Fuss and Sam’s Town.
Owen Paiva is a freshman majoring in film/video. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.